28 Dezember, 2007

update...

I got back last night after a pretty stressful day of traveling. At least it was all delayed by enough time that I still managed to catch the train from Reading I was booked on so I didn't have to buy a top up to my ticket so I could travel during peak time. It was nice to get back though, Neil collected me from the station and then cooked dinner pretty much instantly after we got home. Then we watched some things on video that he had taped while I was away, Have I got news for you was funny as always, and Omid Djalilli still makes us laugh.

this morning Neil got up early for work, and once i got up and unpacked I did a few loads of washing to get it done and then I met Neil in town during his lunch break. Lousy day out there, but I still wandered around town for a while. I can't believe how busy it is now, almost worse than it has been before Christmas!

My time at home was very nice. I went to my 10 year high school reunion which was a very bizarre night. Very surreal to see people again after over 10 years, and to see that some people hadn't changed at all. Still same haircut and fashion sense... And it was fun to see people's faces when I they heard my answer to the obligatory "and what are you doing now?" question. Seemed like hardly anyone thought I would be the one to go on and get my PhD... but who cares really. At first I didn't even want to go to the reunion, but my mom and also a friend of mine kept saying I should go even just for a little bit, because I would regret not having gone later. And it was nice to see some friendly faces, but it becomes more and more difficult to talk to people. Our lives are just so completely different that we just don't have that much to say to each other.

I also met with a few school friends for dinner one evening and with them it is very much the same. The three of them are very much settled where they are and they don't really understand much about what I do, and vice versa. so it is hard to have good flowing conversation, but I have learned that it is always a safe bet to ask one of them about their new babies and they can talk about that forever.

Christmas was nice and quite really, with one very few annoyances caused by my dad, as usual. He doesn't particularly like Christmas, or maybe it is just the fact that we get together with the whole family, but my mom and I really enjoy that part of Christmas. So anyway, Christmas eve we spent at home. I watched The Muppet's Christmas Carol and my mom cooked a delicious duck roast dinner. Then we exchanged presents and watched more christmassy stuff on the telly. Christmas day we went for a meal at lunch time with my mom's side of the family at a really nice restaurant. Very nice food again and then went to my aunt and uncle's house for coffee and cake in the afternoon. Then out of the blue my dad decided that he wanted to go to his parent's house which my mom wasn't quite as happy about as she pretended to be. We had hardly finished cake at my aunt and uncle's and then left. At my grandparent's house it is always busy, nearly all 9 of my dad's brothers and sisters were there with children, and now even some of my cousins have started having babies, so loads of people, and some of the small ones can be very very moody, which is not always fun to watch and listen to. Boxing Day one of my dad's brothers came over in the afternoon, otherwise the day was pretty nice and quiet and I had to get packed for my trip back.

17 Dezember, 2007

pre christmas cheers

since I got to Germany it has been pretty much just eating different christmassy things. I arrived Thursday night about an hour later than I was supposed to as the plane left late, but all else was ok. Friday my mom and I went to Hamburg for the day to just window shop and also to have steak. We always go to the same restaurant, and they can cook steak like no where else. It is so nice... After the day of shopping we dropped by my grandma's in the evening for an hour and then we came home to be lazy. Saturday we went to my grandma's house again for advent tea, coffee and cake in the afternoon. My mom's oldest sister and her youngest brother with family were there as well, so there was lots of cake... one of which was this one



it is my favourite christmas time cake, mostly because my grandma always makes it at this time of year, which is odd because it is even better with fresh strawberries, these ones are frozen ones... anyway... after we finished coffee and cake we got dressed up warm and went to a christmas market a few towns away. It was so nice to see a proper German Christmas market instead of the tiny one in Exeter... but it is still nice enough in Exeter. But the evening was spent there wandering around drinking Glühwein and Heißen Apfelpunsch.

oh yes one thing I do miss from Germany at Christmas time is what we call "Naschteller" something like munchie plate in English would be the closest... when I was younger my mom would make one for each of us here, now it is usually just one for all three of us. But this was the one at my grandma's house...



Yesterday my mom and I stayed in for most of the day, watched The Holiday on DVD and then later went out to have pizza at our favourite pizza place (I think you can see a theme there...)

Today we want to go to another Christmas Market, the one in Bremen as it is very big and very nice. I will try and take some photos... but can't promise anything. We went last year as well and really enjoyed it. Not sure how long that will take. But speaking of it, I better get in the shower and dressed now so we can head off.

More soon...

15 Dezember, 2007

Teignmouth Beach


CIMG1346, originally uploaded by ivo_loves_london.

I took this photo earlier this week on Teignmouth beach. Neil had the day off and we thought we should drive to the beach, and so we did. The drive was through very pretty countryside. We wandered through the town for a bit and along the beach and then we hit the archade on the pier and played on the 2p machines for a while. Somehow they are quite addictive. We didn't win much, and what we did win we put straight back into the machines. Very much fun though.

25 November, 2007

typical sunday really

I slept in quite nicely today after being woken up at 5:30 am with a blinding headache, and then went to meet some friends at Starbucks for a cuppa. It is always nice to get out of the house for a little bit, and I think the fresh air did me good as well. After coffee I went by the Apple store for a bit and it was much nicer today than yesterday. It wasn't as packed as yesterday when they just opened, and I had a play with the new iPod touch and the iPod classic as well as with Leopard. I am now thinking about upgrading, it seems worthwhile just for Time machine alone... but anyway. After the visit there I walked home, and was greeted by a very strange sight; Neil sitting on the sofa with my DS! It is the scrabble game that had him convinced. But then again he is really good at it, and can actually beat most of the opponents in one try, when I still need a few more gos. But it is still fun, I prefer the mini games - they really help with building vocabulary. Not much else going on today really, we are having roast later and then then just vegging on the couch I assume... maybe pub quizzing later, but no word yet.

23 November, 2007

finally

I am free... I finished all the marking I have to do this year... I still can't quite believe that I am done. It was quite a nightmare, but I am just thinking about it in terms of how much I will get paid at the end of December because I have all this marking done now. All the things I can do with that money, but I really should be careful and just be good and pay off my credit card rather than going crazy and spending it all on nice things.

Anyway, I was in town this afternoon and saw that the Ice Rink near the Castle is opening up and it is combined with a little Germany style christmas market - all it is really there are a few stalls with things to buy and then the obligatory Bratwurst stand. I only walked by briefly, and it looked authentic, but I need to find out if they are real and good Thüringer Bratwürste. Might see over the weekend if I fancy one!

