31 Dezember, 2006

Happy New Year

I can't believe how quickly the time has gone by, now it is just about 5 more days until I come back to Exeter. But I am really enjoying my time here. Christmas was fun, but a little stressful with loads of little cousins being excited over Santa and all their presents. I got some nice things, but the best is still my new computer! A brand new MacBook :). Besides that I got some money and a voucher for a perfume store and a book voucher, so I got two books and a new bottle of my perfume (Hugo Boss Woman), my mom also gave me a new Gilmore Girls DVD boxset ,so I can catch up on what has been happening in one of my favourite tv shows (after CSI and the like), and an umbrella which I really needed.

today is new year's eve and some of our relatives are coming over to have a nice evening here. I hope it will be fun and my little cousin (4years old) won't be too moody.

Have a happy new year!

22 Dezember, 2006

Christmas time

viel war hier nicht los seit ich nach Hause gekommen bin, und ich bin schon über eine Woche hier. Aber ich geniesse es doch mal zu Hause zu sein und nicht immer alles alleine machen zu müssen. Hmmm, was hab ich denn so gemacht seit ich wieder hier bin. Eigentlich nicht so viel. Ich hab mich am Dienstag Abend mit Freunden zum Essen getroffen, das war echt nett die mal wieder zu sehen. Eine von denen will jetzt im Sommer heiraten, da hab ich dann gleich eine Ausrede um mir Urlaub zu nehmen. Zwar wird meine Oma an dem selben Tag 75, aber Mama und Papa haben schon beide gesagt dass eine Grüne Hochzeit dann vorgeht. Weil das auch noch ein Samstag ist feiert Oma da dann auch sicherlich an dem Tag. Na ja, vielleicht kann ich ja noch kurz zum Kaffee vorher mit zu Oma fahren, und dann bringt mich einer nach Ahlerstedt das geht dann ja auch. Da war ich dann wenigstens kurz noch da. Aber egal... das ist dann ja auch erst im Sommer da ist ja auch noch ein bisschen Zeit! Ansonsten war ich dann noch mit Mama in Harburg einkaufen, das war auch nett und gestern Abend waren wir schön essen als Firmen Weihnachtsfeier. Das war echt super, ich mal Lammrückenfilet gegessen und das war super lecker. Das hatte ich vorher noch nie probiert. Heute will ich noch ein paar Kekse backen, die kann ich dann noch mit zu Weihnachten verschenken und auch ein paar selber essen!

17 Dezember, 2006


I am really enjoying my time here in Germany, even though the weather is being really bad with grey days and rain... Oh well, it's ok, We don't have that many plans really that involve being outside at the moment anyway and I am enjoying the laziness. And I got my christmas present from my parents early... a brand new white MacBook. It is so cool and I am so happy with it. My dad was sceptical at first asking them all sorts of questions about the computer, but I had it out of the box and was online in about 5 minutes. Anyway... otherwise I am also enjoying my time at home. I can sleep as long as I can (and it is so quiet here!) and I don't have to eat by myself all the time. It really is good to be home.

11 Dezember, 2006

just two more days now!

just a quick entry as I am off to London for the day to attend a seminar about Identities and Consumptions, should be interesting and helpful for my PhD research.

now it is just two more days until I am off home, I am so excited about seeing my family and maybe even a few friends. Not that much has been happening over the past few days. I went to my last Spanish class, we had our "office" christmas meal at the Taj Mahal (it was really lovely. So much food and it wasn't even that expensive in the end!), I went to see 'The Holiday' at the Picturehouse with a friend, and last night we went to see some friends had a lovely dinner (Thank you again!) and had a go at their very new Wii machine. It was fun!

ok I need to get ready now, catching a train in an hour... not looking forward to go out in the rain though.

08 Dezember, 2006

(not so) Secret Santa

we had a little pre-christmas celebration with some people from the office, and the carefully planned secret santa didn't turn out to be so secret in the end. Well I am still not quite sure who my secret santa was, but she got a cool gift for me... I will have to try the recipe on the box sometime, maybe that will convince Neil to come to Wagamama with me sometime ;)

Not much else has been going on really. Wednesday we went to see Little Children at the Picturehouse, which was really diappointing. The film started out so good, the story was set up well and you started to feel for the main characters but then about half way through it lots it all and just turned into this typical American film where all ends had to be tied up properly. Now don't get me wrong, I am all for tied up ends, but this one really was trying to do too much in too little time. Some of the side stories just were too much really. But oh well, I am still glad i saw it. Yesterday we had a visiting speaker from Germany in department and a bunch of us went out for dinner at the Hour Glass with him. It was a lot of fun, and the food was really nice. I had only been there once before with Neil for drinks, and never expected the food (or the food) to be like this. It was like you were in a different place. I don't know how to describe it, but the pub part just looks completely different from the restaurant part. Anyway, highly recommended...

03 Dezember, 2006

quick update

nothing much has been going on here really. Enjoyed a mostly quiet weekend with the Spanish class Saturday morning, then a bit of shopping around town and dinner and film with friends in the evening. We watched Il Postino/The Postman. An italian film set in the 50s... very slow but very good at the same time, even though I am not quite sure about the point of it. Today I wandered around town an bought a few christmas presents and then did a bit of cleaning and watched some DVDs in the afternoon. I also attempted to do a little bit of work on my upgrade, but just couldn't get anything good done. I will have to try and get a chunck done tomorrow at uni.

30 November, 2006

yet another meeting

The last meeting with Brian on Tuesday was not that productive (I think he couldn't be bothered to look at my upgrade report before the meeting) so we are having another today. I am sure he will make me change it all into something else. I never understand why he can't just tell me certain things, it would save me and him actually a lot of work. But I guess this is all a learning experience, and I need to know how to structure these things all by myself. It does get a bit tedious though after a while when I write a literature overview and then I am told that actually what I should have done is a critical analysis of the literature rather than just giving an overview. But what can I do?

We were going to watch "Children of Men" at the Picturehouse last night, but just when we got there they had sold the last ticket. So we just stayed in the bar for a couple of drinks and then went on to the Well House by the Cathedral.

Not much else been going on this week... just trying to get all the marking done so I can finish my upgrade before I go home.

27 November, 2006

Not had much time and energy to update the blog, but things are ok. We went to see the new Bond Film which was very entertaining. A few things were a bit cliché and just over the top, but it was still enjoyable. Daniel Craig is indeed a Bond of our time as Neil put it.

I sent a first draft of my upgrade report to my supervisor so we can have a good look at it tomorrow in our meeting. I really hope he likes what I have. I put a lot of work into it, and I don't think I could take it if he said it's not good at all. I met a friend over the weekend to go over it, and he said it was fine just needs a bit of a face life with the way it is structured. I'll see what Brian thinks and then start panicking.

Also got a large pile of essays delivered to my desk this morning for marking. We have quite a bit of time to get them done, but I think I will try and get most of them done before I go home, so I don't have to worry too much about them while I am away and if I need to change a lot on my upgrade I will need the time after I come back to make all the changes before the 2nd of February.

oh some exciting news... my parents actually agreed to give me a new mac laptop for christmas. Now I have to make a decision about which one I want to get. Well, really I would like the MacBook Pro, but I might just go for the MacBook as it is cheaper. The Pro is more expandable, but then again who knows I really need to expand things that much. As long as I can put my music on it, play DVDs and use the internet and word processor I will be happy. So I can't wait to go home. Leaving on the 13th of December and coming back on the 4th of January. It will be a nice long break!

17 November, 2006

an update

recently I am not having enough time to update my blog much more often than what I am doing... oh well... not much is going on anyway. University stuff is just working on my upgrade report and redoing the analysis for my first study. I was so annoyed at first that I had to redo this, but the more i am working on it I see that it was a good idea for several reasons. The most important one is that I didn't do it right the first time around... Otherwise the upgrade is going slowly but it is coming together. now I just need to sit down and copy and paste all the little bits I have in my word documents all over my computer together into one document and making it sound like it is one document rather than 25 little unconnected ones.

talked to my mom and dad yesterday, and I don't think they feel generous enough this year for christmas to give me one of these or at least some money towards one of them. Oh well, my mom was asking a lot of questions about that photography class I was interested in at the college, so I think they might be going out to get me a SLR camera. Maybe I will be able to afford the computer from the money I am getting from the uni for the work I have done the last few months. It should be quite a nice amount I am getting for both November and December. And there is still some marking coming my way, that again is another larger chunk. Very boring to do, but worth it in the end...

ok it is after 8 am already now so I better get in the shower and then get ready for my day. Tonight Neil and I are going to a free lecture at the Uni, a presenter from the BBC Worldservice will be talking about something that sounded quite interesting.

