Friday, 26 November 2010

We love all kinds of cricket !

Last night I was making dinner and I heard a shout from my daughter at the other end of the kitchen. The conversation went something like this ;


‘Spikey’ as we’ve named him/her was clinging to the outside of our kitchen window ( I must say, my choice of Stephen Finn or Stuart Broad for names didn’t go down too well, so Spikey it is !). It was absolutely freezing outside, so we took pity and my daughter scooped Spikey up in a plastic bowl
to bring inside. 
Entomology is not my strong point, but luckily I was able to email a friend who knows about these things. After looking at Spikey’s photo, he confirmed that Spikey is a cricket. So now Spikey has officially moved in with us and is living in a giant coffee jar, with a selection of weeds, grass and moss. My daughter suggested that as the jar smells like the Eden Project, we should refer to it as ‘The Biome.’


Study Buddies:
Well, what a week ! My mini literature review was submitted at the beginning of this week after much agonising and even a few tears. Towards the end of last week it seemed as if everything had conspired to prevent me from completing it, including...
- Reading loads of papers while simultaneously thinking ‘I don’t understand this!
- Checking my email too often as displacement activity.
- Making unhelpful notes to about papers like ‘First section unintelligible mathematical 

- Developing insomnia.
- Car broke down, which meant I had to get the train back from work.
- The train (see previous bullet point) was cancelled so it took me ages to get home on Monday  

...and what made the difference? What really turned it all around? The support of my friends and family!  I don’t think I would have made it through this week without the help of my daughter’s dad ‘K,’ who did a fantastic job entertaining her over the weekend while I studied. Also my friend another ‘K’ who really saved me at 11.15pm Monday night by emailing me a paper with a vital diagram that I could not find for love or money anywhere! Plus I can’t forget the wonderful support of our research methods course coordinator ‘P.’ Thanks guys!

J’s record of the week :  
‘Dreadlock Holiday’
by 10cc

Can you guess why I’ve chosen this song? Someone (I can’t remember who) once said that the two most important things in life are reggae and cricket. Actually there are three reasons I’ve chosen this song. Firstly, because of Spikey (see above).  Secondly, a friend and a relative of mine have started to organise my MCC membership. Honestly, this is something so crucial that I can’t put it in to words adequately... think Christmas (x1000), lottery win etc. The third reason for choosing this song is that ‘The Ashes’ start today (Google them if you are not sure what they are), and this time I think we are in a great position to give those Aussies the right good thrashing they deserve! Remember, and I quote: ‘I don’t like cricket, I love it ! Yeah!’ Jerushah X

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Swimming in the rain!

I’ve been to the real me – I love meteorology !
It was with a little bit of sadness that I decided not to continue with one of the taught units of my course this week. It was mainly due to personal reasons, and although am am still ‘up to speed’ on my requirement of taught courses, I felt quite dejected as I do not usually consider myself a ‘quitter.’ I was now left to research what to choose for my final taught option in September 2011, and after my recent experience I was more than a bit concerned.
Well, that was Wednesday but by Friday my confidence had received a real boost! My good friend and colleague, let’s call her ‘K’ had told me about a course she was attending. So I decided to sneak into the lecture, incognito just for a taster session... and found it was one of the most engaging lectures I had ever attended – it was great! The subtleties of previously undecipherable weather maps were suddenly revealed like the translation of a lost ancient language. The ‘homework’ for the students in the session was to watch David Attenborough’s ‘First Life’ and feed back the following week – how cool is that ? It was fabulous, in fact I think I can categorically state that I will be taking the course next year... Roll on September 2011!
I spoke to my Mum on the phone on Saturday evening (who incidentally loves watching the weather forecast), and in response to me informing her that I had decided to take meteorology next year she said, and I quote ‘That’s nice Jerushah, I like meteors..’

Swimming :
Do you remember way back in the day
when I started writing my blog?
I am sure I remember saying that I love
unconventional swimming...

On Sunday my daughter and I took a one hundred and forty (yes, 140 - now that is dedication!) mile road trip to visit an open air swimming pool in Surrey called ‘The Coral Reef.’ It had an indoor water park, which was of course fantastic, but our real purpose for going was the open air section of the leisure pool. The water was quite warm, we had a fabulous time firstly swimming as it poured down with rain (the poor lifeguard had full waterproof gear and an umbrella!), then enjoyed basking in the the golden November sunshine as the weather cleared up... We’ll definately do it again – I wonder what it would be like in the snow?
Help for heroes :
Last week I had planned to go and support my friend’s ‘Help for Heroes’ charity event in Rochester on Friday night, but on Friday morning I realised (like Cinderella) that I didn’t have a dress as half of my clothes had been sent to Oxfam and the other half are packed in boxes, due to the forthcoming house move. Happily though, before the morning was out my friend ‘L’ had arranged for me to borrow a dress (plus handbag and wrap) for the night, which made me feel like a true Cinderella – it was great and so glamourous! Thanks ‘L’ & ‘BB’ !!

‘Take That 2’ appeared half
way through the night, and
although (as you know if
you have read any of my other
blogs), they would never appear
in my record of the week slot,
I was singing along as they
belted out ‘Never Forget’ just
like all the other thirty something
ladies in room !

And the best news... the
event raised over £4000 for
‘Help for Heroes.’

...and finaly, here is the ltest picture of Twilight Kitten, because she is so cute and brings us smiles every day!