Also apparently the Apple Retail Store in Exeter is opening up tomorrow morning, but at the moment it doesn't look like it is anywhere near ready. Still all boarded up on the outside and no shiny windows to display any cool things yet. But who knows, they are probably making everyone work like crazy so it is all perfect for tomorrow morning. I will go but not first thing in the morning, having a lie in is more important to me...

19 November, 2007

Monday morning...

gosh how in the world do weekends just disappear so quickly and we are back on another week... well this week isn't just another week, it is also another week of marking :( It's just not fun at all, I guess it would help if the module convenor would set a different assignment, but they are just the same every year... and for this particular one it has been the same for the last 4 or 5 years... very sad, but oh well. This year apparently the students are supposed to be better quality (A-level wise) but must have got stuck with the bad batch (the other markers have a higher average than me and I am not being too harsh we checked!) so I am hoping things will pick up with the ones I mark today. It isn't that it is the most difficult thing they have to do, I had to write more difficult papers in my first year and I did it all in a different language and there aren't that many students whose first language isn't English... anyway, enough ranting (sorry it is Monday morning) and better get to my lovely cup of tea that's waiting for me (Mmmmmhhhhh Roiboos Strawberry and Cream flavour yum!)

13 November, 2007

Once

went to see "Once" at the Picturehouse yesterday and it was brilliant. Well not very much happens in th film really, but it just really made you feel happy inside. The story is very simple. A busker on the streets of Dublin (?) meets a Big Issue seller and they record a few of his songs together and both are happy in the end with choices they made. Doesn't sound like much, but trust me the music more than makes up for lack of anything happening. Plus the girl dragging a vacuum cleaner through the streets as if it were a dog is just really funny!!!

this afternoon I got a pile of first year practical reports to mark by the 27th of this month, which will be nice for the money I am getting in December, but not so good for my sanity. First years are just a bit inaccurate in the way the report findings. should be interesting. and then of course I have all my own work as well, a paper that needs to be written, and a load of data to be analysed from two studies now. Still typing in data for one of them, but the other one can soon be written up... so I really should get to that, so that I can actually properly enjoy my christmas holiday.

oh speaking of collecting data... if you know of any men who have 3 minutes to spare and don't object to contributing to science, here is a link to my current study.

I have more than enough women, but it would help if I could get a few more men to fill it in, as the numbers are too unequal at the moment. so thanks to anyone who can help.

12 November, 2007

another weekend has come and gone way too quickly for my liking, but there you go. Not much that can really be done about it. It was a nice weekend though. Friday night we went for a drink with a uni friend who had finally submitted the final version of his PhD after a long time of trying to please the external examiner. then we came home and just vegged out on the couches and watched some tv.

Saturday I wasn't feeling too great, so I stayed in most of the day and in the evening again we met another friend for a drink at Mill on the Exe and then I came home and watched Ocean's 11 from the very nice big couch in our living room, while Neil went to play some snooker.

And then yesterday morning annoyingly started with my parents ringing with computer problems, so they kept me on the phone for a while and Neil was thinking we were having an argument. the main problem was them putting me on loud speaker on their end and then walking away from the phone so i couldn't hear a word of what they were saying and my dad just changing random settings on the computer and then not telling me about what he had done. That made me all flustered, but thankfully friends had invited us over for Sunday lunch and to see their new house. It was really nice to finally see the house, they moved in August, and now it is November... way too long. Anyway, we had a nice afternoon with them eating a lovely lunch, and then playing on their Wii for a while, then I saw I had a text from a friend who was desperately looking for a dinner buddy to use up a 2 for 1 Wagamama voucher. So I ended up going with her which was really nice, I had one of the ramen soups, and it was just the right thing. Not overly filling, but just really nice and tasty. I have been craving soups with this colder weather... not much else to report, we watched Top Gear and then A Long Way Down and played on the computers for a while, and then went to bed....

And now it is Monday morning already and I can't get myself out of bed... well I will be staying at uni late to though, so I can warrant going in a bit later. Hope the film tonight will be good. We are going to see "Once".

08 November, 2007

I'm really not feeling very good at the moment. It seems that my body can't quite decide whether it wants to be ill or not, so I am constantly in this weird stage of where I think I can get a good day's work done and then end up sitting in the office feeling all sluggish and lazy and can't get anything done. I wish it would just develop into something properly so I can just stay in bed for a few days and get better... but this way I just can't justify staying in bed. So I am just waiting now for the washing machine to finish the cycle and then I am off to uni to have yet another unsuccessful day. At least one thing to look forward too, Neil is back tonight :) YAY!

06 November, 2007

Elizabeth: The Golden Age

went to see the above film last night, and it was quite good... just a bit in the middle was a bit annoying and seemed to be superfluous to the rest of the plot (what a big word so early in the morning), but the fact that Clive Owen was in it made it all worth wile to watch. Cate Blanchett was brilliant again as Queen Elizabeth, but I thought the first film was better than this. But then again it was a long time since I have seen it. I seem to remember to have gone to see it to get some extra credit for a class in my very first year in college (1998 or 1999), don't know anymore though how that film related to the class I took.

04 November, 2007

weekend catch up...

First I should say that the Ann Summer's Party wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. We played a few slightly embarrassing games, but the lady who ran it was nice to the few of us who hadn't been to one of those parties before. I did feel slightly bad about not having any money to buy anything, but I also didn't quite see the point in spending so much money when I don't have the money... so maybe next time I just won't go...

The rest of the weekend has been nice. Yesterday afternoon I met some friends for starbucks coffee and then met Neil at the Continental Market to have an overpriced German Thüringer Bratwurst (something I much rather spend my money on twice a year) and then wandered home to watch Fireworks from the flat... some were really really nice, and there are more today!

Neil cooked a roast dinner/lunch today and we had friends over which was lovely and very relaxed.

