26 June 2011

Back in Galway

During my first we back in Galway it rained almost constantly. It began nicely enough, then it became torrential, and now on Sunday it has finally stopped. For today at least. I am sad to say though that now I am back it is all work work work and I have no news. I have so much to do and so little time, but on the up-side it looks like I will be going to Belgium in August, to a city called Mons to do a couple of analyses in the lab of another scientist. So my travels are not yet over, yay for me!

Back home I remember we would always have some sort of pot-luck get together in the middle of winter and call it our mid-winter Christmas, and I think it is quite a common idea because I have heard of other people doing a similar thing. Of course, it does make sense considering that all we see of Christmas in the media is in winter. On the other hand, over here they think it is really strange to have Christmas in the middle of summer so naturally there is no equivalent to our mid-winter Christmas. In fact I often get lots of stupid questions along the lines of do we really have Christmas, and what sort of food do we eat, and do we really call it summer or is it just 'the warm season'. Of course the majority of people you meet are convinced that NZ is a small hot tropical island with palm trees and coconuts and what not.

So with after a lot of explaining I managed to hold my own northern-hemisphere mid-summer Christmas last night, the 25th of June! It did meet with some initial confusion and also refusal to eat a big hot wintry meal in the middle of summer. But who do these people think they're fooling? It's so cold here! And like a proper Invers Christmas it was raining a fair bit yesterday so it really was just like Christmas. There was roast chicken because you know I haven't cooked one since sometime before I left NZ! I mean it's not like I generally have a lot of people to feed here so there is just never any need. And I made my amazing lemon cheesecake which I also have not made in years, probably not since the last Christmas that I spent in New Zealand. Only I made it even better than ever with the addition of loads of strawberries on top! And as usual I ate too much and was left feeling terribly full, but that's all good because it was caused by cheesecake.

After a terribly indulgent evening you would think that the next day would be choc-full of doing nothing but on the contrary, today I ran a mini-marathon. Which really shouldn't be given the name marathon at all because it is only 10k but my friend wanted to do it so I said sure why not. It was good, not too hard but I'm glad I had my friend to run with because she is fast, so I ran faster to try keep up. Otherwise maybe I would have stopped and walked, especially because there was a hill! That nearly did me in, I hate hills. Each runner got an electronic tag to attach to their shoe that gives you an accurate time from when you cross the start line to when you cross the finish line. My time has just come in, 59 minutes! So I managed it in an hour but I really need to work harder and training, seeing as now the plan is to do a half-marathon in a few months. And of course now I am absolutely shattered, I was not quite so ready for it as I had anticipated, so I would like very much to go to sleep but it is only 5pm!

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