Once again here is the link to my survey fill it in if you have some time and get the men in your life to fill it in as well... Once again I am getting a lot more women than men. It needs to be much more balanced than what it is at the moment for me to be able to say anything about it at all.

14 November, 2006


I finally got the ok from my supervisor to get my survey up and running, so it is now available at:
If you want to take part just follow the link you help will be much appreciated!

10 November, 2006

upgrade :(

I found out earlier this week that I will have to have my upgrade report for the PhD done by January, which means I will have to work as hard as I can now before I go home to Germany so that I don't have to do anything there. Oh well... I think I should be able to do it, I have everything there in bits and pieces, just need to re-read a number of articles to see how they can support my arguments. I will also get my next online study up and running by next Tuesday, and hopefully that will give me lots of usable data to write up two empirical reports.
Besides that I've also started knitting more and I am quite proud of myself to be able to say I have become quite good at knitting winter hats. I have made two already and I am in the middle of finishing a third. I will need to make a few more because two of the girls in my office now want one as well. I don't really mind as long as they buy the wool/yarn for me. It is a good way to relax and finally get a chance to listen to some of the audiobooks I have bought but only ever listen to half way because I put them on when I go to bed (and by the time the book gets to about half way through I am fast asleep).

time to get going now more work to be done and I need to get a few things done in town before I go to the office.

03 November, 2006

I just took this personality test from Neil's blog and it turns out I am a benevolent artist... although I am not so sure about the way the questions are frased that they are really giving the correct responses... sometimes being a trained psychologist is a bad thing :P

I have been having trouble with my blog, I tried to publish my posts but they wouldn't be visible on the actual blog... now it seems to be working again as I managed to get that last post finally up there. Not much has been going on since the last post anyway. Still slightly stressed at uni, but it is starting to calm down. FINALLY!!! Endlich wird es ruhiger und ich kann auch mal wieder eine ganze Nacht durchschlafen ohne dass ich 4 mal aufwache und dann nicht wieder einschlafen kann. Trotzdem habe ich immer noch Kopfweh wenn ich abends von der Uni nach Hause komme und habe dann nicht die größte Lust noch viel zu machen. Aber was solls.
My students are finally stopping to bother me so much and they are settling into uni life as much as they can. A few of them are thinking about quitting uni all together or switching courses, but I can only help with thinking through decisions and then telling them where to go and what forms they need to fill in. I am starting to care less about them aswell; that's what stressed me out in the beginning as well... I always worried about them forgetting or missing things because they just can't be bothered to follow simple directions like reading the handbook so they have all the info that no one else will give them again. I scared them all in the first week when I said their first essay deadline was in week 5 and no one would mention much about it as the title was in the handbook and all the rest of the directions as well. most of them didn't think that was appropriate, but I guess it is hard to go from school to uni if you have been told exactly what to do when and how before... But like I said, they are starting to settle in and the first essay was handed in yesterday. I am curious about the marks they are going to get... but we will see when I get to hand the essays back in three weeks... ok I need a cup of tea now...

29 Oktober, 2006

A Good Year

went to see "A Good Year" at the Picturehouse yesterday evening and it was brilliant... such a nice story and very well done film by Ridley Scott. It was a nice escape away from all the stress at uni at the moment, so in that sense it was good as well. "Crash", which we saw earlier in the week, didn't do any of that for me, and maybe that's why I detested the film so much. It probably wasn't even all that bad, but I just didn't like the fact that it was so clichéd in so many ways and it didn't make me feel good about anything, which is what I need at the moment... still not so sure about the counselor's reccomendation to try sleeping pills (since the herbal stuff didn't work at all), but I guess if I am still not sleeping well later in the week I will make an appointment at the health centre and see what they say... I better start my day now... now that I have finally been paid I need to do some shopping and then later this afternoon I am going to see "The Devil Wears Prada" with a friend... should be fun, even though it is targeted at 14 year old girls...

a bit later...
the film was a lot of fun, although it was a typical storyline. Oh well I still enjoyed it.

23 Oktober, 2006


We just had a really heavy rain and thunderstorm... almost like El Nino proportions... I managed to take a few shots of the flooded street in front of my window...

21 Oktober, 2006

today was a full day. I got up quite early to be awake for the Spanish class. It was fun and we did learn a few new things. After that I met a friend for lunch and then it turned out that a lot of other people showed up as well so we kind of had a psychology lunch. it was nice, but not what I expected. but oh well... after that I met with Neil to go see a Spanish film called Unconscious... very funny film taglined "A Freudian Farce" which it really was. One of the characters had all the Freudian complexes built into him... After the film we had a drink at Boston Tea Party and then I went home to get some rest...

16 Oktober, 2006

Monday yet again

and another weekend just whizzed by as if it didn't happen at all. Friday night we went to have dinner at Dennis and Lucia's (which was very yummy!!!) and afterwards watched a film called "Witness". The next day we had Spanish class ; we now know how to introduce ourselves (Mi nombre es Ivonne, or Me llamo Ivonne), can ask the other person's name (Cóme té llamas, or Cual es tu nombre?), ask how the other person is doing (Cómo estas?, or Qué tal?) , and also ask for where the other person is from (De donde erres?) and also answer that question (Soy de Allemania). Most of this I have seen before, but I don't mind... it is nice to be learning another language, although occasionally my first language gets in the way with pronunciation... because some of the sounds are much closer to German than they are to English and I need to be careful that I don't pronounce them like German, but like Spanish. The rest of the day I just lounged around and was lazy. Yesterday I met a friend from when I did my MSc at Boston Tea Party in the morning and again for the rest of the day I watched some DVDs (House is getting really good!) and then went to bed by about 9-9.30.
Today I have some meetings and then I teach in the afternoon for 3 hours (the same thing three times.) Shouldn't be too bad, it is first level, so it isn't too difficult. I am just a little bit worried about the subject... I have never actually taken developmental psychology in my university life. it never really interested me and I never had to. Oh well, I just need to make them think I know more than they do... that should work, most of them can't even follow the most simple directions (like please read through your handbook for the next meeting... but I am not complaining really...)

ok time for breakfast now and then I am off to another week of stress and work at uni...

13 Oktober, 2006

Friday the 13th...

not that I am superstitious... but so far it hasn't been the best day. I didn't really feel like getting up, then I couldn't decide what to wear (all my clothes are boring and stupid anyway and I need to go shopping) and then it started raining on my way to uni. Now I am in the office (once again the only person here on a Friday morning) and I have to see another one of my students before going to help out with an induction session for new PhD students in Psychology, Business and Sports and Health Science. Oh well, maybe it isn't all that bad... it is just the rainy weather and the not wanting to get up on such a miserable day.

08 Oktober, 2006

it's been a while since I updated my blog, but I have been so busy at uni and equally stressed out because of it. New students arrived two weeks ago, and last week was the first week of classes. I found out just before the registration day that I am a personal tutor to 18 (3 groups of 6) first years students and 7 second year students, as well as my usual group of masters students. And besides all that I still need to work on my PhD, which I haven't been able to do for about the last two weeks. Oh well, I am sure things will settle down soon enough and I will be able to enjoy my days working on my PhD again... I hope anyway. Let's see what else is going on... oh yeah I have started a Spanish class yesterday. Should be fun. The teacher seems really nice and she already spoke a lot of Spanish even though it is a complete beginners class... I hope I can pick up enough over the next 10 weeks so I can go on to the next level after Christmas, but I will see how much time I have...

I am also teaching on one course this term, but that should be ok. It is only one class for the first years and I just have to teach 2 tutorials and help out with two practical classes, and then mark their practical reports. I have done that last year for another course and it wasn't so bad. The only thing really annoying was the marking, but the pay is worth it in the end!
Not much else has been going on really. I have been really tired and not been sleeping too well, and now I keep going to bed at about 9 every evening to catch up.