02 November, 2007

I am off to an Ann Summers Party tonight - not quite sure what to expect... Hope it won't be too embarrassing :-/

31 Oktober, 2007

working from home this morning as I had to write a reference for one of my students. It still makes me feel a bit strange to suddenly be on the other side with all these things. It never really occurred to me when I was just teaching seminars, but now that I am marking and especially with having to write references it has dawned on me that I am actually getting to the other side. it is a very slow and unnoticeable transition, and it just hits you at some point and you wonder how it happened.

also just printed out the info I need to apply for permanent residency in the UK, from a first look at it it seems that I have to have been living in the UK for 5 years minimum anyway to be able to apply, so it will be a few more years until it will even be relevant. But these things are good to know. And it also means that I have a while until I will need to retake my driving test to get a ful UK license. For the moment I apparently can drive on my German one, so I think when i get paid a good amount I will put some money aside so I can take some driving lessons over here. sitting on the other side in the car, and more importantly relearning to drive a stick. That terrifies me a bit, not as much as roundabouts do though. they seem easy to get on, but very difficult to get off at the right exit, so I just see myself being stuck on a roundabout having to go round and round until no cars are left but me. A bit sad, but true... I have never really enjoyed driving anyway, but that's mostly because of other drivers' impatience more than anything else.

ok I think I should really get to uni now. I need to prepare the materials for the study I am running tomorrow. I really hope it will go well and the students will be a bit more responsive this time. I taught some of the same group in a seminar on Monday and most of them just didn't say a thing. Even when I picked on them they wouldn't... very strange. You'd think that the best of the best would be a bit more engaged in the material since they are here to learn, and they even want to be here... or maybe that is just my naive thinking. For me it is hard to believe that someone doesn't want to be at university. I had a few students last year who came to me asking for advice about dropping out, and it really was hard for me to imagine why anyone would want to leave once they got into such a good programme. but then again it's not for everyone, and I am sure they made the right decisions.

ok enough rambling now really... I need to get stuff done today!

30 Oktober, 2007

Digital Fortress

started reading this book and so far it is really good. Just as well written as the other ones i have read (Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons) and just as addictive. I started Digital Fortress the other night and ended up reading for about two hours even though I meant to go to bed early.

Lovefilm sent me Disc 1 of Scrubs Series 5 so I am looking forward to watching some new episodes, well not really new ones, but ones I haven't seen. Anyway, so much tv stuff to catch up on. I am still behind on NUMB3RS, but slowly getting caught up. House I am waiting for Series 3 to be released on DVD, and I really need to get my hands on CSI series 6 and 7. I am getting paid a nice amount at the end of next month, so that should be enough for a few treats.

Also been looking at these shoes. they might also be a treat sometime soon! although it would be nice if they existed in a different colour not just black. But oh well...

we watched Oz and James' big Wine Adventure earlier, funny as always!

27 Oktober, 2007

having a fairly lazy weekend so far, not much to report on in the last few days really. I cooked my all time ever favourite meal tonight, my mom's maccaroni casserole and it turned out quite good. I had seen one of the vital ingredients - Fleischwurst - in Sainburys a while ago so I got it and asked my mom to send another one of the vital ingredients that I have not been able to find over here, and when that finally arrived this morning I just had to cook the casserole for dinner tonight. We both enjoyed it, and then decided to have some pudding at the pub. It is great living so close to such a nice pub...

Last weekend we went to see Russell Howard the comedian. He was brilliant, very quick with improvising on things the audience was shouting - not that we were shouting that much. But he was great, made me laugh so much my stomach actually hurt. Would definitely recommend him to anyone who is in the mood for a good evening of comedy.

Tomorrow will be another lazy weekend day, I love those days. Neil can beat me a few more times at scrabulous on facebook - I am so rubbish at it it isn't even funny... and I might read a bit of Freud, or maybe a bit of the Dan Brown book I bought at the Oxfam shop the other day. My mom said it is one of the best ones, Digital Fortress I think it is called. Will report later. There are so many books on my bookshelf I should read really... but then I go to the library and take out random books I come across. A few weeks ago I borrowed "Die Stadt der Träumenden Bücher" by Walter Moers. He is this comic writer from Germany who got into writing novels, and they are just completely bizzare and strange, but at the same time so funny. If you come across it get out "the 13 and 1/2 lives of Captain Bluebear", it is a great read! So much interesting stuff to read, when I really should re-read that article for the seminar I am teaching on Monday afternoon, but then I am thinking I can just read the article Monday morning and read something fun while I am at home... when actually the article for the seminar is not completely uninteresting... about face perception in infants, and about the fact that babies under 6 months old can distinguish between two different monkey faces, while children older than 6 month and adults have completely lost that ability. I am still not quite sure why researchers really care about this, but science is fascinating that way... so many questions to be answered and even more to be asked yet...

Hmmm, on that thought I think it is time to get ready for bed!

20 Oktober, 2007

it can be done after all

yes I finally did it! I solved the rubik's cube :)

18 Oktober, 2007

am I really that much of a geek?

every since Neil put the games out on the bookshelf in the living room i have become somewhat obsessed with the rubix cube of his. And then Neil mentioned seeing something about someone solving one in about 30 seconds I was even more determined. So I went onto YouTube and found a little video about how to do it, but for some reason I am only getting there about 2/3 of the way. Something keeps going wrong in the last few steps, and I can't figure out what it is I am doing wrong. I do realise this makes me sound like a complete geek, but I have always been a bit of a geek anyway so I don't really care... I just want to solve that rubix cube now... at the moment I am once again 2/3 done and only need to solve the last layer

edited a bit later:
I think this one can't be done... I am following the steps exactly and it just messes the whole thing up. This is impossible, I have no idea what I am doing wrong and I am determined to get this done... it has to be done!!!!!

maybe it is time for bed...

14 Oktober, 2007

I'm enjoying a lazy sunday today. Neil left early in the morning to go to Thruxton for the Touring Car championships and now I am considering what to do for the day. I was going to meet up with a friend in the afternoon but she has been struck down by freshers flu, so she needs some rest. I might still wander up to town and have some starbucks tea or something anyway... will decide in a bit. I need to get something to eat anyway and need to buy something for Neil to have when he comes home later.

13 Oktober, 2007

Fishing boats or sailing boats


DSC02126, originally uploaded by ivo_loves_london.

ok one more Cornwall photo. Neil's dad took this very nice photo while we were down there recently, I think it was in Mevagissy (or as Neil and I liked calling it Megavissy)

finally back online

Talktalk have finally finally managed to send us the broadband modem we've been waiting for for the past couple of weeks. It has been strange not having internet. Neil kept saying how much he enjoyed not having the internet for a while and then got a bit annoyed about not having it for little things. I have been been feeling a bit like I was cup off from the world without it at home. Not being able to update my facebook was the most annoying, even though I was on it almost everyday at uni anyway. It is just different having internet at home and at the office... anyway, now we are back online and I should be updating this more frequently. Sorry for all the abandonment over the past few months... but then again not that much happened besides the moving in with Neil.

05 Oktober, 2007

Neil and I in front of giant rhubarb

well it isn't really rhubarb, but it looked a lot like it

28 September, 2007

oh yes we went camping...


101_4678.JPG, originally uploaded by ivo_loves_london.

while we were in Cornwall. Thankfully only for a night as I was very uncomfortable and didn't sleep very well... but maybe with a better airbed and slightly warmer night time temperatures it might be fun.

