Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Of icebergs and glacial writing

I'm sitting in my office, looking out the window at a thick bank of fog that has rolled down the hill over the houses in the distance. Now, I love fog -- but I've got to ask, in some exasperation, What happened to our summer?? The past week, and this weekend especially, was beautiful: twenty to twenty-five degrees, sun, a light breeze ... giving way to misty rain, fog, and sub-10 degree temperatures (though it still manages to be stiflingly muggy inside -- I open and close my window about every twenty minutes, alternating between clammy cold and sweltering humidity). I complain, but am met with stoic smiles: "Ah, that's Newfoundland in June."

My comfort is that this weather can at least turn on a dime. Summer came on us with startling suddenness. Everyone had told me that summer happens all at once ... and they weren't lying! About two weeks ago, over a twenty-four hour period, we went from temperatures below ten to over twenty, but more startling was the fact that the trees went from winter-barren to being totally in bloom in the same period of time.

Anyway, I'm whining about the weather because I'm taking a break from what has become, for me, an agonizing writing process. I think nostalgically of the days when I could whip off a twenty-five page paper in a day or two ... you'd think the writing process would get easier the farther up the academic food chain you move, but not so much. I'm still working on my Congress paper -- the plan being to turn it into an article for publication, which means doubling its length and inserting all the theoretical context and critical history that you leave out of conference papers. And I'm doing what I always do with these things: that is to say, TOO MUCH. I hit critical mass yesterday, and am actually making some progress today -- because today I'm returning slowly to sanity, trimming the fat and streamlining what was threatening balloon into thirty-plus pages into something more manageable.

In more entertaining news, we've had our first icebergs of the year -- I walked up Signal Hill on Saturday and snapped some pictures. It's really quite amazing the first time you see them; even though these ones were relatively small, there's a majesty to them that's quite profound.


Denise said...

Hi....even though I don't know you. I've been reading this blog since the beginning. I thought it would be fun reading about your adventures in Newfoundland. I'm currently living in Halifax not far from home but far enough not to be home. The June weather you are experiencing is commonly known as "Capelin Weather".

munpsycgrad said...

We got some fantastic shots this Saturday of this iceberg too, but from Fort Amherst. I was actually happy to get a bit of sunburn, since I have been here in NL for a year now, and was missing some of Ontario's sunshine (but not the smog or the humidity - I'll take todays 8 degrees over that any day).

Anonymous said...

you think the iceberg is small, however 75% of it is underwater! It's huge down there and that's why it's so dangerous for boats to go near it... they can "run-a-ground"