J's record of the week:


By Estelle

The other day I was having a bit of a clear out (still hoping we’re going to move house very soon), and came across an old removable drive for my computer... and I don’t mean pen drive. It was big and chunky looking, and even required its own power supply ! State of the art for the early noughties I’m sure... however it did contain some rather excellent forgotten about music, including the song ‘Free’ which has really been really uplifting during this stressful week. 
At only six years old, this is probably one of the youngest songs so far on J’s record of the week.
It was released in 2004 on Estelle’s album ‘18th day.’ If you listen carefully you can spot guest vocals from a real mixed bag of artists and a rap from Megaman of  ‘So Solid’ - remember them ?
Jerushah X

Friday, 12 November 2010

Is time just a concept?


One of those weeks :
This week definitely has to qualify as ‘one of those weeks!’ I realised that I had double booked myself for two things that I really wanted to go to, I lost my car stereo face plate and I took being early to a whole new level...
Firstly, I decided to leave my car stereo face plate I don’t know where, so I had to spend the whole week travelling to work in silence. Secondly, on Tuesday night I took being early to a whole new level when I arrived one month early for my staff training session with the enquiry unit! I’d even changed my daughter’s school parents evening slot to attend, so felt rather silly when I realised my mistake, and had to endure much hassling in the office as a result!
In my life, months go by and nothing happens, then by some strange happenstance two things happen on the same night! It seems like a long time ago that my friend asked me to come along and support the ‘Help for Heroes’ charity event that she was organising in Rochester. I happily agreed and thought no more of it until the date of our CRS firework party was set. As I am feeling a pang of conscience, I think the charity event will have to win out though. Two of my great-grand fathers served in WW1 (one in the trenches and the other in the Royal Air Corps), plus two grandfathers and a step grandfather fought in WW2 (in the Canadian Artillery, Home Guard and Navy respectively). In addition, we cannot forget the contribution made by women in my family, my great-grand mother worked manufacturing munitions at the Woolwich Arsenal, while my grandmother was a nurse treating the injured in hospitals around London.
 On the whole, I am a pacifist and always hope that conflicts can be resolved peacefully, but, at the same time I feel humbled by those who were willing to make such huge personal sacrifices to protect others. 
One thing I always ask myself at this time of year is... If I had been there at the start of WW1 or WW2 would I (or any of my generation) have been able to cope with the choices they faced?

J’s record of the week:

You're still a young man.'
by Tower of Power

After a few days of silence in the car, I managed to find my car stereo face plate in one of my daughter’s toy boxes... Not sure how it got there ?! To be honest I was torn between the first few songs that came up on my iPod, because it was just so joyous to have my music back again! So really it was a hard choice between ‘I’ll take you there’ by the Staple Singers; ‘The revival’ by Martine Gerrault; ‘Reasons’ by Earth, Wind and Fire; ‘War’ by Bob Marley and ‘You’re still a young man’ by Tower of Power, though eventually I settled on the latter for no particular reason.
Actually, I just love Tower of Power  - They are one of the most underrated soul bands out there, and their sheer wealth of quality material is staggering. ‘You’re still a young man’ was the first Tower of Power song I ever heard, back in the year 2000, only about 28 years after it was first released in 1972... Enjoy ! Jerushah X

Thursday, 4 November 2010

'Scary ghosts and dangerous posts !

Knole Park :
On Saturday we had a fabulous day in the sunshine at Knole Park in Sevenoaks. Early in the afternoon, my daughter, my friend from uni and her son all crammed into my little blue car and headed over to Sevenoaks. It took about an hour, but the kids kept us amused all the way singing along to the radio. When we got there they had a great time building a den from old branches and bracken, and bouncing on some low slung tree branches.
It was a strange coincidence actually...  I didn’t realise that my friend had done her MSc research a few years ago on the topic of deer behaviour. We spent ages watching what the deer were up to and she was able to explain some of their behaviour, like digging odd shaped holes all over the place and bashing each other’s antlers - Strange to us, but perfectly logical if you are a deer!!

We finished the day off with steaming cups of hot chocolate from the cafe, which was just what we needed after all that fresh air !
A ghost walk :
On Sunday night my daughter and I went on an eagerly anticipated ghost walk at Smallhythe Place in Tenterden. The house was candle lit, and we had to bang on a huge brass door knocker which echoed sinisterly. The door was opened by an extremely tall man, wearing a dusty tailed coat, with dark shadows under his eyes. He silently led us up the stairs past a dark open doorway, where I’ll swear I saw a maid with a scarred face and dirty apron having a whispered conversation with a witch in a crooked hat. 
We joined a group and were guided around the house, meeting with an interesting mix of characters and stories ; including Edwardian actress Ellen Terry and her deceased husband; a deranged gardener with a saw sticking out of his head and a silent witch carrying a skull.
We eventually made our way out into the grounds where we were warned that unknown entities in the nuttery had a reputation for throwing missiles at passers by. The worst thing that happened to me personally was when a rotating skull on a pole emerged above a bush. I was so distracted that I walked straight into a fence post and screamed. This resulted in a screaming daughter and two screaming women behind us. There were also various creepy outbuildings, each with a terrifying tale attached, plus ghostly white shapes in the trees, slamming doors and distant screams! I have to say though that the thing I most enjoyed was the mulled bramley apple juice served at the end of the walk.

J’s Record of the week :

‘Ghost Town’
By The Specials

Sorry... I seem to have had some extremely dodgy themes and tentative connections for my record of the week lately, but with it being Halloween last Sunday I just had to choose ‘Ghost Town’ by The Specials. It was released in1981 and spent three weeks an number one. I have fantastic memories of being about seven or eight years old and skating around to this song with my friends at a roller disco in Penzance... I wonder where they are now and if they can still skate? Jerushah x