27 September, 2007

Cornwall Photo


101_4732.JPG, originally uploaded by ivo_loves_london.

one of the photos we took while we were in Cornwall...

20 September, 2007

this post is long overdue

sorry about the delay in blogging updates, but things have been a bit hectic since I have come back from Germany. But first things first. I have had a wonderfully long and relaxing time in Germany mostly spent with my mom not doing a lot. We drove to the north sea coast for a few days to a place called Cuxhaven and enjoyed the last few bits of sunshine and the beach and walking in the "watt" as we call it in German, not sure what it would be called in English. After that little holiday my stay in Germany was almost over and it was back to England for me. It was exciting to come back as I moved all my things into the new flat and now have been living in the new flat with Neil since the 30th of August. So far it is all going well and I love the amount of space we have. A fairly big kitchen/living room, two bed rooms (one of which will be the study/guestroom) and a nice size bathroom with an actual bath tub in it. The location is excellent as well, right by the river and very near one very nice pub.
Last weekend we went to Cornwall from Thursday to Monday to attend a wedding. They couldn't have been luckier with the weather that day. The weather was ok all weekend, but on occasion it did drizzle and rain a bit, but not Saturday. From morning until evening it was the most beautiful and probably the last very nice day like this for this summer. The venue was overlooking the sea so the wedding photos will be really nice I am sure. But since we stayed for a couple days longer we also had a chance to see a bit more of the south coast of Cornwall which was really nice for me as I had never been to Cornwall before. So beautiful. Unfortuately I forgot my camera at home so we had to make due with Neil's camera, still very good photos, just not as many as I propably would have taken ;) They and also photos from my trip to Germany will be up here once our internet has been connected. Should happen in the next few weeks, the go live date we were given at sign up was the 29th of September and I really hope that it will happen by then. Also there are some photos from Germany on my Flickr Photo page
This weekend is another wedding to go to and tonight are Stag and Hen evenings for the bride and groom. Should be fun as the girls are going to the Old Firehouse here in Exeter another very nice pub. Once this wedding is done that will be it for this year and weddings... I will have been to 4 of them... somehow people have become wedding crazy...

ok that will need to do for an update for now... there will be more once the braodband is connected

18 August, 2007

just about to leave for a friend's wedding. should be fun but also will last quite long. The church thing is at 4pm and then reception starts at 5:30pm and could last until after midnight. Hope some nice people are there and my friend didn't seat me with all the lonely people who are there on their own...

14 August, 2007

finally finished Harry Potter :-) Very good book!

13 August, 2007

just slightly more geek

Your Geek Profile:

Academic Geekiness: Moderate
Geekiness in Love: Moderate
Gamer Geekiness: Low
General Geekiness: Low
Internet Geekiness: Low
SciFi Geekiness: Low
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12 August, 2007

to Denmark and back in a day

This morning after we finished breakfast my mom and dad decided that since the weather was looking so nice we would drive up to the coast somewhere. Then my mom said let's go to the Baltic Sea coast to which my dad replied why not go to Denmark? And so we did. Loaded up the car with all our things and then took off. It took us about 2.5 hours to get across the boarder and then we found a nice little beach not far away. We spent about 3 and a half hours there and now just got home after stopping for food on the way home. A nice day, but rather too much time spent in the car. But at least that gave me time to get some more Harry Potter read. I am very near the end now, such a good book but very dark and disturbing things have happened... hope it will have a happy-ish end!

10 August, 2007

Germany so far

is not bad... the first day the weather wasn't too great, but yesterday was thoroughly nice, we sat out on the balcony until about 10 pm. Then little bugs were attacking so we decided to come inside. We went to see my grandma in the afternoon with was nice. I have tried to find a new pair of glasses over here, but just can't find anything that I like... might have another think about trying contact lenses. I will need to see if I can wear the all day and all night ones, which would be nice. That way I don't have to put them in and take them out on a daily basis, and I won't have the initial cost of about £200 at once which I would have with glasses. I'll just have to have another look here and if I really don't find anything then have a look in Specsavers when I am back. Not much planned for today. My mom just went to the airport to collect my dad, he is coming back from Ethiopia and we have no idea what work has planned for him this next week. So we might go with him if he has to go somewhere where it is nice enough. Then next weekend is my uncle's birthday and the next day the wedding. After that we might go to the baltic sea coast here in Germany like we did last summer. We had a good time and it is nice up there when the weather is good enough.

also just so you know... I have just rung the estate agents again and they said that now everything is actually in order for Neil to start the moving in on Monday!!!! I thought it was all fine when my friend said he got an email from them that they received his forms, but I just wanted to make sure. And now it is sure! YAY :o)

08 August, 2007

Holiday

I have arrived safely in Germany and am enjoying being home. Especially since we got a new wireless router, and it is great I can be anywhere in the house and be on the internet without wires! Not sure what the plans are at the moment, but I will enjoy it. This morning I have already fixed my mom's computer problems she had been complaining about for a while and set up the wireless internet connection. Now I need to figure out some things for another piece of software my mom has new and then I should be all set for the work my mom said I need to do while I am here.

Weather is not too great at the moment, but at least it is dry... and not too humid. We are still thinking of going away for a few days, but not sure when we will do that. My dad might be coming home as well in a few days, so we might wait until after he has gone away again for yet more work.

Housing stuff should now be all sorted - I hope so anyway!!! My friend in Australia got back to me and he sent all the forms they wanted back by fax and they confirmed that they received it all. So it really should all be in order...

06 August, 2007

lots of stuff to do today

well maybe not that much, but it feels like a lot. The first thing after getting ready for the day is going to the lettings agency so I can sign my part of the contract. That is also the most important thing I have to do today. Once that is done I can come home and finish my packing for Germany and then need to pack a few bits Neil wants to take so he can be set up in the new flat when he moves. Then I need to book a seat on the train for tomorrow morning and since I can check-in for the plane online I will take advantage of that. I have never been able to do that before, so that should be exciting! But first things first.... I need to make a cup of tea :) while I am listening to the new Radio station that has replaced Classic Gold... now just called GOLD... so far I am not liking it very much :(

edited after lunch:

more complications with Fulfords now... as I said I went in this morning and signed my contract, and then the woman said ok now we will contact your guarantor so he can sign the contract for you as well... which is when I freaked out as my friend who is my guarantor is now in Australia on a research visit for 6 weeks. I can't believe she didn't tell us about this... every time I go in they say a little bit and then next time say that we need something else. At least she said they can send him the contract via email and he can fax it back. Now I just need to get a hold of him and see if he can use a fax machine to send it back before the end of this week. Gosh I just can't believe this! So once again keep your fingers crossed that this will all be sorted out as soon as possible!

better get back to packing now!