We went to see Little Miss Sunshine last week, very funny film!

24 September, 2006


should be a nice and relaxing day shouldn't? We'll most of it has been quite nice. I woke up quite early but stayed in bed for a while reading and listening to the radio. Then I got ready and went into town for a while to get some things for dinner. Then I discovered the super cleaning powers of baking soda ( I cooked some rice pudding yesterday and it was burned into the bottom of the pot, but baking soda got rid of everything!!!) and now I am just doing the laundry. On my way out of the laundry room I got yelled at by a guy who was trying to do his laundry after I had already started both... how was I suposed to know that he is showing up right when I got everything going??? I tried not to say anything because I was having a bad day Friday (with all the unorganised uni stuff for this week), but I am still a bit annoyed... oh well, I am going to finish the laundry and then have dinner and for dessert I will have some chocolate :)

23 September, 2006


went to the Picturehouse last night to watch Volver. A really good Spanish film... the Picturehouse newsletter describes it like this:

A brilliant synthesis of love story, melodrama, ghost story and thriller, VOLVER stands as a towering achievement even amongst Almodóvar’s superb canon of work. Calling VOLVER "the deepest return to my roots”, Almodóvar goes back to his birthplace, La Mancha, to tell the story of a group of women, all inspired by women from his own childhood. Three generations of women survive fire, insanity and even death by means of goodness, lies and boundless vitality. They are Raimunda (Cruz), married with a teenage daughter, Sole (Dueñas), her sister, and the mother of both (Maura), who died in a fire but who appears before Sole. Visually sumptuous, the performances are equally strong; Cruz delivers arguably her strongest showing yet.

I am not sure I can see the thriller part, but the rest I totally agree with. It was fantastic and not just because it was in Spanish. But I have to admit I was a little bit disappointed that she didn't cook the dead guy for that film crew...

21 September, 2006

went to see Transamerica at the Phoenix last night and it was a really good film. Very gentle and sometimes slow, but so good. Felicity Huffman (I think that's how you spell her name) was excellent as a man who is gender dysphoric and was just about to undergo gender assignment surgery when he finds out that there is a son he didn't know about who needs some rescuing. Anyway, I don't want to give anything away ... I enjoyed the film!

16 September, 2006

Neil and I

I think this is one of the few pictures that actually exists of Neil and I together... We took it on the "beach" in Seaton - I say "beach" because it was a rather pebbly beach

... my mom would have loved it with all those rocks. It was so nice and peaceful down there now that it is out of season...

Before we went back we tried our luck at one of the arcades and had some greasy food from a fish and chip shop which was quite nice!

11 September, 2006

Beginners Spanish...

yup I did sign up for that Spanish class today. My friend decided not to give up part of her weekends for it, but I thought now or never really... so I really hope that we will learn useful things, and not just grammar and stuff. I want to learn to speak Spanish! Anyway, after I signed up for the class I went to meet one of the tutors in the photography department to have a chat about the classes they offer there, and they sound quite interesting. The only thing is that I will need to have a 35mm SLR camera as they teach how to develop photos as well as all the rest which is quite cool. But I will have to wait until the beginning of next year for that (I'll be asking for a camera for christmas). But one extra class will be enough anyway at the moment.

10 September, 2006

not much been going on here... Friday night we went out with a few people from uni to the Old firehouse and it was quite fun. Saturday morning I went to the Open Morning at the College to sign up for a Spanish class in the evenings, but it was already booked. Now I think I will sign up for the Saturday one, it is only for 10 weeks, and then I can move on to the second level which is in the evenings again. I hope it all works out, I really want to get back into it. Today Neil came over to watch the F1 Grand Prix and then we had dinner together.

06 September, 2006

A Scanner Darkly

that's the title of the film we went to see yesterday. very interesting, and definitely looked cool, but I was slightly confused by it. This is what the Picturehouse programme said about it:

Based on legendary science-fiction author Philip K. Dick's own experiences, A SCANNER DARKLY tells the darkly comedic but deeply tragic tale of drug use in the modern world. America's futile war on drugs has become one and the same with its war on terror. Reluctant undercover cop Bob Arctor (Reeves) follows orders to start spying on his drug-addicted friends, Jim (Downey Jr), Ernie (Harrelson), Donna (Ryder) and Charles (Rory Cochrane). When he is directed to step up the surveillance on himself, he is launched on a paranoid journey into the absurd, where identities and loyalties are impossible to decode. A SCANNER DARKLY plays like a graphic novel come to life, with live-action photography overlaid with an advanced animation process. Faithful to his source material, Linklater has succeeded in creating a haunting version of America, seven years from now.

I did enjoy it, and it was sometimes quite scary, but there were a few things that Neil saw coming that I just didn't. But I don't want to give anything away...

I was just thinking that we have been members with the Picturehouse for about 6 months already. We have seen 17 films, each time saving £ 1.50, and I have used up my 2 free tickets, but I still think I have already got what I paid for the membership back. Being a member there has really paid off, but I also did say to Neil yesterday that I have never seen so many confusing films... oh well... I am rambling...

That's really all that's going on at the moment here... had my meeting with Brian and he said my literature review is too chatty and I have to make it sound more technical. I guess that's what rough drafts are there for. Now he wants me to send it off to Jonathan to see what kind of feedback he has to offer. I'll do it, but I don't really want to hear from anyone else that my writing is not good enough... I know that already!!!

04 September, 2006


Not sure if I have put this little guy up on my blog before. At the flower and garden show I went to with my mom in Germany there was a little batch of garden full of them, but I thought this one was the funniest.

03 September, 2006

not much has been going on the last two days. Yesterday I was here most of the day and in the evening I visited with a friend who had just moved onto campus to see his new room. I have also been watching quite a lot of Gilmore Girls on DVD. I really love that show and this 4th season has been really good. I can't help it I love American TV shows.
Today I met Neil in the afternoon at Boston Tea Party for a coffee (me a Hazelnut steamer) and then we wandered around a bit. When we walked along the cathedral green we heard the strange noise and then a branch broke off one of the trees and crashed down. It just happened so quickly. Now I am doing the washing and watching more Gilmore Girls.

02 September, 2006

even more work getting done!

I did get more work done today, even though it was a Friday and I normally don't work too well on Fridays. Anyway I am quite happy with the work I have done, and I have emailed it off to my supervisor to have a look at before our next meeting on Tuesday. Also had lunch with a friend at uni whom I hadn't seen in a while and it was good to catch up. After that I did bits more work and had tea with another friend before going home to deal with insurance people for taking out money from my account for two wrong insurance quotes. Hopefully it is all solved now and I have been emailed my new policy for this coming academic year. It does feel a bit odd as a bunch of my friends have just today moved onto campus (to be resident tutors) and I am still where I am. I am not saying it isn't nice where I am and I like not having to deal with bills and addional costs, but it would be nice to be able to pop around in the evening for a chat or a cup of tea without having to worry about walking home by myself. Anyway... later Neil came over for dinner and then we went to a friend's house to play poker and finally after about 9-10 months of playing with them I actually won a nice amount :). I am sure it is just a stroke of luck and next time I will lose again, but it does feel good to come out a winner for a change!

31 August, 2006


work is getting done. After having been a slacker for the past week and a half or so I have finally managed to get some good work done. This morning I came to the office before 10 and started working on my outline for chapter 1. It is not perfect, but I am starting to flesh it out and it looks much more substantial than it did this morning when I started. When i asked a friend of mine for advice on how to start writing she simply said "Just apply thee art of sitting thee ass in thee chair" (by the way Thanks Chica it obviously helped!) and that's just what I did this morning. Now I have extended my outline from 3/4 of a page to 4 1/2 pages and it feels really good to look at it. I am not so worried anymore now for Brian to return from his week away in Scotland, as I have actually something to show him.

Let's see what else has been going on... yesterday Neil and I went to see "The Notorious Bettie Page" at the Picturehouse. An interesting film about a Pin Up girl in the 50s. The first bit dragged on a bit, but the second half was quite good, and there were so many familiar looking actors in it...

