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11 June 2012

Too much work, too little play

OK, so sorry for being really lazy at the moment but there really is not much to be writing about at the moment anyway you know. I think I last wrote when we were having a couple of weeks of crazily good weather, during which I managed to not get sunburnt. I think that was two weeks ago now. Since then, I have been working. Boring, right? But things are going OK at work for the moment so it's not so bad. However, if I don't stop procrastinating about the lab work that I have to do then things won't be OK for much longer. It's just so difficult to get motivated when, one, you don't know what you are doing and have to teach yourself everything and, two, you just really don't want to do it. At first it was OK because that beautiful sunny weather that made me not want to work went away. We had days and days of endless rain (although it did manage to stop just enough for rugby practices and games). Last week was awful for some reason - we had a long weekend, during which time I did no work and lots of sitting around the house (because it was cold and rainy outside) and for some reason shorter weeks are always less productive because your idea of what day it is gets all messed up.

Luckily I had a nice distraction from work last week - I gave a talk at the aquarium for their 'marine month'. It had absolutely nothing to do with my PhD. I talked about dolphins and how they get caught in fishing nets. There were about a dozen kids there and they were a really good audience, with lots of questions (really clever questions for such small children actually). So that was fun, and I was looking forward to Saturday, when they were going to have a dolphin/whale rescue demonstration, using an inflatable whale to show the public what to do if you come across a stranding. I was asked to come along as a scientist and answer any biology questions that people might have. However, it was cancelled, because they have lost their whale. But that wasn't such a bad thing as it was looking like the weekend was going to be horrible and rainy. Only the next thing you know, Saturday arrived and it was warm and sunny! The weather here changes that quickly, and I had no plans for a nice sunny day, but all my friends were going to the one day festival being put on by Mumford & Sons. Has their music reached NZ yet? They're really popular over here. So a friend of mine had a spare ticket and it had been years since I'd been to a concert of any sort, so I forked out 40 euro and went along. It was good - I think most people would have said that it was really, really great - but I think concerts just aren't really my thing. I like the music but I hate all the people crowding around and pressing into you. There was some stoner half asleep and leaning all over people and somebody in front of me kept farting. Plus there were less than 100 toilets for a crowd of thousands, it was awful. Makes you think it would be easier to be a boy. But even they weren't allowed to avoid the queue - there were security guards standing around to prevent them from peeing wherever they wanted. Which is good, sort of, except that then there are twice as many people in line for the loos and you miss out on all the music while you wait. How terribly inefficient and under-prepared is that!

Well, after such a big Saturday I did very little on Sunday, which is a shame because the weather was nice but there is just not that much to do here and I was tired. I sat around watching movies on tele (Nanny McPhee and E.T. were on) and reading my book instead. It's an historical fiction novel about Charles Darwin. Then I made an awesome dinner for my flatmate and I, and it was still such nice weather that we went out for ice-cream, which involved manoeuvring crowds of people who were out to watch the football. All night I could hear people yelling the 'ole' chant. I guess Ireland must have won or something. I hope it doesn't continue tonight because I really would prefer a good nights sleep. On Wednesday is our Zoology colloquium, at which all of us students give a talk about our research and then we have a departmental BBQ. There are not so many students these days so it should finish early, which means food will be early, which is perfect because I intend to leave early and go to our rugby game, which I'm sure will be far more fun than the departmental BBQ. For my contribution I will be introducing the Irish to lamingtons. Chocolate ones. Should be good. And that is all that is going on in my life at the moment, and there will probably be nothing exciting happening over the next couple of weeks either, because the life of a third year PhD student is terribly tedious. To make matters worse I think I have a bit of an RSI from spending too much time typing, and now I have a very sore wrist. Just goes to show that working hard is not good for you.

PS - sorry, no photos either, like I said, nothing much is happening at the moment...

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