Thursday, 20 January 2011

If you go down to the woods today !

If you go down to (crash through)the
woods today :

Last Saturday four of us went for a walk in the woods...
It wasn’t a normal walk though ! We chose to do a bit of exploring off the beaten track.  First of all (it was lucky we all had our lovely wellies !), we decided to walk up a stream, scrambling over slimy rocks and ducking under low lying branches. Two out of four of us got ‘booties’ as the water overflowed our boots, so then it was squelch, squelch as we walked. After that there was a period of crashing through the bushes, followed by sliding down a muddy bank,  then a high speed run (with maximum splashes!) through a series of big, muddy puddles. Boy was it fun !! I love being a Mum as it gives me the excuse to do all sorts of things that most grown ups wouldn’t get a chance to do ! Not sure how many people of my age would genuinely enjoy getting COVERED in mud though?!!

Twilight update :

Here’s a picture of Twilight, looking so cool, calm and collected. Now she is six months old and officially a ‘teenager kitten’ you think she would be calming down.
‘Butter wouldn’t melt ?’ I hear you ask. Yeah right !

So far this week she has :
- Pulled the curtains down while climbing on them.
- Drunk water from the toilet.
- Climbed the laundry rack.
- Scratched ‘S’ as she got carried away playing.
- Put her paw in a cold cup of tea.

More life in the lab :

This week was a great week in 2011, because I got back in the lab, and apart from fieldwork (that comes next week hopefully) it is the thing I love most about my course.
I finally got my hands on the infamous ‘Hornchurch Core’ that I had been waiting on for quite a while. With the help of my (not at all accident prone) lab buddy ‘K.’ We did some sterling work and put over forty soil samples through the first stage of processing, which involved carefully removing them from each little glass phial and leaving them to soak in glass beakers containing Hydrogen Peroxide.
If you work for the Pilkington Cafe, please don’t read this next bit...
In the course of our scientific research we realised that the wooden coffee stirrers were a perfect fit for this purpose, so if the supplies are running a bit low this week... Only joking - it was nothing to do with us ! Honest guv !
For those of you interested in the ‘science bit,’ the purpose of the Hydrogen Peroxide is to disintegrate any residual organic material, leaving behind only the lovely diatoms ! I will have to leave them in that state until I can get to the lab again on Tuesday, but in the meantime, I might just go and check on them over the weekend to make sure they are ok...

J’s record of the week :      
‘Annie’s  Song’
John Denver

I have an impressive reason for choosing this song as my record of the week. It was chosen because my daughter played her flute in a concert this week (in front of about 200 plus people) and decided  to play Annie’s Song. She had been rehearsing and rehearsing for weeks and all her hard work paid off as it sounded beautiful and went without a hitch ! It was definitely a proud mum moment.
Anyway, just a little bit about the song... At thirty-seven years old, it is a bit older than me and was written as a love song by John Denver for his wife Annie Martell.   Jerushah X

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Jerushah's car a great second home !

Feels like I’m living in my car !
It’s funny, I grew up in a very countrified place and lots of romantic ideas about how nice and eco friendly it would be to live in a rural area again.
However, now after living in the deepest darkest depths of deepest darkest Kent for six weeks, I have an entirely different point of view ! The majority of things I need for the masters,  work and my daughter’s school are in Medway and the Enquiry Unit is at Avery Hill. The upshot of this is that currently I seem to spend a huge amount of time in my car to-ing and fro-ing...  I’ve been keeping so many things in my car that it is starting to feel like a second home, and my daughter and I have  eaten at least three meals in the car this week. I’m not sure to believe it myself, but  in the last seven days I spent  over £80 on petrol – so much for my carbon footprint, and I’m supposed to be a climate scientist ! We’ve now got a moving date for the beginning of February to a house on the rural /urban fringe, so hopefully we’ll have the best of both worlds and be able to use public transport occasionally... 
The Ashes  3-1 victory :
Do I need to say anything else really ??!! Fabulous, so few England line-ups have proved their mettle by winning the Ashes both at home and away. I am only sorry that I missed most of it by
1) Moving house just as the Ashes started.
2) Getting only four channels on the TV at my rented cottage.
3) Having an incredible academic workload just before Christmas.
I missed so much of this series that it pains me to think of it ! Still, I did experience extreme elation on hearing news of each result. It was lovely to hear Alastair Cook described as a ‘one man record machine’ by the BBC... He has now entered the realms of the legendary, is an extremely nice bloke (have spoken to him once at Lord’s) and as my friend ‘A’ says ‘no one has a right to be that good looking , except Alastair!’
Andrew Strauss is only of three England captains (Len Hutton and Mike Brearley are the other two) to win Ashes series both home and away.

J’s Record of the week :
‘Radio Africa’
Latin Quarter

If you’ve read the subsequent part of my blog, you’ll know that I’ve been almost living in my car this week, and depending on my iPod as the main source of entertainment. This morning I shuffled my songs list and this was the song that came up. Perfect !
I first remember ‘Radio Africa’  when it was a hit in 1985. It reached number 19 in the UK charts. I was 11 at the time and had a sneaky habit of listening to a radio (which I used to sneakily tuck under my pillow) late into the night... Glad my mum never found out, as I would have been in big trouble ! Jerushah x

Friday, 7 January 2011

Tez: Living The Dream!

Far flung family :
This week will be a bit sad for me as I will say goodbye to my little brother ‘T’ for about six months. I was very sad not to catch up with him at Christmas...
Mainly because I had a frustratingly bad episode of ‘woman flu !’
I really admire him, as he is one of the few people I know who really, truly follow their dreams.
Since we were kids he has been a professional ‘surf dude.’ Each year he spends six months surfing the Cornish waves, doing a bit of beach lifeguarding and building surfboards to make ends meet, followed by six months of the same in India, Sri Lanka and the Andoman Islands.
When I’m busily working away in my office or lab and the weather is so cold, it always gives me smile to think of ‘T’ surfing on a beach somewhere...
I’m hoping to catch up with him on our last ditch attempt to meet up at Heathrow airport on his way to Chennai, so wish me luck ! Surf’s up dude...
J’s record of the week:
By Bob Marley

I received some sad news this week. An old friend of mine, Jim Cogan passed away recently. He was an amazing individual. He was our neighbour when I was growing up and although he had four children of his own, he always welcomed me like an additional member of the family. He was a teacher for over thirty years, then spent his retirement working for an AIDS/HIV charity and various educational outreach programmes. I have one particular childhood memory of a family day out, all of us kids were singing along to the Bob Marley ‘Legend’ album and he tried to get us to define the word ‘Jammin.’ Actually, we had great difficulty and a lot of fun trying and the creation of a lovely memory ! Jerushah X