27 August, 2006

I have been back in Exeter for a whole week now, but I haven't really gotten back into a work mode. Well, to be really honest I haven't really tried yet. I went in to the department Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, but didn't do very much besides catching up with people and seeing Brian and admitting that I haven't done any work yet. But still it was good. Wednesday I didn't feel too great in the evening so I stayed in rather than going to see some friends and watch a film. Thursday I met a friend from uni for lunch at Wagamama and then we went to see "Cars" at the Odeon. I thought it was a great film. The animation was fantastic (certain shots looked like they were actual film rather than animation) and overall I thought it was very well done. After the film I met with Neil and went to the library to finally get a library card after having meant to do that for the past year and 11 months that I have been in Exeter. Friday I helped Neil shop for some new clothes (for work and a wedding) and in the evening we cooked dinner and later watched Fargo. Saturday we went to a wedding in the afternoon. It was really nice. The service (held in both English and German) was at the Cathedral here in Exeter with a drinks reception afterwards. After that we went home and relaxed with a bit of food and yet another film. This time Donnie Darko. Very odd film, and I'm quite confused about it all. But I did enjoy it, it made me laugh a few times, and I thought Patrick Swayze's character was hillarious.
Today I have just been pottering around not doing much. I went into town to enjoy the sunshine in the afternoon and then spoke to my mom on the phone. That's about it...

20 August, 2006

back in Exeter now

I got back to Exeter last night after a very stressful journey. First lots of flights to Heathrow were delayed so when we arrived lots of other planes had also arrived and it took forever until they even let us know which baggage carrousel our suitcases would be on. Because of that I almost missed my bus. But I just barely made the bus so I caught the fast train as well and got into Exeter around 11:30 last night. The train journey was ok, just had a bunch of drunk guys sitting around me, so I tried to bury myself in a Sudoku book and listened to my iPod and ignored them. Anyway, I am back now and am enjoying a cup of tea with my breakfast!

18 August, 2006

holidays are almost over now

and another three weeks went by just like that. I can't believe that I have been at home for three weeks, but oh well. I had a great time. We had a few family birthday parties to go to and my mom and I went to the baltic sea coast for a few days and then we also went to see "We Will Rock You" in Cologne. The musical was really good. Maybe only for people who like the music by Queen, but it was well done. Even the German version was made well. Now I really want to see the English version as well to see how they made the story work. In the German version they put in a few references that English is dead now, and therefore there is no more rock music. The reason they gave that no one spoke English anymore was that Germany won the Football in 2010... we can dream I guess... and who knows what happens in the future. But anyway, it was great fun, and the singers were awesome.

lets see what else did I do while I was here... oh I read a book by Haruki Murakami called Norwegian Wood. It was really good, a very sad melancholic mood all the way through, but a very beautiful story still. I will see if I can find another one of his books as they sound very interesting.

oh I also promised to put more pictures up... so here they come:

My mom collecting shells and stones on the beach... you won't believe how much she found, we had an extra bag for shells and one for stones, and then another one for some sand from the beach. She has all these ideas for decorating, I will tell her to send me pictures when she is done ;)

In the background you can see a few of the sand scultures from the sandsculptures festival we went to as well.

Here you can see some islands in the background, but primarily I took the picture because of the sailboats that were floating around on the sea. The windconditions must have been extra good those few days, we saw them wherever we went.

open water... in the background you could see the opposite coast of former East Germany, but the photo doesn't show it. It took us forever too to figure out what we could see all the way over there. At first we thought it would be Denmark, but when we looked on a map we realised that the coast where we were didn't even point towards Denmark...

And here now a few more pictures from the sandscultures festival

13 August, 2006

back home

My mom and I have just returned from a short trip to the Baltic Sea coast here in Germany, and we had a great time. Not much time to blog at the moment though, so just a few pictures for now. I will try to write more later today...

These things are called "Strandkörbe" in German and are fairly typical for the beaches in Germany. I have no idea what they are called in English... the literal translation would be "Beach baskets", but I doubt that would be correct. Anyway, we rented one for a day, and it was quite nice and comfortable!

We also went to a sandsculpture festival, it is amazing what they can do with sand. Here a little overview of a few of the sculptures, but more later...

08 August, 2006

Landesgartenschau in Winsen

we went to a garden and flower exhibition today... so I thought I'll put up some pictures... some are good, some are not so good, but who cares really ;)

these two will have to do for now, as it takes forever to upload them. more to come soon...

07 August, 2006

holidays here we come

we have finally managed to book a few days holiday. We are off on Wednesday to the Baltic Sea coast for three days to a place called Dahme. We didn't find a whole house or flat to rent, but a nice little hotel only 200 metres from the beach. We are also hoping to go to the Sandworld exhibition near Travemünde as well, but we will have to wait and see how the weather develops. For the following week we have booked tickets to go see "We Will Rock You", the Queen Musical by Ben Elton. That should be fun, my mom and I have been wanting to see if for a while and this was the chance to do it. I'll write more when we come back!

03 August, 2006

home, sweet home

...or something like that anyway. I got here on Saturday evening, after almost missing my flight. I got to Heathrow in good time, but all of the self service check in terminals were out of order or crashed every time I tried, and so I had to join the queue at the Lufthansa check in which took forever. then of course there was another queue at the departures, but in the end I made it though to the gates even with time to spare before they let us know which gate the plane was leaving from. Sunday we went straight to the first family party, my aunt's birthday. It was nice to see them all again, but the more I am away the more I realise how much living abroad has changed me. But oh well... then Monday my mom, my aunt and my cousin, and me went to my grandma's house to visit my granfathers grave as it would have been his birthday. It is a nice little ritual we have together, and it is nice to sit down over lunch and remember him with all his little oddities... then on tuesday my mom and I just didn't do much. We thought about our little holiday, but decided that renting a house in Denmark would be too expensive at € 1000 for just a week, so are now thinking of going to see "We Will Rock You" in Köln, maybe "Starlight Express in Bochum, and maybe also go to Vienna for a few days while I am here. If we go to Vienna I really want to go see the Siegmund Freud Museum, that should be interesting, but otherwise I am not that picky about what we do.
Yesterday was another family birthday, my other aunt, but that was just a small gathering probably because it was in the middle of the week and most people had to be at work still. Today not much has been going on.

27 Juli, 2006

nur noch zwei Tage...

until I go home. I am so looking forward to this time away from university, not so much to the time away from Neil though. But I am sure it will be nice to see my family and some friends and the time will fly by like it always does. I do hope that we manage to go away for a week or so. My mom was saying before that we could go to Denmark and drop in on a friend of mine from Santa Barbara, which would be really cool. I haven't seen her since i was in California, and I left there in 2000. Gosh 6 years I can't believe it's been such a long time... I do need to try and go back sometime soon.

Anyway, still lots to do before I can leave Saturday, I need to clean my room and bathroom and need to do the washing and then of course pack. Tomorrow night we are going out for a friend's birthday and then Saturday I leave on the 15:05 train to Reading and then the flight leaves Heathrow at 19:25, and I should be at home with my family just around 22:00 :). Might not write that much while I am away, but if I get the chance I will try and take come pictures and put them up.

25 Juli, 2006

the only person in the office... again

once again I am the only person who is in the office. most people would find this is a good environment to work, but just always end up sitting here thinking why am I the only loser who decided to come into the office and then I don't get anything done. Well, I am a bit in holiday mode anyway already. Just 4 more days and I am off to Germany for a three week holiday. I am really looking foward to seeing my family... lets hope the weather stays this nice so my mom and I can go away for a bit as well. We were thinking about Denmark or just the coast in Germany, but we shall see.

Not much else has been going on. Spent the weekend with Neil being lazy, but we finally managed to watch Memento. A great film, and only slightly confusing since the whole plot is backwards, so you see the end first and then slowly bit by bit learn how things happened. We also went to a little farm shop just outside Exeter which had just opened up an ice-cream parlour and had some very nice ice-cream.

19 Juli, 2006

another hot day

another day with a level three heatwave warning, I can't believe it. They said on the news this morning that today will be the hottest day of the year so far, but when I think about it they said that before sometime in early June when it was quite warm as well. Anyway, my brain refuses to function much in this weather, so I am here sitting in front of the fan trying to stay cool and thinking of some answers to Brians questions (i sent him a rough draft of a questionnaire yesterday and he just replied wanting to know what questions it would address...)

might try out the outdoor pool at uni later, might be nice and refreshing

17 Juli, 2006

Glastonbury and heat

it has been very very hot this weekend, but thankfully it hasn't been humid at all. I think I would have died if it had been humid again... well ok not really but I would have not liked the heat and the humidity together.

