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10 November 2009

Here is my week:

So Tuesday was clear and sunny - Yay. And I wondered if perhaps people had been exaggerating the weather.But they reassure me that no, such nice weather is rare. And then yesterday was clear and frosty, so I was thinking this is more like it, far closer to what I am used to . It might be cold but at least there was sunshine. It was fine and not raining all day. And then just when it is time to pack up and go home, leave the warmth of the lab, it is suddenly raining. And it's never just raining but it's dark too, it begins to get dark by 4 in the afternoon. So it's lucky that I found an umbrella the other day.

I did make the most of the fine weather on Tuesday though, by going to the immigration office and getting all that stuff sorted. First of all, despite their general helpfulness and efficiency the directions that the International Affaris Office give you are bad. But I found it. And once I had found the place I had to wait for at least an hour. And after all that waiting my own registration only took about 10 minutes! It was nice and easy, but it cost 150 euro :( And not only that but I have to pay that again every year that I spend here! That sucks.

The last couple of days at work I have been focussing on two things (while not really getting either of them done). First I am fixing some samples so that next week I can section them and look at them under the microscope. And I am trying to get fresh cement out of some of my barnacles. And if I can't manage that my supervisor at least wants me to take lcose up photos of the fresh cement so that we can say look, here it is, we have made progress even though we haven't got any of it it out yet. And I guess I am not too busy at the moment, which is lucky, because yesterday morning we had a mishap with our barnacle tank - it overflowed and flooded the lab. So I spend two hours cleaning up. And you would thinkt that a Marine Science institute, which obviously deals with a lot of water, would have decent mops wouldn't you?

Here are some of the photos that I have taken in the last couple of days. They show the base of the stalk of one of the barnacles, and the first picture is after I have scraped all the cement away. You can see that there are still bits of white cement stuck to his cuticle. The second picture is the next day, and he has already produced some new cement. It is all white and soft but if you gave him something to stick to it would harden and get all yellow. The first thing I am going to do with this is take some of the fresh white glue and chuck it straight into the -80 freezer, in the hopes that freezing it really cold really fast will stop it from polymerising (that is getting hard and cement-like).

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