In answer to Enceladus Sarah's post - yes, I'm here. I'm not going to make it to 200 posts this year though (and to think I once had hopes of reaching 300).
A look at the posting record tells the story:
March 26 posts
April 30 posts
May 31 posts
June 29 posts
July 21 posts
August 20 posts
September 7 posts
October 2 posts
November 1 post
December - up to now - no posts
The thing that happened goes by the name of 'Semester One', which starts with Intro Week in the middle of September, and ended last Friday. Semester 1 is always hard work - new students, in ever increasing numbers every year; my heaviest teaching load and of course the shortening days, the cold and the dark. This year I've had bigger responsibilities too, a once-in-a-career (or at least I hope so) management issue to deal with, plus I've taken on studying for a new qualification, and all the time while trying to come to terms with the implications of my autism at work which has challenged my very sense of who I am and what I do (and how well I do it). So this has been a particularly tough Semester 1, and I've been in the office from eight until six nearly every day just trying to keep on top of it. When I left at three yesterday, it felt quite momentous.
I have done no Christmas shopping - although I did manage to get some cards done. I'm planning to go down south on the 29th, so hoping I can pick up some presents in the post-Xmas sales. We might just get some food planned and shopped today. Most shocking of all, my 50 year old advent calendar is still in its envelope, for the first Christmas ever. I forgot that I gave my little artificial tree to Oxfam last year, and now it's far too late to get a real one, so here are my Christmas decorations for this year: