There have been visitors more or less straight since I've returned to baladelba7th. Finally, it is over (well, for a month). The visitors consisted of my siblings and a very old friend and his husband (in fact, the friend who introduced me to my husband). Going out with them every day/night made me feel like I have a social life, instead of merely a research life, but it was also exhausting and hectic.
Now, it is back to the grindstone. I'm into Phase 4 of my research, which is mostly piecing together small bits I didn't get to during earlier phases. Even better, most of this piecing together is in el-medina el-kabeera, which means fewer train rides to medinatelba7r, which (biznillah) means much less stress! Of course, this also means that I theoretically have more time for the dreaded transcription . . .
I also have more time to dance, which is lovely for everything except my calves. As I've mentioned before, my folk dancing is pretty intense on the calves. The folk dancing I've picked up here is also pretty calf-intensive, especially as I just got the shoes for it, which have two inch heels. When my achilles injuries first started two years ago, I gave up on heels, and have been phasing them out of my wardrobe ever since (quite the sacrifice when one is under 5'3"!). Now I am dancing in them, which is quite the trick balance wise, as well as harsher on my calves. Tight calves also lead to achilles pain, so alas it is not something I can ignore. I can massage my calves, but my hands get sore. I can have my husband massage my calves, but (as he can't understand why anyone would engage in physical activity when there is Google Reader and computer games) this usually ends up with two minutes of massage followed by "huh, I didn't realize you could have muscle in that part of your calf . . . ". My cats are excellent massagers, but they don't follow directions so well, so they typically knead my stomach, which does not feel so good, or my hairline, which pulls my hair and thus also does not feel good.
In the end though, aching calves are a small price to pay for the stress relief that dancing brings me. When I don't dance, I become superstressed about everything. When I do dance, I feel like I've gained back the ability to breathe. When I don't have time to dance, due to too many research activities, I really suffer and do things like start this blog.
So here's wishing that Phase 4 will bring more dancing as well as more researching!