The weekend was nice though. Friday we all left work early and came down to the Imperial to have lunch together for Daisy's birthday, and after that I met Neil at the Continental Market which was visiting town. He decided to wait for that to have lunch, then pottered around town for a while and then went to a friend's house for dinner. It was really nice, after dinner we sat outside on a little - well actually quite large - balcony and later we watched "I heart Huckabees". A very funny film about existential Detectives played by Lily Tomlin and Dustin Hoffman. Worth a watch if you are into quirky funny films.

On Saturday I went to Glastonbury with a friend. Again another hot day, but we had a good time walking around the Abby grounds and the town.

Here are a few pictutres of what used to be the Abby:

Glastonbury Abby_2

Glastonbury Abby_4

Glastonbury Abby_7

15 Juli, 2006


I took this picture today and thought it turned out quite nice.

14 Juli, 2006

it was probably a stupid idea to even come to the office today. No one is here (and who can blame them on such a beautiful day!) At least I won't be here too long today. A bunch of us are going to the Imperial for a few drinks and lunch for a friend's birthday. That should be fun.

The continental market is in town again this weekend, and going by on the bus yesterday I saw that the German Bratwurst stand is back again :)

ok just about another hour that I have to pretend to do work now ;)

13 Juli, 2006

summer and being in the office

it is always so quiet here in the office. it should be good really and motivate me to get lots of work done without distraction, but I just can't get myself to be motivated when no one else seems to be doing any work. Oh well, just a couple more weeks and I get to take some real time off. On the 29th I am off to Germany for three whole weeks and I won't have to do anything. Well at least that's what Brian said a while ago when i asked him if it was ok to go away for that long. Considering that he will be away as well it should be ok and I shouldn't expect any emails half way thorugh asking me for a first draft of my literature review. speaking of which, I really need to start working on that. I want to hvae that done and out of the way by the end of the summer, but at the moment it doesn't even look like I will be able to get that done. Well if I just sit myself down and work all though september I should at least have a draft done by the end of that month. And then I have another few months to work on the upgrade report which has to be done by February next year.

Brain Gain

I went to a workshop with that title yesterday and I am not sure if that title is really appropriate. We didn't really learn how to improve our brain power and or even get more brain, but rather she taught us a few techniques to use then we have to remember things. It was helpful with that, and I think I will have a list of 10 words now permanently carved into my memory.

09 Juli, 2006

not the most eventful weekend...

but we did go see a bunch of films. thursday we saw Pirates of the Caribbean 2 - was good and entertaining, but I think the first one was much better. this one is now set up for another one, and I was a bit annoyed for that. Friday we saw Enron-the smartest guys in the room. About the breakdown of the Enron corporation, and it was quite interesting. Granted I never knew too much about what happened there anyway, but it was still quite interesting. Very similarly filmed to the Corporation. After that we went down to the Quay for the opening of the Exeter Summer Festival, which ended in a fireworks display that was very disappointing in my opinion. Oh well... Saturday we went to see Thank you for smoking, which was also quite good. after that we went to get some food at Old Timers and then went to another pub for a few drinks for a friend's pre-birthday. And then to round up the weekend of films we went to see "Ferris Bueller's Day off". I thought it was quite fun and Neil had never seen it, and I think (hope!) he enjoyed it.

05 Juli, 2006

Google Earth

I have just discovered Google Earth and it is just fantastic. I must have sat here for about an hour just typing in places all over the place where I have been and looking them up. Too bad that Europe is not as detailed as the US, but it is close enough.

04 Juli, 2006

back from Edinburgh

We got back from Edinburgh and I have to say it was a great trip. The conference stuff all went really well, and even my presentation went well. I was a little bit nervous right before it, but once I got started talking about my research it was fine. People seemed interested and they laughed in the right places. The other talks at the presentation were mostly interesting as well, even though some people's research went straight over my head. All the businessy things I didn't really understand. But overall I can say this was a successful visit and I now feel much better about my PhD than I did before. I guess it was just a matter of seeing so many other people who are doing research in a similar field to mine, and I could see that it isn't completely useless.

The only slightly bad thing about the trip was that I couldn't spend that much time with Neil. Both conference days I pretty much was away all day from 9 am to 5pm, but I guess I shouldn't complain too much. I still had a chance to see the city on Thursday and half of Sunday, and it is a beautiful city... Immer eine Reise wert!

Here are a few pictures:

this is the top bit of the Scott Monument. I took a few more pictures to get the whole thing in sections (or well I thought I did) but the camera must have not saved them because the battery was coming to an end.

Scott Monument

This one is the view from Carlton Hill over the city with the Castle at the other end.

view from Carlton Hill in Edinburgh

This is the view again from Carlton Hill but to the other side. You can even see the sea in the back

more views over Edinburgh

This one was taken on the Royal Mile:

Royal Mile in Edinburgh

and of course we cannot forget the Cows from the Cowparade. here is a small selection of the cows we could find. There is also one designed by KT Tunstall somewhere in Edinburgh...

Cow Parade Edinburgh_6Cow Parade Edinburgh_1

28 Juni, 2006

just one more day

until the conference. I am both excited and nervous, but I think i have gotten to a point where I do think that my presentation is actually good. Now I just need to make sure no one asks me any scary or unanswerable questions, and I will be ok. Just in the office for a bit because I wanted to pick up a book about Gender and Marketing (since that is the title of the conference...) and then I need to head into town to get a few things, and then I have to go home and finish packing. Not much more really I already packed half the things I need and the other things just needed a bit more time to dry before being packed into the suitcase. That's about it for today...

Tomorrow morning we have to get up way too early, but at least we get almost the entire day in Edinburgh before the conference starts. I am hoping the weather will be nice...

25 Juni, 2006

people can be so annoying

Friday afternoon just about 3 minutes before I was going to leave I got an email from the programme director for whom I have been doing mentoring this year that I need to have a report ready for the teaching meeting Monday morning by 10 am. I should have just taken Neil's advice (Just ignore it and email Monday around 11 saying that you didn't see the email before then), but as I am I did send it yesterday afternoon.

Friday evening there was a party at Neil's house which was quite fun. Lots of people we didn't know, but from what Neil had said before I thought there weren't going to be that many people, so it was good that it was like that. But it did feel a bit claustrophobic at time, because the house is very narrow. Still a nice evening.

Saturday I went home after lunch time to get some work done (that annoying report), on my way into town I bumped into a friend and we had a quick coffee and chat at Starbucks. That was nice, but for some reason I had a really bad headache. then I went home and did a bit of work, basically just finished the report and emailed it off and then tried to get rid of the headache until it was time to head back to Neil's. We were going to watch "Memento", but again didn't get around to it and rather enjoyed the nice evening outside.

Today I felt really guilty that I hadn't done any work and I really needed to go through the presentation a few more times, so I went home after we had some food. Been working on figuring out how to analyse my data properly and also ran through my presentation a few more time. I can manage it in just over 15 minutes which is what it should be. Jonathan approved it, but also recommended more reading, and tomorrow I will see what Brian thinks.

After that I watched some DVD, uploaded some old pictures into my flickr.com account, made some food, avoided the football and now I am just about to get ready to go to bed.

Just three more days now until we head off to Edinburgh. I am both excited and scared. I hope the excitement will overpower the being afraid and I will enjoy this first conference experience. Should be good... after all I am a PhD student, they should encourage me and give me some good feedback so I can improve my work.

21 Juni, 2006

just a quick post

just about to dash off to see the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra at the uni for the end of the Golden Jubiliee celebrations, but wanted to post before I left. The last few days have been slightly stressful, but I think it is more that I am stressing myself out, rather than it being someone else's fault. I just need to somehow build my confidence, if I just knew a good way of doing that!!!