03 August, 2007

the end of classic gold as we know it

I am a bit sad to say that my favourite wake up to radio station will cease to exist as it has been later today. I had no idea this was happening until this morning when I switched it on and Tony Blackburn said that this was their very last show today... I suppose now that I have admitted to this people will think about me a bit differently... ah well I don't really care. I am doing a PhD I must be a bit insane :P. That said I better get into gear and start my day now.

01 August, 2007

news

today finally finally I got a message from the estate agency and all the references are now in order and we can now arrange for the contracts to be signed! This is such a relief. I have been so stressed out over all of this, because I was worried I would be the reason Neil will be homeless :( But now it has all been sorted out, and I can go and sign the paperwork before I leave for my summer holiday in Germany, and then Neil will take care of the rest once the move in date comes around. Less than 2 weeks now, so it is all approaching very fast! I am very excited now and finally won't need to be stressed anymore :o)

31 Juli, 2007

Stonehenge again

just found this photo and thought it was quite good... Stonehenge in the distance

Stonehenge from the distance

28 Juli, 2007

Stonehenge

Neil is doing such a good job blogging about London, that I should really do a bit as well. But since he has pretty much covered the whole trip now pretty much, all that is left for me to add really are some photos of Stonehenge. I was quite excited that we would go past it so I could see it... so here it is...
Stonehenge
through a fence, but nonetheless impressive. Neil had warned me when we were getting closer to it, and he was still the first one to spot it. Oh well... I have to admit that I was a little bit disappointed when I saw it, and at first thought it was a lot smaller than I thought it would be, but now a bit later I do think it is very cool. To think that a group of people put it there such a long time ago...
CIMG1136
CIMG1134

25 Juli, 2007

the funny thing with Harry Potter...

is that in all the waiting time between the books you almost forget how addictive the reading actually is. I started about 9pm last night and thought I would read for an hour and then listen to the comedy on the radio on BBC7 at 10, and by the time I looked up from the book I was at the end of chapter 6 or 7 and it was 11:25 and most of the comedy was over. Ah well... at least I finally started it and will be done soon, so I can have normal conversations with my friends again rather than telling them "don't tell me anything about what happens... I want to find out myself!"

ok new day more dealing with housing things... was hoping to get it all settled by the end of this week, but totally forgot about the wedding on Friday that starts at 2 in the afternoon... but I can still hope it all will be sorted by the end of this week!

24 Juli, 2007

my so called life

is such a genius show... I have just finished the last DVD in the series and just can't believe it is over. They could have developed it into so much more than it was, and it ended with no explanation of anything really. They just left the viewers hanging... still very good and Jordan Catalano is just so cute!!!

Well, I said I would blog about London, but Neil is doing a much better job than I would, so have a look here for a description of our trip.

housing matters are still not sorted out, but hopefully will by the end of this week. potentially found someone who is willing to help out, but will see if the agency will say that they actually can help. So keep your fingers crossed. And in the process also found out that the advice unit at our university is actually not able to give any constructive advice at all. When I told them about my problem their solution was to just not deal with that estate agent... very helpful!

Anyway... I don't want to get into it again have been ranting at most of my friends (and supervisors actually!) about it and I'd just like to relax, so I am going to bed early tonight to read the Harry Potter book so I can finally know what happens at the end!

22 Juli, 2007

back from London...

we had a great time in London, but it was all very exhausting. I completely forgot about the different pace up there, but it was so nice to be back as well. I am feeling quite tired now, so I think I will write a proper blog tomorrow once I have imported all my photos to the computer as well.

17 Juli, 2007

London here we come!

I am quite excited about our little trip to London. We've planned this quite some time ago and it always felt like it was ages away, but now it is tomorrow that we are off. should be fun with the various things we have planned... a taping of the Now Show, a concert in the BBC Proms series, meeting up with some of Neil's friends, meeting up with one of my friends, going to various cinemas, and maybe even a chance to buy the brand new Harry Potter book.

Also this afternoon I dropped off the guarantor paper work with the estate agent so keep your fingers crossed that we will hear back from them soon with an official move in date! I am now starting to be really excited about moving house... it did seem like a bit of a nightmare for a bit, but now seems to be sorted. More when we are back on Sunday!

15 Juli, 2007

new survey

If you would like to participate in my new survey and would like to be entered into the draw to win a £20 Amazon.co.uk voucher please click here . There is no limit on who can participate. Thank you!

11 Juli, 2007

is this really me?

You Are From the Sun

Of all your friends, you're the shining star.
You're dramatic - loving attention and the spotlight.
You're a totally entertainer and the life of the party.
Watch out! The Sun can be stubborn, demanding, and flirty.
Overall, you're a great leader and great friend. The very best!

09 Juli, 2007

getting caught up

just getting up and thought it must be time to write a bit on my blog after neglecting it for a while... Monday morning, but actually at the moment Monday mornings don't feel quite as bad as they do during term time.

Had a good week, nothing much really happened. I had the first official meeting with my new PhD supervisor Carole. I had been a bit worried about how things would change, but she is happy with how things are going at the moment. We have mapped out the next three studies I am going to do for my thesis, and we will need to start working on getting things written up.

Last night we went to some friends' house for dinner, and it was really nice. The evening ended with watching a bit of Wallace and Gromit, which is always good.

04 Juli, 2007

new supervisor

tomorrow I will have the first official meeting with my new supervisor. I am both excited about it, and at the same time a bit worried. The last two times we have met with her my old supervisor was there as well so she may have been a bit cautious with saying what she really thought about my research. Recently I had sent her some things to look at and her comment was "we can discuss this when we meet next week", so I am wondering how much that will be. Major changes to what I thought I was doing? Hopefully only minor changes...

I have been slightly lazy the past few days, well weeks actually. I always managed to do bit of work here and there, but nothing major. I am still waiting to hear if I got accepted to go to that conference in Memphis in October, and if I am I will have to prepare a poster about one of my previous studies and then also finish writing that paper I submitted sometime in March. I can't ever understand why these things take so long to get through. By the time I get to anything I won't even remember what I have written in the paper. Oh well I guess I will manage fine, I did fine at my first conference so should be good now. If this one doesn't work out there is always next year and maybe even the year after that... we shall see.

Oh something else. I have finally finally discovered all the great things You Tube has to offer. I always knew it was there, but never really knew what it had to offer. So I have been browsing around there much of this evening and yesterday. Found Friends bloopers which really made me laugh, saw Hugh Laurie long before people even thought of him as Gregory House, and also found some Eddie Izzard comedy. The latter is great too...

27 Juni, 2007

not much going on

There hasn't been much to blog about recently... the weather has been appalling over the past few days - well actually over the past few weeks - but it is finally brightening up a tiny bit. If it just goes like that bit by bit it will be nice in August when I am in Germany :) Speaking of Germany today is Siebenschläfer (Seven Sleepers Day I think I would be over here if it existed) and the thing is that people will watch the weather very closely today, because whatever the weather will be like today it will be like this for the next 7!!!! weeks. I have no idea where this comes from, or how true this actually is, but I remember summers where it has been raining an awful lot and my mom said that it had rained on Siebenschläfer.

I had my last official meeting with my current supervisor, which was a bit weird. I thought it would be something like "ok now we have worked together for this long so we should keep in touch..." but all it was in the end was looking at my current study and he handed me a copy of a PhD thesis submitted over 10 years ago so I can have a look at it and see what I am up against. Then he said we should write a paper together so I can have at least a publication in my PhD and that was pretty much it. Ah well, it was nice anyway, he said he will be around next academic year so I should stop by his office wherever that might be. From next Thursday onwards the new supervisor is officially taking over, should be good.

I also met a friend at Wagamama's the other night, which was good as always. I had my usual, although I am thinking that I should really become a bit more adventurous and try out different things. Maybe next time...

25 Juni, 2007

Rain

I really don't like all this rainy weather we have been having. Looking out it just doesn't make me want to go up to uni, but some of my students want to come and get their essays so I really have to be there. Ah well... at least I have Wagamama tonight to look forward to :) Better get a move on then

23 Juni, 2007

had a lovely evening with friends in Georges meeting house and now just got home and discovered that Garrison Keillor's radio show (might be familiar if you have seen A Prairie Home Companion at the movies) is on one of the digital stations I listen to. So I have put that on now while I am getting ready for bed. Hope you're having a lovely weekend!

22 Juni, 2007

not much going on

not much has been happening this week so far, just been to uni and tried to work and met Neil for a drink and for the most part tried to dodge the rain sometimes more successful than other times. The weather has been dreadful really, but hopefully it will pick up over the weekend! Trying to get a study up and running and that's pretty much it. Last night I watched a few episodes of House on DVD and it is just really good. Hugh Laurie is the best they could have got to play Dr. House, incredible how well he can fake the American accent...

19 Juni, 2007

Open Day

I helped out with open day today and it was the same as every time I have done this before. We got some very eager people asking some very sensible questions, and then some really ditsy ones asking some really silly questions. But we are just polite and try to answer every questions as best and as politically correct as we can. I mean seriously, I had one person come up to me asking how Psychology at degree level is different from A level psychology. What are you supposed to say that something like that. And we didn't just get that question once... Still most of them I would welcome to be my personal tutees, while others I think i would just plain reject... But I am home now and I can relax :)

15 Juni, 2007

back already

this was really a very short trip. I can't believe I am already back in Exeter. I had a great time at home though. We did all we wanted on this trip. Starlight Express was a lot of fun too. We found out that it is the musical that has been playing the longest in one place in the world. It has been in Bochum in Germany for the past 19 years... Although I have been wondering how long Phantom of the Opera has been playing in London at Her Majesty's Theatre. Anyway, the show was excellent, I couldn't believe how good they were at dancing and singing on roller skates. Also part of the show were a few stunt skaters on inline skates; they were really cool with their high jumps and other things they did. After the show we drove home and then it was just another evening at home and then back to Exeter.
The journey back was ok, but delayed slightly by various things... plane didn't leave on time and then some Heathrow Express train had broken down on the train tracks and blocked anything coming out of London so my train from Reading was delayed as well. But I still got back before 7 pm, but felt very tired.
And then yesterday was the party to celebrate Neil's mum's retirement and birthday. It was a whole day of meeting lots of people, but I seemed to have done well :) I always think nothing can be as intimidating as meeting my huge family...

12 Juni, 2007

just a quick post

I've made it to Germany fine and now sitting here in the very hot and humid office writing this quick post. Just got home after a full day of stuff. This morning we went to Hamburg and met my aunt to have breakfast at an all you can eat place near the Alster (a river in Hamburg). It was really lovely weather so we sat outside and enjoyed the view from there over the river. Then we wandered around a bit and then my mom and I came back home. Then I got my hair cut and now I am getting ready to meet with some old school friends for dinner. Tomorrow we are off to Bochum for the musical so might not get a chance to post before I come back again Thursday. Hope you are all well!

10 Juni, 2007

going home

I'll be off to Germany tomorrow and I am really excited. Finally it is time for my mom and I to go see Starlight Express. I really hope that it will be as good as I think it is. There has been so much build up... been wanting to see this ever since I was 15 or 16 or something around then. Still I get a trip to Germany and I get to see my mom for a few days. Lots planned as well for the few days I am there. I fly out tomorrow night from Heathrow and then will be home by about 11pm German time. Tuesday we are meeting my aunt for brunch, the might pop by my grandma's on the way home and then I am getting a haircut before I am meeting some friends from school. Wednesday we drive down to Bochum to see the musical in the evening, stay the night there and drive back Thursday and Friday I fly back to England again. Just a flying visit, but still at least i get to go at all.

09 Juni, 2007

Ocean's Thirteen

was quite good, although not as good as the first one. I still think Ocean's Eleven was the best out of the three but I still like them all. This one was just as predictable as the second one, but if you enjoyed the other two this is still worth going to watch. And a plus point is that Eddie Izzard is in it as well, amongst all the other hotties. I prefer George Clooney over Brad Pitt always have really... anyway, the film was good and I had a lovely afternoon with a friend. Now waiting for Neil to come by after watching the Formula 1 Qualifying.

being tagged...

my friend Sarah has tagged me on the "8 things about you" thingie but she didn't stop there and more things even more complicated by saying "8 things with the number 8 in them"... Right now I can't think of any thing that has an 8 in it besides this:

8 is twice the number of academic degrees I already have ;)
8 is the number of years that I have not lived in Germany in all of my life, although soon that will be 9.

so that is it for now... if I think of something else I'll add it on later...

off to see a friend who had a knee operation last week Friday and then I am meeting another friend to go see Ocean's 13!

Saturday

I almost can't believe how early I am awake today, but it must mean that I am feeling much better, and I think I am :) Not much planned for the day really... just doing a little bit of cleaning in my flat as I hate coming home to an unclean place after a holiday, and then I might pop by a friend's house on my way into town this afternoon. Going to see Ocean's 13 this afternoon. I hope it is as good as the other ones. I know it isn't a masterpiece of a story, but still enjoyable enough plus this one is much shorter than Pirates 3. Still not sure I really want to sit in a cinema for nearly 3 hours to see that one. Mark Kermode's review was not very positive. Actually I will have to listen to the one he did for Ocean's 13... although that might not be very positive either. Ok better make a cup of tea now and start my day.

