Saturday, 7 June 2014

Progress Report, Spring Edition

Warm and sunny hello from Team Beavis this Saturday morning. It's still Spring in Canada, by the way, as the seasons here do not match up with the months. It was this year that I discovered this. I am out of touch.

I thought I would warm back up to blogging (since it has been a while) with a short progress report on what we have been achieving, the big and the small, in the last couple of weeks.

1. Thesis
I have, as you know, turned in a full draft to my supervisory team. This is very long overdue, in fact about a year overdue, so I'm not celebrating in any way. I am, however, spending every beautiful sunny weekend (that is, all of them) at my computer, stabbing away at each comment on my previous reviewed chapters. I'm on my third weekend of that. Fun times. Regardless of how progress goes from now on, I am definitely defending in September, and definitely graduating in November. This concrete timeline is a great terror and a great relief all at once. I feel a lot of pressure to edit my thesis very thoroughly, since I have already spent a whole calendar year writing it. Yes, I started drafting in May 2013. Four chapters and approximately 85 pages later, I have a whole draft. All done on weekends, around my full time work, and amid three international travels.

My workspace today, and every weekend until September.

2. Cooking
The vegetarianism is going very well. I have toned down the fish since returning from Japan, and only had one piece of fish per week or less. And Matthew and I have pledged to try some new ingredients, so a couple of weeks ago we bought tahini and sesame seeds. We are now sesame-flavouring everything, but our favourites are felafels and salad with sesame dressing. Also since Akiko and her mum showed us some home cooking, I have made onigiri (rice balls) with umeboshi centre (salted plum paste) twice, both times delicious.

Onigiri and sesame-dressed salad.
(I have saved the most serious for last...)

3. Permanent Residency
As you know, I am a Canadian citizen. I even registered to vote, this past May. That's how seriously I'm taking it. Matthew's work visa is up in July 2015, and we feel like we are not ready to make the move back to Australia at that time. Our apartment continues to be comfortable, our neighbourhood continues to be charming and convenient, my family continues to be so welcoming, and we are finally both in good places in our careers (Matthew has been doing the good work for some years, I am more recently employed, as you may remember from last May's job search). In summary, we love living here. So, we have put in an application for Matthew to become a permanent resident. This takes several months. We have been working on it since February, and we lodged it on the 2nd of June. We won't know whether it is successful until Christmas at the very earliest, and next June/July at the latest. In the meantime, we go about business as usual: work, study, and saving.

We owe some people our very warmest thanks for helping us with the application process. Our dearest friends Tess, Steph, Nick, Jane and Nyssa wrote some heartfelt statements for us. We are very thankful and we miss them daily.

So that's all for now. I will be poking away at my thesis comments until the evening, when Matthew returns from work (on a Saturday! *weep* he works so hard) and we can eat nachos and drink a glass of red that we have been saving all week for this very night.

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