Friday, 5 December 2008

End of term review

It's been a week since my last post, which is the biggest gap I can remember in ages (apart from when we went away on holiday). While not much has happened that is suitable for blog inclusion, there are plenty of interesting things to write about from my course. The difficulty is that to write them down properly I have to review my notes and do a bit of research, and I still don't have enough time for that. The last piece of coursework is due to be handed in next Friday; it's about the production of an orally administered Hepatitis B vaccine in potato, and I've been working on it all afternoon.

Here's a quick review of the last ten weeks or so:
  • Most lectures have been interesting, and most lecturers have been good, immunology being the notable exception. It's still an interesting subject though, so I'm actually looking forward to going back and revising it.
  • There have only been two practicals all term, plus we have one workshop on Friday. Luckily we've been able to choose our practical groups, and even more fortunately I've been able to work with Ally and Dipti, who are both hardworking and clever. This has meant that we've got good experimental results, and therefore high marks.
  • The last week or so has been really cold, and our house is old. It's not sensible to heat the whole house during the day, so we work in Mr A's study with a fan heater. While we are both fairly resistant to cold, it is much less fun than when it's warm.
  • We've done nothing about any home maintenance. The exterior and interior decoration and state of repair is shabby, poor and deteriorating, but it just doesn't get priority, because it's such a pain to organise, and neither of us enjoys it.
  • I didn't join the university gym this year after all. Instead, I've been to an aerobics class once a fortnight, so combined with badminton club nights and matches I've been exercising sufficiently without the gym. Badminton and aerobics are much more fun than using boring treadmills and lifting weights, although I'm only just getting past the stage in aerobics where I'm going in a different direction from everyone else and still trying to coordinate arms and legs.
  • The dieting regime seems to be working, although I can't be certain because I've only weighed myself once since the start. It's very dependent on state of mind - sometimes it's easy peasy to eat the right amount and stop, other times it's like the worst torture. And I can't work out how to change the state of mind from negative to positive, it just seems to happen, or not happen.
  • I'm still enjoying blogging and reading other blogs, and even managed to cut down on the number of blogs in my feed reader. I'd like to write more, but I hope you appreciate quality rather than quantity.
  • My new laptop is still great, I'm just getting used to a few of the new features and trying to recreate my established working methods. Sometimes the most trivial things cause problems: I have a colour scheme in Outlook to denote coursework deadlines, and all the labels changed when I moved from 2003 to 2007. I have discovered that simply connecting a second monitor is enough to provoke Vista to add it to my desktop area - it used to be possible in older versions of Windows, but it was never this easy to achieve! We still haven't done anything about the home network, but I don't often need to print anything.
  • I have new specs! They are very nice, but need further adjustment because they constantly drift down my nose and drive me mad having to push them up again.
  • Mr A is not so happy most of the time. He is pushing himself hard to stop his business from foundering, and has received very generous help from his friend Graham in Manchester, including the loan of a car in place of the van that has now been sold. I think it will be OK in the end, I just don't know when that time will come - I suppose I'll recognise it when it happens. It doesn't help that he picked up a cold when he was in Manchester this week.
  • Social life: what's that? Since the party in the summer when we discovered that we do have quite a few acquaintances, we haven't seen many of them at all. Apart from family visits and one trip to the south coast, we haven't seen anyone much. It's still very pleasant to go to the pub for an hour or so every now and then, there's always someone to talk to that we vaguely know. Smurf gave me a bottle of beer from my favourite Warwickshire Slaughterhouse brewery last week, which was nice. The rest of the time we sit on the sofa under a duvet in the evenings, reading books, watching DVDs or the odd TV programme.
  • Last Saturday Mr A and I actually went to a gig, and it was brilliant for so many reasons. Firstly, it was one of our favourite bands, Alabama 3. They aren't that well known, but we saw them first at a festival and we love all their music. Secondly, it was at a venue called The Assembly, within walking distance of our house in Leamington! That's the best part - going to a really good gig and then walking home in five minutes instead of walking back to the car through some horrible city centre and driving for ages in the middle of the night. The venue is newly refurbished and it was the first time we'd been there. One of the bar staff from The Cricketers was there, so we said hello, and discovered that he'd just been appointed Bar Manager. Five minutes later, we spotted Smurf there too - he knows the people who run the place, and in fact I think that he knows everyone in Leamington. It was a cracking gig, and we did lots of dancing.
  • The regular Wednesday pub quiz attendance has ended with two of our four regulars departing for Germany when their employer moved them there. I shall be seeing Suze again soon, though, she's coming round for dinner in a couple of weeks.
  • I'm looking forward to the New Year, when we're going away for a week with friends to a big house in Shropshire. Plans for 2009: first revision, then exams, and then onwards with some new modules. Life in general: keep Mr A going, keep enjoying my course and getting good marks, keep exercising, and keep the budget straight. Should be fun!


Tuesday Kid said...

I haven't done an end of year review yet, probably because it will involve crying of some kind.

Lola said...

Hey, Kid, haven't seen you before round here, welcome! I can only guess that you followed Alabama 3 - otherwise I can't imagine how you got here...