Saturday, 2 July 2011

Dietetics, gardens and art

Purple borders and climbing roses alongside a path
It turns out that there is a tiny bit of dietetics-related stuff to write about in between guest posts. I had an interview on Friday, and have been invited for another interview somewhere else next week, which has been a great boost to morale. I've also been asked to provide some teaching input for a post-graduate module at the university! And I went to a meeting of the West Midlands branch of the British Dietetic Association, which was held at a hospital in Birmingham.

View of house with liliesI did some research into the location of the meeting, and found a couple of other places that I fancied visiting: the Barber Institute of Fine Arts, and Winterbourne House and Garden. I like a nice garden, and Winterbourne has one, but the house is rather splendid too, and I took a load of the photos that adorn this post with enough left over for several more to come. If I were to visit Winterbourne House again I would probably take advantage of the delightful tea room, which has an outside terrace if the weather is good. As it was, I brought a packed lunch which I ate in the garden, and thought I'd get myself a cup of tea at the Barber Institute. There, the 'café' consists of a hot drinks machine, plastic-wrapped biscuits, and a chiller cabinet with soft drinks and chocolate. Bad choice.

Wooden bridge among foliageThe Fine Arts in question consist of a permanent collection and the current temporary exhibition which is all about tennis. A bit of history of the game: it turns out that the first lawn tennis club in England was in Leamington Spa; the first game of lawn tennis was played in Birmingham. Whatever. It was rather nice, looking at paintings and photos all featuring tennis or tennis players. They even had the famous Athena poster of the lady with the bottom, and some newspaper clippings of the model in the present day talking about the photo, which was taken (in Birmingham) by her boyfriend at the time. And the famous sculpture of the Prince of Wales (later Edward VIII) dressed for tennis, except the caption says the sculptor worked from photos and he was actually dressed for squash. But those two are just the most well-known; I actually liked many of the paintings a lot more.

Glimpse of red among plants in the greenhouseAfter all this nature and culture, the BDA meeting was quite good too - three talks, about nutrition and HIV, research into views of tube-fed cancer patients, and burns. I was particularly interested in the description of the research. The objective of the study was to try and find out more about why the nutritional status of people who have a feeding tube placed before their cancer treatment still declines, despite all efforts to ensure that they receive their full nutritional requirements. The researcher didn't really find an answer to this, but what I found surprisingly interesting was the description of the research process she used. Now I'm wondering if I should be a bit more proactive in following up my research options.

Aside from work-related activity, I've obviously had quite a bit of spare time. Looking at my diary, I was amazed that it has only been two weeks since my degree result came through - it seems an awful lot longer. The badminton club has benefitted to the tune of a prototype website and email account, the acquired trousers have been successfully shortened, the kitchen remains clean, but the garden has not received any attention so far.

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