Yesterday I spent all day helping out with the open day at the uni. Talking to mostly parents but also a few students about why Exeter would be such a good choice. Some were very eager and wanted to know loads of things, and others you could clearly tell that they had no idea about what they wanted to do at uni, only that they wanted to go to uni. But it was fun anyway, and I am getting paid for it as well ;)

Also this upcoming conference is really starting to get to me, I am trying to tell myself that I shouldn't be nervous but it just isn't working. I am just not convinced enough about my research, and the more I read the more I start thinking that my topic is stupid and trivial. But Brian is being really good about it and keeps telling me that I will do fine and that I will have a good time.

a bit later...

the concert was great... very nice pieces they played and they were very good. Well this is according to my friend Andrea who knows much more about classical music than I do. But I did enjoy it, and decided that I need to have a lookout for these sort of things more. But now it is time for me to get to bed. Tomorrow is another day to get more work done on my presentation and to build up my confidence!

Happy Solstice by the way!

18 Juni, 2006

I had a great weekend with Neil.the weather was absolutely wonderful so Friday I went over in the evening and we sat outside until half past 10 enjoying the sunshine. Saturday we went to Topsham. It is a small village - as Neil called it - on the outskirts of Exeter. Very very nice place to be, and even though the weather was beautiful it wasn't busy at all. We walked around the place a bit, and then also along the Goat Walk. Don't as me why it is called the Goat Walk, but here is a picture of it...

Here you can see the actual Goat Walk. We walked all along it around the far corner and even further into some fields to a nature retreat. Sorry that there is a bit of glare from the sun, but I should give my mobile phone some credit, it did take some quite good pictures even though. After this we went to the Quay and had a few drinks before we got back on the bus to go home.

This is a nice view over the river/esturary (no idea if this is spelled correctly) bit of Topsham.

Neil took some pictures with his camera, they are a lot better, and you can find them on his blog

In the evening we were invited over for dinner by some friends, which was really nice. A semi German dinner cooked in a Römertopf. And I had real Spätzle for the first time!

Today was very lazy. We had planned to have breakfast at Goerges, but we didn't quite get up in time, so we went there for lunch. After that we had a quick stroll through town and then I went to meet a friend for coffee at Starbucks. She was as excited as I was when I told her that we now have a Wagamama Restaurant in Exeter as well now.

14 Juni, 2006

hab ich gestern was getan?

nicht wirklich! Na ja, ich glaub das Wetter war daran Schuld. Morgens war es schön kühl nach einer schwülen Nacht, und ich habe mich trotzdem sommermäßig angezogen. Und dann hat es natürlich als wir was zum essen holen wollten geregnet. Na ja was soll's... später ist dann aber doch noch die Sonne rausgekommen und es war wieder warm! Nach'm lunch haben wir uns dann einen Vortrag von einem Professor aus Texas angehört. Der war ganz interessant, aber nicht wirklich relevant für mein Projekt. Und irgendwie habe ich dann gar nichts geschafft, in der letzten halben Stunde bin ich dann in Hochform aufgelaufen und hab noch ein paar Artikel gefunden die ich gebrauchen könnte, aber das war auch schon alles. Heute Vormittag hab ich ein Meeting mit Brian und danach muss ich noch an meinem Vortrag für Edinburgh arbeiten, Jonathan hat mit so viele Vorschläge für Änderungen geschickt. Aber er weiss ja Bescheid, und er kommt auch, also wird er dann auch wissen ob ich die Änderungen vorgenommen hab.

Ok dann mach ich mich mal auf den Weg. Tee austrinken und dann ab zur Uni!

12 Juni, 2006

what was going on over the past few days

the weekend once again was lovely with the weather, and everything else as well. Friday I went over to Neil's after dinner and we enjoyed the nice weather and when it got to cold we watched an episode of Green Wing. It is so funny, the best way to describe it would be to say that it is a British version of Scrubs, but the humour is very different, very british I guess. But we were laughing so much... I also spent most of Saturday with Neil, with a short time at home in between to drop off my things, as we were going to meet with some friends at Georges in the evening before Neil was off to play poker with the Exeter Poker Club people. Yesterday I didn't do very much, went into town briefly in the morning to avoid the crowds and then mainly tried to stay cool for the rest of the afternoon.

Today we had the PG conference which was organised by two of the other PhD students in the department. As much as I hated the idea of being bullied into presenting my work, it was quite a good day. Mainly I liked hearing about other people's research interests and projects, because even though we are in the psychology department we don't really mix and mingle with people outside of our research groups. So I guess this was a success, and I got to practise my talk for Edinburgh (but Jonathan emailed me some suggestions for changes... so more work needs to be done). It was nice too, Brian came up to me during lunch and said that someone approached him and said that his PhD student (i.e. me!!!) did very well presenting. I really don't understand it, everyone said I seemed very relaxed and confident, but I felt the complete opposite. I was totally nervous, and had to remind myself to breathe properly all the way through... but I guess it is a good thing that I don't portray it outward. Hopefully that will also be true for the "real" conference in a couple of weeks...

It was a long day though of sitting and listening to talks, which is quite hard in the stuffy weather... so as a fun thing for the evening we went to the new WAGAMAMA restaurant in town. It is so nice to have one here now. The two things I had been missing from London were Starbucks and Wagamama, and now we have both of them here in Exeter as well. I really enjoy the the food there, they say it is a japanese noodle bar, but they serve rice dishes as well. I had something called Chicken Katsu Curry... VERY YUMMY!

07 Juni, 2006

another beautiful day

it is another really nice and wonderfully sunny day, and I am stuck in the office. Actually it isn't that horrible. Neil took the day off work and come by for lunch and we sat in the sun. Now I am back in the office... I need to get these things done for the PG conference Monday and I want to start and feel like I am prepared for the Edinburgh conference as well. When I saw Brian earlier today, he mentioned something about me seeming very confident in what I am doing and my work in general. It's really odd how I can portray that kind of feeling, and never actually feel really confident in what I do. I should start being more confident I guess, I mean I have made it this far... Hopefully the conference will give me an extra boost and I can get my act together properly after it and finish a paper for the Las Vegas Conference in Feburary. I don't get why the papers always have to be in so early, this one has to be submitted by August, so that's less than two months away, but I am still hoping I can do it. Maybe I should ask Jonathan what he thinks, and if he would go to that one.

ok better get back to my work now... I have to prepare a presentation for Monday and Brian wants to see it Friday, so I have a day and a half to get it all ready.

06 Juni, 2006

long day

gosh this turned out to be such a long day here in the office. It is after 5 already and I am just now getting ready to go home. Well, I did get quite a lot done and I think I am now all set to analyse my first set of data and then write this first study up. Over the next few months I will be writing my first PhD chapter and then hopefully I will be able to upgrade from MPhil status to PhD status. That should be quite exciting, and after getting my progress review back as being satisfactory I am starting to get more and more motivated. The conference is coming up in about 4 weeks; I am hoping that I will be prepared enough when I go so I don't have to faint over being scared about the questions I might get after the presentation. At least I get a practise run on Monday, even thought I didn't really want to participate in this postgraduate research day... but oh well, it is good practise and I guess I should take advantage of these opportunities since I do need to improve my publisc speaking skills.

ok it's time to sit out in the sun for a bit and then go home and have some dinner.

04 Juni, 2006

Exmouth Beach in the sunshine ( in black and white)

Because the weather was so great yesterday we decided to go to the beach somewhere. We met at Central Station and then took the first train that went somewhere with a beack, and in this case it was Exmouth. Neil used to live there so he tends to avoid it, but I really enjoyed it. It is quite small though, so I can see why it isn't so exciting, but it was still nice to go to the beach for a bit.

Here are a few pictures... unfortunately I had forgotten to set my camera back to colour mode, last time I had taken a few black and white pictures. Oh well they still turned out nice.

Here is one of the sea... it is so nice to see the sea!

Here is Neil in the contruction of a miniature Stonehenge...

and here it is completed. I think it looks quite good! I know in colour it would have been better... We also built a sandcastle and looked for thin rocks for skipping. I found a few nice shells and rocks that I will be taking home for my mom next time I go.

Once we left the beach we got some food (I had "the great British Take Away" - Fish and Chips) and then went back to Exeter on the train. Then we met a few friends at the Mill on the Exe as it was such a nice evening.

02 Juni, 2006

I just saw that I can post to my blog by using an email address. Let's see how this works. Although I shouldn't be so surprised, I can post from within flickr.com as well. Well I think I am pretty much at the end of my work week now. The weather outside is beautiful and I am still sitting in the office, I really should get outside and enjoy the sunshine. To all who are reading this have a wonderful weekend and I hope it is sunny where you are too!