08 Juni, 2007

hand over

I had a meeting with both my old and my new supervisor today and it went really well. Carole - the new supervisor - has a lot of really good ideas and she seems very enthusiastic about my project. I am so happy about it all and that finally things are sorted out. Makes me feel so much more at ease and that I can actually do it. I also got the official notice that I will be allowed to register as PhD rather than MPhil. this means the department or well those three people that were in my upgrade meeting at least think that I can actually do this. Anyway I feel better about my PhD again... and I want to get it done now!

07 Juni, 2007

PhD

I have just found out that I will be allowed to register as PhD student for next academic year... finally. I have been waiting to hear this for the past three months! I am so relieved. Now I will be able to enjoy my break at home much more. Although it is just a short break. Hopefully later in the summer I will be able to go home for a bit longer, even though it doesn't really look like that at the moment. Anyway, I am really happy about the upgrade having gone well and also the supervisor issue is sorted out! Will be meeting with both of them (old and new) tomorrow to see how we can move things forward and make it so I can finish as soon as possible! :)

Packard Bell most innovative Brand of the year 2007?

I really wonder who voted for that. I had one of their laptops and it went wrong after about 3 months with the screen being flickery all the time and also the CD drive not working properly anymore. After 3 months... that's really not good enough. I would think the livfe cycle of a laptop should be around 3 years. But who knows maybe they are good at all the other things they do...
ich glaub ich hab schon wieder eine Erkältung, aber wenigstens hab ich bis jetzt kein Fieber!!! Not much going on here. Yesterday i should have done quite a lot of work which I didn't end up doing because met Neil and some friend for lunch, and today I am feeling ill. sore throat and blocked up nose... and I still have to be at uni by about 11 for my office hour. Those students are doing my head in at the moment. I keep telling them that I am away next week and they need to come get their essays and other course work before then, or they will have to wait until I am back the following week. It is really odd, they seemed to desperate to get the essays back and now they are piling up on my desk... anyway, my upgrade meeting is this morning. Luckily I don't have to be there to defend it at this stage, but I am curious what they will be talking about. I hope Brian will do a good job representing me... he has been saying it will be fine, and I hope he is right with that. I just want to get this done now and then get a job that pays me loads of money ;) Anyone know of a job in marketing a something similar... let me know! ok probably it is time for a shower now... then I can have some breakfast and then get ready to go. I am looking forward to a meal at Wagamama tonight YUMYUMYUM!

06 Juni, 2007

lovely afternoon

Neil suggested yesterday that we should meet up for lunch at Gino's which we did. It was nice, friends of ours joined us as well. Afterwards we went to Mill on the Exe to sit in the sun and have a few drinks. now I have come home and need to actually do some work which I didn't do this morning. Supervision meeting tomorrow right after they have my upgrade meeting... keep your fingers crossed that they say I can write up as PhD and not finish with just an MPhil! Will all be decided tomorrow at 11 am

lazy blogger...

hab nicht ganz so viel geschrieben in der letzten Woche. Na ja, hatte eben andere Sachen zu tun, und dann war ich natürlich mal wieder viel zu faul ;) Egal, jetzt ist mal wieder Zeit ein update zu schreiben. Letzte Nacht hab ich auch mal wieder ganz gut geschlafen, was bei diesem komischen Wetter in letzter Zeit nicht so unbedingt möglich war. Und dann noch der ganze Stress mit Brian und wer dann ab July meine Dr. Arbeit supervised (nicht wirklich ein deutsches Wort aber egal). Aber so wie es aussieht ist das jetzt alles ein bisschen mehr unter Kontrolle. Bis jetzt war nicht so viel los in dieser Woche, aber ist ja auch erst Mittwoch. Am Wochenende hab ich mich mit der Freundin zum Kaffee trinken getroffen, und Neil und ich waren bei Freunden und haben Wii gespielt. Das macht immer Spass auch wenn ich nicht ganz so gut darin bin. Bei dem einen Spiel hatte ich überhaupt keine Ahnung was man da machen musste und hab total verloren. Na ja, am Montag hatten wir dann die Postgraduate Conference in der Fakultät. Ist ganz gut gelaufen, und ich war froh dass ich dieses Jahr keinen Vortrag gehalten habe. Keine Lust auf den Stress und so viele Leute die dann immer zu hören. Und so fragen sind manchmal echt blöd, weil mein Thema so anders ist. Gestern hab ich dann nur einen halben Tag was getan und heute sieht es genau so aus. Neil hat frei und er wollte sich zum Lunch treffen und dann am Nachmittag was machen, aber was wir dann machen weiss ich auch nicht. Na ja, mal sehen, erst mal muss ich mich jetzt für den Tag fertig machen... schon wieder halb 8...

31 Mai, 2007

feeling lazy

it is a bit weird that I always feel particularly lazy on days when students might come by to see me... must be a sign. Maybe I am allergic to them. Actually they are not so bad overall, just the odd one who is making some trouble, but that's really it. I am just glad I am not having to deal with anything worse, and it has been fun during this year anyway. I think I will sign up for it again next year... the little extra money is quite nice! Better get in gear now or I'll be late for my own office hour... we don't want that!

30 Mai, 2007

half term

it was so busy in town! I tried to get a seat in Starbucks, but no luck at all. And then it also started raining again. It had brightened up quite a bit, but that just shows, never be optimistic about the weather in the country. You'll just end up getting disappointed in the end. Well, I am getting hungry so I think I will start making my dinner. I got some Indian food from Sainsburys and I am really looking forward to that.
I am not having the most productive day today. I would have liked to stay at home and work from there, but they are doing room inspections today, so that would have been a bit disruptive. So I came to the office and did a bit of work. Not really being productive. Maybe lunch and a Starbucks would be good... is it quarter to 2 so maybe that would be ok, not so busy anymore and I could do a bit more work.

29 Mai, 2007

Photos!

Here are some photos from the trip yesterday!

Das bin ich mit Oddicombe Beach im Hintergrund


Neil und ich. Warum musste es auch so windig sein, ich seh immer so doof aus wenn der Wind mir so durch die Haare weht.

Neil, seine Mama und sein Papa


Die Bäume auf diesem Bild sehen aus wie am Mittelmeer, sind aber auf 'ner Klippe in der Nähe von Torquay. Wirklich schön.

Hier bin ich nochmal, diesmal sehe ich nicht ganz so doof aus...

