Sunday, 29 April 2012

Weather, wonders and walking...

As I'm sure you've realised, dear reader, that a lot more has happened to me in the last year or so than the last post hinted at. How right you are! Here's a little more recap...


The weather has been particularly strange in this corner of the world... When we expect it to be cold it's unseasonably warm and when we expect it to be warm (because we've had a week of t-shirt weather) it's unseasonably cold... and then there's the rain

and the sleet/hail

I'm one of those people who loves four, distinct seasons so when it's cold, I'm happy, when it's warm, I'm happy... but this recent weather very much has me pining for summer in Sweden. Warm, sunny, relaxing...


In December, I (finally?) became a British Citizen in a small ceremony at Brixton Town Hall. I think the most enjoyable part of the evening was that the woman who officiated the ceremony (The Mayor of Lambeth) is also originally from somewhere else and her accent was so thick it was often very difficult to figure out what she was saying. It was the perfect way to be welcomed into the "Bow of Lambett" and it made for several giggles on the way home afterward.

Last weekend I went to Belfast again to visit my Chickenhead. We had a wonderful time and I snapped some more photos of Belfast...

Chickenhead did give me quite a few questioning glances as I was taking some of the more arty shots, and even asked if I was trying to take a photo of what was inside the shutters in one shot. It took a little more convincing than I'm comfortable with, to be honest, to convince her that wasn't casing the joint! (It's probably simply a reflection of how well she knows me *grin*)

This week we got our grades back from our first two modules as well as the mark for our most recently submitted paper/report for Practical Skills for the Biosciences (PSB). My grade on the report before this one had been a 45. Gasp! So I wasn't very confident about the outcome of the most recent one, let alone my overall module grade. I (somehow) managed to get through that paper with a mark of 80! 80!! I'm still not entirely sure how I managed it but I'm not complaining and I will take the time to compare the two to ensure I know how to affect the differences going forward. This made my overall mark for the module (thank dog for weighted totals!) a pretty OK B+ for PSB. (I say "pretty OK" because I don't like it. It's not enough for my standards but I will accept it (somehow) because A. I have very little other choice and 2. I'm very slowly learning what "good enough" is.

For the other module, From Molecules to Ecosystems (FME), I got an A for the year. This too, is "pretty OK" because I would have loved a High A, but I realise the reasons I didn't are entirely down to me... getting back into the swing of things regarding academia, not committing as much time as I'd like studying, getting a little cocky, etc.

This week, I also started my Chemistry for the Biosciences module, which is divided into two different sections (making it two different classes?) of Organic and Biological Chemistry (OBC) and General Chemistry (GC).

Tuesdays are for GC and apart from the room being far too warm, it was a fun class.

Thursdays are for OBC and in a different part of the building so the room was a nice temperature but the lecturer has a thick Spanish accent... This caused issues for me due to several factors, but it meant that my brain wasn't able to translate what he was saying into English English and make the connections of the content. I couldn't absorb the information my brain had just translated. It was so bad at one point that I was looking at my phone, sending a message because my brain had all but given up trying to comprehend and I heard the word "dolphin". It made me chuckle, we're in a Chemistry class, after all, there's no way he said "dolphin" so my brain must really be on strike. I looked at one of my School Husbands, Ryan, to share the joke with him "Did he just say 'dolphin'?", to which he replied "Yes".

I was shocked, but sure enough, when I looked up, there was a slide on the wall, with a picture of a dolphin. It was a very surreal moment, indeed.

The whole evening was a bit like having Inigo Montoya as the lecturer and I absorbed very little of what was taught, though not as little as I feared, which is a relief.

I'm instituting a different game plan for this Thursday that includes more food and a different drug regime in the hopes that it makes a significant difference... if it doesn't; goodness knows where that will leave me!

Stay tuned, dear reader... I will certainly keep you posted on my progress with the Spaniard.


I'm doing something very important in just a few, short weeks, dear reader...

I'm walking 13 miles for charity! Whenever friends or family approach me and tell me they're skydiving for charity or cycling for charity, or getting waxed for charity; I always fully support their endeavours and donate generously with money. I can't do any of those things, so if I can help in any way, in my way; I do. I always explain that the only thing I can do, apart from donating money, is walk, and this is my firm conviction. But that means when a charity walk came up; I'd clean run out of excuses. Sigh.

So, I'm doing it, dear reader! I'm putting my money where my legs are...?? I'm walking, with a team, the Norwood 10 Bridges Walk for a wonderful cause. Norwood operate care homes for adults with various learning and social difficulties and they have a special place in my heart for a few reasons.

I would (as would others) be ever so grateful if you were able and willing to donate a little bit of money to help us reach our sponsorship goal... we're at 70% at writing this post... but we could do with a bit more. Here's the link for making donations and every little bit helps.

Thank you, very much, for even reading about Norwood and this challenge and thank you even more if you're able to donate!

I'll be snapping lots of pictures during the walk so stay tuned for those! Here's a map of the proposed route, so there will be lots of photo ops of this beautiful city! *whispers* I'm getting pretty excited about it, actually, though dreading the sore muscles at work the next day!

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