Ah it only leaves it in the drafts folder so I still have to go in and publish the post. Oh well maybe there is something I am missing. I'll figure it out some other time.

Here are some pictures I took with my mobile earlier today... The phone takes quite good pictures!

There are no clouds at all to see in the first one, and the second one just has a few.

Sunshine and Bowling

Finally the sun has decided to come out again! It is so nice when it is warm out, the sky is looking blue and the sun is out. It's been nice yesterday as well, and I have been in the office working. Well trying to an anyway. It seems at the moment that my research is taking yet another turn, but so far it isn't anything that is too annoying or incomprehensible to me (well apart from this one paper I am trying to read through at the moment :P).

Last night I went Bowling with Neil and a few people from his work. Apparently they had planned this for quite some time and in the end only two other people from his work showed up. Oh well, it was still fun. I managed to raise my total score from 55 to 83 by the third game, but the other three were much better than me. I think my main problem is that the bowling balls are too heavy and I can't get a good grip on them... but then last time I went I only got about 30 points for a whole game, so this was much better.

30 Mai, 2006

dealing with banks...

is it ever easy???
I am starting to think that I can kiss my £ 150 goodbye with the way the banks are dealing with me. I am being sent from one to the other and no one is willing to actually help me. The UK bank (I won't mention their name) is telling me that my German bank needs to make the claim since they are the only ones who can confirm that my account was actually debited, and the German bank is simply saying they wouldn't know whom to contact in the UK to even make the claim, which is besides the fact that it apparently is ridiculous of the UK bank to say that the German bank has to do some work, because the UK bank's ATM is screwed up. And I am caught up in the middle of everything. I am really getting worried that it will all end up being that they turn around and tell me that the time limit within which a claim needs to be made has passed and that the money is lost in the system somewhere. I wouldn't worry so much, but £150 is a lot of money for me. Oh well, I have now given my mom all the info from here and she will try again to go to the German bank to see if they are now anymore willing to help.

Not much else has been going on today. I went to uni and got my new computer on the desk. Then I tried to do a bit of work, had lunch, and then spoke to someone at the bank on campus. They sent me back to the bank in town and when I came back to my desk after that there was a paper I have to mark. I was really annoyed so I thought it's not really fair to the student to mark a paper when I am in a bad mood so I decided that had to wait until tomorrow...

29 Mai, 2006

another fun personality test...

although I wonder how accurate this one is... I don't think I really put the needs of others before mine, but then again it is just a funny quiz.

Also found this test (once again on Sarah's blog)

You Are Bert

Extremely serious and a little eccentric, people find you loveable - even if you don't love them!

You are usually feeling: Logical - you rarely let your emotions rule you

You are famous for: Being smart, a total neat freak, and maybe just a little evil

How you life your life: With passion, even if your odd passions (like bottle caps and pigeons) are baffling to others

I am not sure how right this is about me as well... I don't think I am that logical and much more emotional, plus if you saw my room you knew I wasn't a total neat freak. I am not a slob either, but still I am not that neat. But then again it is just something fun to do. I wonder what Ernie's characteristics are though :P!

I had a nice day today, even though the start to it hasn't been the greatest. Well really it started a few days ago when the ATM on the high street refused to give me money but when I checked my account it was actually taken out. So now I am £150 short on my German account and when I went to Natwest (as I used their cash machine) to report the problem they said they couldn't do anything about it and I had to contact my German bank. Well my mom went to the bank in Germany this morning, and they said they can't do anything and I have to go to the bank here. It was a bit odd as I had just woken up when my mom called and handed the bank teller the phone so I could explain to her what the bank people here had said. So now I have to go back again tomorrow and see if the Natwest people can do something... Well after that and a bit more waking up I had some breakfast and then cleaned up a bit, and then Neil came over for lunch and we watched a film (the guy who plays the british guy was actually born in England...) and after that we went to the Imperial for a meal and a few drinks. It was quite nice so after we finished our food we sat outside for a while enjoying the sunshine (and the wind).

Just remembered... I am getting my new computer on my desk at uni tomorrow!!! It will be so nice to have a flat screen monitor. Should make working a lot more comfortable...

28 Mai, 2006

at least I will look the part

I still don't really feel very confident about going to the conference at the end of June, but at least now I will look the part because I went to buy a suit today. I picked it out yesterday, but I never know if things actually look good on me, so I reserved it and went back today with a friend (we didn't end up going to Starbucks after all, but went to Boston Tea Party instead) to get her opinion. She approved it, and now I am the proud owner of my first suit ever. It isn't too fancy really (there are no pin stripes), but I still feel really odd. When I looked at myself in the mirror in the store I didn't look like me at all, but oh well. It's a start into a (somewhat!) professional life I guess, I better start getting used to it. I want to go to the APA convention next year or the year after, I can't quite make up my mind if I prefer San Francisco or Boston. I guess a trip to Boston paid for by the department would be cool!
Didn't do much last week really besides marking. Mostly all day, and then I didn't feel like doing anything else. But I guess that's just the way it is, and it is paid quite well, and I am finally done with it. Oh on an exciting note, I am finally getting that refurbished computer with a flatscreen next week :)

Hmmmm mal sehen was war denn so los in der letzten Woche, nicht so viel irgendwie. Ich habe fast jeden Tag Aufsätze korrigiert, und danach hatte ich nicht mehr viel Lust was anderes zu machen. Na ja, so ist das eben, wenigstens wird es relativ gut bezahlt, und ich bin ja jetzt damit fertig.

21 Mai, 2006

Da Vinci Code and the rest of the weekend

apart from the horrible weather we have been having here, this weekend was really nice actually... Friday afternoon started with a chocolate cake that Laura brought to uni in honour of Andréa's birthday and then we went to the Mill on the Exe for a drink around half past 4. It was nice to get away and relax for a bit. Then Neil and I went to Steve and Sarah's for an evening of chatting and then playing poker, that was quite a lot of fun.

Saturday started out rather dull. I got up fairly early to get laundry done, then watched a bit of Law & Order: Criminal Intent and then went into town to have a look around before going to see Neil. In the evening we went to friends of Neil's to watch the Eurovision Song Contest on tv. It was a lot of fun actually, and not just because of the pizza. The German entry was not too bad, but my favourite was the Latvian a capella entry. The winning entry was just a bit too strange for me... But I guess they still deserved to win. A few days ago at uni someone mentioned that a few years ago there was an academic paper published that looked at the relationship between voting in the Eurovision Song Contest and political relationships between countries involved. I must have a look for that, would be quite interesting to see what they made of it.

Today we started the day with a friend breakfast at George's Meeting Hall and then went to see the Da Vinci Code at the Picturehouse. I thought it was really good, finally a film that actually stayed true to the book, and it made me junp a few times. I know lots of people wouldn't like that too much, I have heard that about the Harry Potter films, that it is boring to see them and things like that. I don't really mind. I didn't actually read the book, I just got the audiobook sometime last year and I thought it was really good. Then I read Angels and Demons which was really good as well. I think if they turn that into a film it would be a lot creepier. Anyway, I did enjoy it, even though I knew the story beforehand, and Tom Hank's hair wasn't actually that bad.

18 Mai, 2006

sorry I just can't be bothered with German at the moment

just came back from the cinema, we went to see Paradise Now. Very interesting film about the situation in Palestine. Right after the film a lady from the audience got up and let us all know that she was from Palestine and if anyone had any questions about the film she would be happy to answer them. I felt a bit strange, and kind of like I was sitting in a seminar where I was being forced to come up with a question... anyway, since no one seemed to want to speak to her about the film she just went... anyway, I would have thought that the film would have more impact on me, but maybe I am just not in the best of moods at the moment. That whole Jolanda not liking my research is really bothering me and I am getting more and more worried about going to the conference. I think if that wasn't coming up I would ask Brian if I could take some time off... but then again I know that wouldn't be a solution. I would just start doubting myself even more... ok before this gets too deep I think I will just get to bed. Tomorrow is another day, there is more marking and we are going to have a bit of a birthday celebration for one of my office mates...

