Friday, 1 May 2015

So where have I been? Bones, spiders

For the last [however long it was before my previous post], I have been battling my way through hell.

Pretty goth, huh?

Alright, seriously. I've been working full-time and studying part-time and between my ridiculously busy job(s) and this evil Masters course, I have had little time to do anything else other than sleep, eat and travel to work/class. I suppose it's lucky in a way that my 'other half' is in Shanghai on exchange at the moment (his ability to speak Mandarin is getting so good! I'm proud :3 and jealous -_- )

As I sit at this desk where I'm supposed to be doing a 6000 word essay on the gaps in law and policy regarding the impacts of climate change on women and Gender and Sexual Minorities, I'm looking around for a daddy long-legs spider that has been keeping me company. First it was under the desk, but I saw it the other day munching on a slater on the wall by the window...

So what's to update? Well, a month or so back, we unfortunately found the remains of a Tawny Frogmouth on the grounds at work.

Oh noes! Source.
At work. we have a specially built aviary for rehabilitating frogmouths. Every now and then, some get released back into the wild. Our first thought when we saw the corpse was that it was one of ours. All our frogmouths have so far been tagged by pedicure - different coloured nail polish was applied to their toe nails. However, we were unable to tell because its feet were missing.

That's set off a whole other chain of events at work that I won't get into, but I decided to take the body home and macerate it for the bones. I have been interested in 'vulture culture' (scavenging of natural things including wood and dead animals) so I took the opportunity.

At this point, I have almost finished cleaning the bones. There is not much left - birds have very light and slender bones, and the ribs of the frogmouth are particularly fine, so I discarded them. I am now left with a skull (the beak and lower jaw detached), lots of vertebrae (spinal bones), the sternum (chest bone), 2x humeri, radii and ulnae, and the scapulae (shoulder blades).

Yup, that's all that's left.

I have also been looking into minimalism, the KonMari method and other similar movements (e.g. Project Pan, the Uniform Project, capsule wardrobes, etc.) Some of you will know I am a firm environmentalist (hell, I studied climate science as an undergrad and I work in bush regeneration), but I am also a social justice warrior (Yes, I am. Come at me bro.) To me, consumption is strongly linked with environmental degradation and human rights abuses, and also with personal dissatisfaction. I'm not so bothered about people who have massive wardrobes or tonnes of jewellery and love it (I still like watching haul videos and closet tours :3), but in my personal life, I am much happier with less. I have donated so many things this year to charity shops and women's shelters, cutting down on things I don't use and things I don't want to use, such as body products that are not based on natural ingredients (I am proud to say that my bathroom is looking almost chemical-free now!).

I feel mentally much lighter and willing to try new things. It made me feel much happier to just keep things that I really like and that I use. This also included books I don't read anymore and DVDs don't watch. Time to hit the ebooks!

In all, I'm busy as all hell but I'm finding my research and my work very interesting, and I am feeling great (aside from this cold...). Hopefully when this semester is over, I will have more time to blog, but for now, I must love you and leave you all. 
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