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05 July 2012

It's been a really long couple of weeks here in Galway. The last post ended with chocolate caramel cupcakes, which were a huge hit for my mate's birthday, and after that I did nothing for the weekend. Except run 10k. It was called a mini-marathon, which is sort of insulting really, because it's nowhere near a marathon. Still, it was really hard. Way harder than 8k. I managed to finish in 56 minutes, which is two or three minutes faster than last year. And I decided that running really isn't my thing, and I don't enjoy it enough to want to do an actual marathon, or even a half. I will stick to short runs and the odd 10k for a good cause.

When I finally decided to try do some work, I realised that what I had been planning on working on was already finished, I had just done it so long ago that I had forgotten. On the Monday I had my GRC meeting, which went just fine, and made me determined to make my stupid lab work go well, so that I can finish this stupid PhD. However, that's much easier said than done. So it's pretty much agreed now that I will try to finish enough to write up my thesis at the end of this year. Which is good.

Then later that day I fed Wilbert the Snake a mouse, which must have not been a very good mouse, or maybe I defrosted it too quickly, because when he bit it and wrapped around it the mouse's tummy burst open and spilt guts everywhere! It was gross. He still ate it though. He has been very boring since then - he is getting ready to molt, but sure is taking his time about it. He would not eat his mice this week, which is very annoying, because they went to waste and they cost me 2 euro each! However, after I changed his bedding and water he did get right into his water, his whole body, and went for a little swim, which I had never seen him do before.

After Wilbert's dinner it was time for rugby practice, where we played a practice game against another team and my legs were hurting me so much that I decided I should really go to the physio. I did so the next day, and she was really good. She used some ultrasound thing on my legs to get rid of the shin-splints, then did dry-needling to fix up my calf muscles so that I wouldn't get more shin splints. Which hurt. A lot. Dry-needling is exactly what it sounds like - needles are stuck into you. There were at least four needles sticking out of my calf muscle and she wriggled them around, which made all my muscles twitch. For the rest of the day I was limping and felt as if somebody and tried to tear my calf muscle right out of my leg. But on the bright side, my legs are almost all better. Unfortunately that hasn't made me much faster for rugby. Yet despite my lack of speed I got my first try in our game last week! Yay! It was a very exciting moment.

So that was all the news of last week, and then over the weekend the Volvo Ocean Race festival started. It involved a lot of noise and huge crowds. There is a little 'village' set up down at the docks, with loads of food stalls (really good ones) and little shops, plus a huge stage. A stage with such hugely load amps that I can hear the noise very clearly from my apartment, which is blocks away. So when the boats came in on Monday night and I was trying to get a good night's sleep (which I needed because I had a cold) I was woken up at one in the morning by the sound of Split Enz 'I See Red' and some incredibly annoying woman shouting through the microphone. I listened for long enough to, first, gather that the NZ boat had come into Galway first (but we didn't win overall, sadly) and, secondly, get so annoyed with that woman at the microphone that I hunted in my earplugs and slept with them in. Which is very uncomfortable! The next day I went down to check out the boats and they were much smaller than I expected. To think that a group of people spent 9 months on those little things, sailing across huge oceans with big waves!

Now it is Thursday and I have had to sleep with earplugs every night. The crowds are huge and the rain is not dampening their spirits. For those of us that live here it's pretty funny that it won't stop raining - now everybody will know what Ireland is really like, instead of being fooled by the bouts of good weather that often show up just for tourists. However, the rain has not improved my cold at all, which has gone from a sinus cold to a gross phlegmy cold to a sore throat cold. I was getting better, but then yesterday it rained on us for our entire rugby game. And then as soon as we finished it stopped. Chocolate cookies helped, and so did going home and making soup for dinner. Yesterday was July the 4th so for the Volvo Race Week it was America day, and there were fireworks out in the harbour. They were really good, and the first fireworks I'd seen in ages! It didn't last long enough though. Apparently fireworks are illegal here, to the point where even the cities don't hold a fireworks display at New Years. How crappy is that?!

I have given up on working for the day. It's nearly time for my first yoga class. Because I joined yoga this week. Which made the physio much happier with me. I am very un-stretchy, and it would be easier on my legs if I was more stretchy. I reckon it is going to be hard, but all my friends do it and say it's great. So I guess we'll see.

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