17 Mai, 2006

I just saw a link to this personality test on Sarah's blog... so apparently:
it was a nice distraction from this really annoying day. Well actually it was not that bad. I had an eye exam in the morning and my eyes are fine. No real significant change, just a bit more astigmatism whatever that really means. After that I went to uni and met a friend for lunch and then spent most of the day marking papers. I expect tomorrow will be much the same...

16 Mai, 2006

when important people don't like your research...

that's what I found out today. The one person in the department who gets to decide over continuing the PhD or not actually disagrees with my research. She thinks it is not academic enough... but then again this is based on a presentation I gave as an interview for that teaching position for next year. It is so frustrating, all the internal politics in this university. I am sure it wouldn't be any different at a different university or even in another department, but I am really starting to get sick and tired of it. Sometimes I think I should just quit because it really isn't worth it to put up a fight about this. I told Brian today that I sometimes feel that people with my research interest are not really made to feel welcome in the department, I mean they pride themsevles in being a centre for Economic Research, but they should really say that they are a centre for Economic Research but only if it incorporates social identity theory... oh gosh I am being really cynical, but I just can't help it. It makes me feel even more worried about going to this conference in June... now that I have everything booked and Jolanda even agreed to give me a bit more money so I actually will get all the expenses paid for that trip. Oh well... hopefully Brian was right and everything will sort itself out once I actually get going on this research properly...

14 Mai, 2006

at least a short update

I know I have been lazy updating this, but it's been a bit of a strange week work wise. I have been slightly more motivated, but at the same time the weather has really been great so I never
really wanted to be stuck inside infront of a computer. Ok here is what I have been up to since i last posted something...

Last Sunday with the nice weather I met Sarah for a cream tea in town. The Michael Caines Cafe Bar makes a nice one, although that is the only one I have had here in Exeter. After that we went into town for a bit, looking for a nice pair of sandals for Sarah, and I ended up buying a new mobile phone. I had had my eye on the Motorola V3 for a while now, and now I have one. It is really nice and it even came with the data sync software, so I have been playing around with all those things lately as well.

Monday I had a bunch of meetings and then in the evening met Neil for dinner at the Imperial and then we went to see C.R.A.Z.Y. at the Picturehouse. Very funny and at times very sad story about a boy growing up with four brothers and realising that he is gay. A lot of other family issues were included as well, and I didn't even mind the French so much ;)

Tuesday I went to out for dinner with some of the people from the department, at first it was just going to be 5 of us, and then it turned into this huge occasion which I wasn't really prepared for. Most people got drunk fairly quickly and my food was really bad. Never order lasagne in that place by the Quay, order pizza instead!

Wednesday and Thursday were really nice days, so I tried to sit outside in the sun a bit during the day. I had a meeting with Jonathan about about the conference, and he gave me some good tips about speaking and also about networking. Who should I introduce myself too and things like that. But at the same time this conference now sounds very daunting, he said that most people would attend every session, and there will be like 50 or so people there. I really hope I become more convinced that my research is actually good and worth while by then. At the moment I sometimes worry that they will just tear me to shreds and tell me that what I am doing is all complete rubbish. I guess everyone in the beginning of a research career had these doubts, and maybe i am in the wrong department here at the Uni... but we'll see. Maybe it ends up going well as well. With the reviewers it was fairly mixed in what they thought, all said though that the ideas and questions were relevant, so I don't know. I guess I will have to wait until after I come back...

Friday I got quite a bit of work done on the write up of my first study. I was surprised how easy it was coming along too... anyway, in the evening I went to Neil's and since it was nice enough to sit outside for a while we enjoyed the nice weather for as long as we could.

06 Mai, 2006

the last few days/ Die letzten paar Tage

Let's see what's been happening since i last posted something... not very much I guess. The last week has gone by fairly quickly, with finally getting the final version of the conference paper written and submitted. It was really scary to see my name printed in the provisional programme for the conference, so I made an appointment straight away with my second supervisor - Jonathan - as he is also going to be at the conference. Brian won't be able to make it as he is running a seminar here at Exeter Uni over the same time.

I also volunteered to attend this Employers Event that the University ran last Thursday to make employers more aware of University of Exeter graduates, and we represented the Graduate School Skills Programme as Skills Ambassadors. It was fairly boring as almost no one wanted to talk to us all day. It was worth it for the free lunch though ;)

Yesterday was a fairly lazy day again, I went to a talk in the afternoon by a fairly well known Social Psychologist from the US about the female leadership advantage. I really enjoyed it, the topic was interesting enough and she was a great speaker, plus sometimes I just like listening to a proper American accent. Recently people have been telling me that my accent, when I speak English, is changing slightly; I guess I am starting to pick up more of the British accent. I guess it was bound to happen since there are more British people than Americans I hang out with these days.

In the evening I met Neil at George's Meeting House for dinner and then we went back to his house. And since the weather was so nice we spent a few hours sitting outside in the sun reading the paper and chatting. It was really nice and we both enjoyed the sunshine.

Today was not the greatest weather, but after a quick run to the uni to find my bus pass and home to drop my things I met Neil in town. We started with a drink at the Pheonix Bar, then went to get Neil a new phone - the upgrade was needed - and then did some more shopping around in town, and the day was finished with a nice dinner at The Old Firehouse.

Oh yeah I have also been trying to keep up with my learning Spanish. I bought this audiobook in the iTunes Music Store quite a while ago called "Quick and Simple Spanish", but I am not sure how much I am actually learning from it. I guess I just don't have much opportunity to practise it...

Und jetzt auf Deutsch:
Hmmm, mal sehen was war denn so los in den letzten paar Tagen..... ? Nicht viel! Die letzte Woche ist schon ziemlich schnell rumgegangen, aber ich hab wenigstens endlich den Beitrag für die Konferenz in Edinburgh fertig bekommen und auch alles eingereicht. Als ich dann meinen Namen im vorläufigen Programm gesehen hab, ist mir schon ganz schlecht geworden vor Aufregung, und da habe ich erst mal ein Meeting mit Jonathan abgemacht. Der ist ja auch mit in Edinburgh; Brian kann ja nicht weil der am gleichen Wochenende hier in Exeter an der Uni ein Seminar leitet. Na ja, wird schon alles irgendwie gut gehen!

Am Donnerstag war ich dann den ganzen Tag im Finance Centre hier an der Uni, weil ich mich hab breitschlagen lassen das Graduate School Skills Programm da zu vertreten für den Tag. Am Ende war es einfach nur langweilig, weil kaum jemand an uns interessiert war, aber für das Mittagessen umsonst hat es sich doch gelohnt. Und ich war dabei.

Gestern war auch wieder ein Tag der fast so vorbei gegangen ist. Am Nachmittag war ein Vortrag von einer Amerikanischen Sozial-Psychologin, der war echt interessant. Das ging so um Frauen in Führungspositionen und ob Frauen in solchen Positionen besser geeignet sind als Männer. Und ab und zu ist es einfach mal gut einen ordentlichen Amerikanischen Akzent zuhören. In letzter Zeit haben mir ein paar Leute gesagt dass sich mein Akzent ändert. Na ja das war wohl vorrauszusehen, wo ich jetzt eher mit Engländern als mit Amerikanern zusammen bin.

Am Abend habe ich mich dann mit Neil zum dinner getroffen, und danach sind wir zu ihm gegangen. Das Wetter wat echt schön und so haben wir noch eine ganze Zeit draussen gesessen und haben Zeitung gelesen und uns unterhalten und das schöne Wetter genossen.

Heute war's nicht so toll, aber wir sind trotzdem noch in der Stadt gewesen. Erstmal haben wir in der Phoenix Bar einen Stop eingelegt und was getrunken. Danach wollte Neil ein neues Handy haben - nach über 2 Jahren war das auch mal nötig - und dann habe wir so noch ein bisschen run geguckt und der Abschluss war ein nettes leckeres Essen im Old Firehouse...

oh ja, ich bin ja auch dabei Spanish zu lernen :) Na ja, ich versuche es wenigstens. Ich hab mir vor 'ner Weile im iTunes Musik Laden ein Hörbuch zum Spanischlernen gekauft, aber man weiss ja nie genau wie viel man wirklich lernt wenn man keine Gelegenheit zum üben hat...