The Art of Exploration · a diary of day trips, natural places, and miscellaneous adventures


Sunday, February 8th, 2004 in Wales

Another week is underway and again I find myself knee-deep in duties and deadlines without having been able to fully enjoy a weekend to myself. I spent all day Saturday and several hours on Sunday trying to “get ahead” on the work front but it all seems for naught as the emails spill freely into my inbox and the instant messages explode like popcorn on my screen. A deluge of tasks floods Monday’s gates.

But I must remember that this weekend produced a few moments of relaxation and enjoyment. One of them was watching the warm orange glow of the setting sun outside the office window. Another was getting take away from my favourite Indian restaurant (cauliflower bhaji, vegetable curry, pilau rice, naan bread). And for those things I am thankful, as I’ll need something to bolster my momentum for the rest of the week.

The Severn Bridge
The Severn Bridge, heading into Wales.

I think part of my looming lethargy is the result of not having exercised enough lately. And my not having exercised enough lately is due to the cold weather and my lack of free time. I can’t do anything about the cold weather (short of getting on a plane) and my lack of free time is likewise pretty much out of control, thanks to the demands of my job.

Somewhere near Swansea.

To add to the weight of real world pressures, I have also been feeling somewhat dull and little depressed lately. Perhaps it’s because the weather has turned frosty again. Or, more likely, it’s the cumulative effect of working too much for too long—it’s time I admit that my job is the source of constant stress and negativity. It robs me of my creativity, energy, and enthusiasm. Something must be done about this.

On an entirely different note, last night, I came across this wonderful online photography exhibit with photos by Annie Leibovitz. What a nice break. And a wonderful reminder to nurture my creativity.

Speeding up the hill and past the church to Phil’s parents’ house.
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The Grand Dining Room
The Grand Dining Room
Brunch at the Grand Dining Room is sublime. I learn for the first time how much I adore a breakfast of fresh fish, rice, and miso soup.
Chapin Mesa
Square Tower House
Monterey Bay Aquarium
Monterey Bay Aquarium
Today we visited the Monterey Bay Aquarium, a public aquarium that has been involved in a variety of marine research projects that I’ve read about over the years.