Here's one. Now still in 2011. Still in Vancouver. Still at the University of British Columbia.
Yes, I love the place but bare with me.
I had befriended several people also doing presentations during the conference I was involved with. Two of them told me they were going to the beach by the university.
They told me that they were informed that on the beach it was "clothing optional".
Deep breath... and No, I didn't go streaking.
However, the two other people had gone down earlier. I decided to try and find them after I'd made some important phone calls.
I found the steps down onto beach. All two hundred of them (or something like that). They were twisty, steep and made from logs.
Eventually I got down to the beach and ... it was narrow with hardly anyone there.
I thought, "I must be lost. Maybe the big beach is further along the coast."
But which way?
Only one guy was on this part of the beach sunbathing.
Did I mention that on this beach clothing was optional?
Trying to casually ask directions on a deserted beach from a naked guy lying on a platform which was at eye level... Well, that was a new ... experience.
So the directions he told me involved me climbing over boulders and fallen trees and logs and rocks while the sea was gushing over them.
Are you moaning in sympathy for me?
Well, how about that I was wearing a new pair of trainers and they got soaked. Does that make you feel more sympathetic?
OK, well, eventually I got to the main beach. Lots of people in swimming costumes. Very few naked.
BUT I didn't find the other two new friends.
So climbing up another set of steps. All two hundred-ish of them.
So life has ups and downs. Sometimes quite literally.
A nice flight back home by the way.
Late in 2011 I was putting my PhD together.
Referencing the 14 past PhDs around LGB&T issues I'd read.
Reading through my transcriptions of the interviews and using some comments from them.
So around September-ish, I totalled up the first draft of my PhD writing.
141,622 words- ah...
My PhD had to be around 80,000 words.
Erm, I obviously knew a hell of a lot about my subject but I'd written too much.
So Editing. Editing. Reading. Writing. Editing. Reading. Writing. 2012. Writing. Writing. Arguing. (No comment) Editing. Reading. Writing. Art break! (Woohoo!) Writing. Insisting. Sighing. (No comment) Editing. Reading. Writing. Writing. Done!! (late 2012) More editing. Bit of reading. Little bit of editing. Some writing. You think what??? (No comment). Tiny bit of reading. Weeny bit of writing. Printing. Nearly 500 pages! Handing in my completely finished PhD. (Friday 15th Mar. 2013)