the tranquility of holidays ended abruptly last week, with the linux conference and overlapping house guests, amongst all the usual things. all good, but tiring!
i was too poor, too busy, & not really geeky enough to officially attend the australian linux conference, but i was sufficiently well-connected, efficient, and adept at geek impersonations to make it to the miniconfs; i've blogged about the haeksen & multimedia miniconfs on my furtherfield blog so i won't repeat it here (there are 3 entries if you're keen for the full story). i also did an UpStage stall at the open day at the end of the conference, which was good but hard work as i had no-one to relieve me so spent nearly four hours enthusiastically repeating my sales pitch. happily there was a lot of interest - lots of people who'd never heard of the idea of live online performance and were impressed & interested. nancy stayed with me during the conference, & it was great to have a catch-up with her.
then zab arrived, with her swedish entourage, axel & linda. linda admired my house, saying with amazement as she looked at my black-painted kitchen window frames & sills, "no-one would do that in sweden!" the weather was mostly crap, but we did manage to have chips & beer in the garden on the first evening they were here. axel was drawn like a magnet to the piano, the flexible mirror, my neutral mask - that boy is going to be a performer for sure.
i took advantage of zab & linda's muscles to help carry computers for the open day, but apart from that the weekend was one social event after another, some involving elaborate costuming.
now they are gone & the house feels very quiet, but i have heaps to do as usual - the beginning of the year means lots of proposals & applications as well as all my usual projects, & the great list of home maintenance ... one job that wasn't on my list but had to get urgently done just before the conference was replacing the catflap (which i kicked right out one night, trying to give the neighbour's cat a fright). this was more complicated than i expected, as the new catflaps were either bigger or smaller than the one i had, requiring either cutting or bogging. i went for the latter, & i think i did ok - the finished result is pretty good if i say so myself.
during the last year, i travelled extensively around europe & more, & only once had my travel plans disrupted (during the bad floods in turkey in september, the train lines were washed out & i couldn't go as planned by train to belgrade). back in new zealand for 6 weeks, i plan a simple holiday visit to my brother's family in the south island - and both legs of the journey are disrupted by the weather! i suspect westport airport is closed more often than its open, due to the near-continual rain. mind you, that didn't stop us from having a damn good time : )
back in wellington, 2010 is starting with even worse weather - i'm glad i managed to fly in yesterday because today the wind is so bad they even described it as gale force on the radio news (usually the wind in wellington, no matter how blustery, doesn't get much of a mention, it being so constant). so i've spent the day inside, making a happy new year collage of images from my adventures of 2009; click here to see it (it's big, i know, but it's been a big year!).