the high life

i have been away from home since saturday, but only in sydney, partly for pleasure and partly for business. i’ve been booked to present at a conference for a while, and decided to work it in with some socialising. first there was knitters guild on saturday, where fee, alison and i compared our Unsts.

three very lovely socks! we all stayed back to help with the free ‘learn to knit’ classes the guild offers, we had 18 new people wanting to learn to knit. i can stand up and give lectures and presentations and run classes at uni ok, but teach people to knit? sheesh. i really am not very good at it, its so hard to articulate what we do when so much of it is just habit and muscle memory. it was fun to try though. then i headed back to roseredville for a fantastic spanish dinner, watching of the new torchwood (oh captain jack. swoon) and lots of cycling, watching jane work out the maths so i could cast on a new project, and playing with a lovely happy little boy

sunday i headed off into the city where i checked in to the conference hotel, which just happened to be the sheraton on the park. it was kind of swanky:

i had time for a bath then i walked down elizabeth and phillip streets on a cold and windy but glorious evening,

to the harbour

and opera house

where i met up with kris, fee, snook and kunaal to see bell shakespeare’s production of christopher marlowe’s ‘dr faustus’. this was a fantastic production, the program notes said they used only parts of the play they knew were authentic marlowe, and then they added a whole storyline from goethe’s faust, and threw it all together with a good mix of modern design, costume and theatrics  including a rather sexy faustus in skinny jeans, and a rather sleazy car salesman-like john bell as mephistopheles. it was a kind of donnie darko meets supernatural, thoroughly enjoyable. we got all classy and had burgers for dinner after:

as you do. i headed back to the hotel for chocolate, knitting, more cycling, and finishing the third volume in the rather less than high-brow ‘game of thrones’ books (those lannisters are just downright evil!).

the conference started monday morning, it was a bit of a different conference for me, instead of being about my discipline specific research, it was about a ‘way’ of doing research and teaching called ‘engagement’, where the aim is to get universities out of the ivory tower and more connected with local communities and social agendas. i do community based research, so i was interested in it from that perspective, but im also working on a policy project trying to embed this way of working into university systems, so i was hoping to get some insight into that. and despite trying to hide up the back of the room

i did learn a lot. i gave a presentation to the whole conference body, about 200 people in the room at once, and it went fine but i still thought i was going to throw up before hand. i dont think i’ll ever get used to that. anyway, it was a great conference, i met some really good people, and i have a lot of good information to put in place now. totally worth the hotel bill (footed by my Dean of course!)

but gosh i was glad to leave this morning. yes my room was lovely, but hanging out in the big end of town feels incredibly unnatural to me. i have a very low tolerance for the ‘wank factor’ and a breakfast room full of self important inflated business men, and rude cashed up tourists wore a little bit thin this morning. i am glad to be home in my trackies and slippers, with a dog on the lounge, knitting my new project.

this is what jane worked out the maths for me for, its ‘adrift’ in elsbeth lavold silky wool. i was going to do a hyrbid of this pattern with ‘summer solstice’, because i really like the yoke and sleeves on summer solstice, but ended up just going straight into adrift. im on 4.5mm needles, working towards a drapey, open fabric, for a flowy short sleeved layering garment.  so far i love it, its got lovely short row shaping in the collar and excellent instructions for wrap and turning, so ive even learnt something new there too!

overall, a very productive few days, full of high culture and socialising. and now im looking forward to a quiet rest of the week at home!



About DrK

researcher, knitter, dog lover View all posts by DrK

8 responses to “the high life

  • 2paw

    I laughed at your assessment of the “w’ factor!!! Lovely Unsts and Adrift is such a gorgeous colour and I can picture it whirling around as you swirl!! Giving presentations to big rooms full of people doesn’t scare me, but show me a BP monitor and I am a hopeless mess!! It is good to learn new things and you are so right about knitting being a muscle memory. It is like dancing for your fingers.

  • RoseRed

    Wow, you’ve got so much of Adrift done already! Go you!

    And that GoT book is way fat. I can’t see myself reading those ever! Maybe in 5 years time…when they’ll be old news, heh!

    Glad the conference was useful, so often they aren’t.

  • 1funkyknitwit

    Love Adrift and I think the yarn you’ve chosen is going to look amazing in it. You’ve had a FULL weekend, and getting up at a conference of 200 is amazing, I would have died at the mere thought of doing it, so good on you for having the courage !
    Lush hotel room too 😀

  • Ailsa

    Business travel’s only saving grace sometimes is the (s)wanly hotels. But I’m very proud that your presentation went well, not surprised at all of course..
    I’m doing a new short row technique too, on the Manu. I hope it works out.
    Good to he home with the the dogs and the’s so cold atm.. Birch.

  • Sue

    We refer to it as the PW factor (Pretentious Wankers).Sadly their ranks seem to be growing!
    I’m in awe of people who can stand up and speak in conferences like that. The Learn to Knit classes are much more my mark!
    Adrift looks lovely.

  • LynS

    I could just ignore the PWs. My long-held fantasy since reading Simone de Beauvoir as a young woman is to live – yes, live – in a hotel. Would be wonderful.

    So pleased the presentation went well. I once worked with a brilliant lecturer who said that in any presentation you must make no more than three points, and you must make each point in three different ways. I’ve found it to be excellent advice.

  • probablyjane

    For someone with a Magpie’s love of colour you have won me over with that lovely trio of neutral Unsts – gorgeous!

    Looks like you had a lovely trip – one day I’ll be back…..

  • Annie

    Sounds like a really nice week you had, but I am with you on the being at home with the dog and knitting.

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