I’m writing this post from Serenity Lodge*, my home for the next two weeks. My view from the deck overlooks the River Devon as it flows through Clackmannanshire on the outskirts of Dollar. It is peaceful, despite the three Labradoodles and chatty parrot I’m sharing the space with, and I am sure the location will help me find a bit of my own serenity!
This is the last (maybe not?) in a series of recent housesitting gigs that I’ve done over the past few months. It began with a two-week gig in Falkirk. The offer for housesitting was made by someone I know; not because they needed a house-sitter, but rather because I needed a wee break away from my routine so that I could get some work done.
Then, a short while later a friend realised that I could dog sit for her and her family whilst they were on holiday, helping them with the dog and giving me another week away to concentrate on my PhD work. And then another friend offered to further extend my break from routine by inviting me to house- and cat-sit for two weeks as soon as the dog-sitting week ended. (Although a broken ankle whilst at the dog-sitting gig slowed my PhD productivity down a bit, and took away some of the fun of house- and pet-sitting!)
Anyhow, I was sharing my adventures in house- and pet-sitting on Facebook, which meant another friend thought of me when her friends’ normal house-sitter fell through. And that’s how I landed my current gig.
These two weeks at Serenity Lodge will (hopefully) be productive on many levels. And (hopefully) the lack of Internet access means that I won’t be distracted by a barrage of online information, whilst trying to work on my PhD about online information! (Oh, the irony!)
During these two weeks, I will be getting my head down and working on data analysis for my PhD. I am also planning to catch up on my PhD and Just Frances blogging as well as a few other administrative tasks. There is also a bit of exercise equipment and a hot tub here, which I plan to use to help with my ankle recovery. So really, these two weeks will be good for me on so many levels!
I won’t be working a straight 9-5, Monday through Friday week whilst I’m here. Instead, I will work throughout my waking hours, regardless of the day. But I will break up the PhD work with ankle rehabilitation work and personal reflection and self-care work. (Let’s face it, my mental and physical health must be taken care of if I want to realise my PhD Dreams!)
As for staying connected with the outside world, I plan to walk up the road to the wee café for Internet access each morning and again late afternoon. That will allow me to upload and download files each day. It will also allow me to make some occasional blog posts. (Although I will be writing things offline in the evenings.)
Of course, the occasional weak 3G signal means that I might get to share random thoughts on Facebook or Twitter every so often. But don’t hold your breath for that!
* Whilst I wrote the post from my peaceful perch at the lodge, I had to walk down the road to access WiFi to share it with you.