28 Mai, 2007

Bankholiday Monday

had a lovely day today. Started out with the thought of going to Haldon Forest but then took a wrong turn somewhere and ended up near Newton Abbot which was where Neil's mum and dad were headed for the day. So we gave them a ring and then met up with them and spent a few hours driving around the Torbay area. It was a lovely day out... I am trying to upload some photos but for some reason it is taking very very long. I'll have to try again tomorrow.

27 Mai, 2007

just watched The Best of Top Gear and it is just so funny. I wonder who has to ideas of all the crazy things they do. Today they showed the Supercar Challenge they did a while ago. They all bought supercars for under £10,000 and then had to drive from Bristol to a stripclub in Slough. Neither of them actually made it in the end, as their cheap supercars were rubbish hehe, it was so much fun to watch again. Now I am watching something called "Bring Back Dallas". I am not sure what the point of it is... but it is slightly amusing. I guess this is what I need after day of being bored so much that I even ended up doing work! I still can't believe myself, I have never done work on a Sunday when I didn't need to. ok... back to TV watching now.

Sunday and rain

just getting up, even though I have been awake for about an hour. I like lazing around in bed on weekends, well actually I like that all the time, but never allow myself to do it during the week... It's a bank holiday weekend here, and the weather is rubbish. just grey and raining. Oh well, nothing can be done about it really. Last bank holiday was the same... I am meeting a friend later for coffee and that's pretty much all that I have planned for this weekend. Neil and I were thinking of going somewhere tomorrow, but doesn't look like that will happen. Ah well...


later...

my friend had to cancel meeting up for coffee, so I am pretty bored now... watching Friends on DVD and thinking about what to do. I even did a bit of work...

26 Mai, 2007

time for a change

I thought it was time to give my blog a new look... so here it is! Not much been going on today. Gave my room a good clean to be ready for the room inspection on Wednesday and just because I felt like it needed it as well. Went into town for a little while as well, but it was just way too busy so I didn't stay very long. Now I have just been sitting here fiddling with the blog and listening to Rigor Mortis and the Mark Steel Lecture on the listen again on the BBC Radio player.

25 Mai, 2007

TGIF

gosh this past week has not been the greatest university wise. Well actually it was fine, but I just don't feel that motivated to get things done when I don't know what's happening in a few months time. Anyway... tonight was a really nice evening. I met Neil after work and we went for dinner at Strada, one of the new restaurants in town. Very yummy food! Afterwards we wandered around Rougemont Gardens for a while enjoying the weather and waiting until it was time to meet up with some friends. Had a very nice evening of hanging out and playing poker... I was only £1.25 down, even though I had 4 queens at one point. That was my first 4 of a kind playing poker ever!


later... what a disappointment... Neil just said they didn't actually bake the whole car for the advert in my previous post... and I thought it was such a neat idea.... how easily am I fooled???

22 Mai, 2007

car cake? cake car?

just heard about this on the radio news



incredible, some people really have too much time on their hands, and too much money to waste for that matter...

21 Mai, 2007

Monday again already

i can't believe it is Monday already again. This past weekend just went by way too fast. I probably should have been doing some work, but didn't do any at all. Weekends are for relaxing! That's how I try to convince myself ;) Didn't do very much else yesterday. Watched a bit of DVD and wandered around town for a while in the afternoon. it was quite nice, not too crowded. Maybe I should just go shopping more often on a Sunday rather than a Saturday as the latter are always really crowded, even now when it isn't close to Christmas at all. Ah well... doesn't really matter at all. I should really get a move on now. Students might come by and collect their essays and other assignments I have and i should get some work done considering that I am meeting with Brian again tomorrow and have not done a thing since I last saw him.

20 Mai, 2007

After the Wedding

We went to see "after the wedding" at the cinema last night. Excellent film... here is that the picturehouse website has to say about it:

Continuing in the spirit of Bier’s recent films OPEN HEARTS and BROTHERS, AFTER THE WEDDING is a sensitively rendered film about emotional honesty and difficult choices. Jacob (Mikkelsen) runs a struggling orphanage in India. He is presented with a large cash donation on certain conditions, the first being that he returns to Copenhagen to meet his mystery benefactor Jørgen (Rolf Lassgård). Jørgen then engineers Jacob's attendance at his daughter's wedding and this event presents Jacob with a troubling revelation, which raises a series of heartbreaking dilemmas for all involved. Bier's sure directorial hand, balance and economy, coupled with a first-rate script and finely nuanced performances ensure that AFTER THE WEDDING speaks directly to one's emotions without overwhelming them.

We really enjoyed it a lot. It was very different from what I expected from the trailers, but still it was very good. All about family relationships and things like that. Very recommendable... just be warned it is subtitled

19 Mai, 2007

Saturday

today had been a fairly nice Saturday. I got up not too early for a Saturday and had some food while watching an episode of a TV show called "Las Vegas". It has been on the tv in the US for several seasons already, but I only now found it on Lovefilm. It is quite good, set in Las Vegas in a fictional casino, and all about the workings of the casino. So far it has been quite good...
For lunch time I went into town to meet a friend at Wagamama, which was very yummy as always. And cheap as well this time, between us we had to pay £12, which can't be right I am thinking, but oh well. After that I wandered around town for a bit before lunch, went into Monsoon to try on a few things that might be good to get for the upcoming weddings that we are invited to. But still haven't found anything that I really liked. Maybe it is just this years fashion... Anyway now I am home for a bit, but almost on my way out again. We are going to see "After The Wedding" at the Picturehouse tonight. The trailers looked very good, and I hope it ends up being as good. this will be film 18 of this year... when it is only week 20 of the year... it is weird, it doesn't even feel like we have been to the cinema that much this year.

Anyway I better be off

18 Mai, 2007

looks like the sun is coming out again today. Makes me feel a lot less moody in the mornings, but I still wasn't ready to get up when my alarm went off a little while ago. Better have a shower though, I need to be at uni for an appointment at 10 and then another one at 11:30...

later in the afternoon:
I spoke too soon this morning! Now it is grey and the rain is back. ah well...

17 Mai, 2007

the sun is back

it is unbelievable almost but the sun has actually decided to come back to Devon. this morning it was all grey and sad looking and now it is quite nice outside. it has even gotten warm again and the sky is all blue...

and I took this really nice photo of the cathedral when I went to visit Neil at the shop. It was really good timing, his took his break, so we went to sit outside the cathedral for a bit watching the German tourists walking around. Somehow they really looked German too...

not that much has happened since I last wrote something. Tuesday evening we met with some psychology people to celebrate a friend's birthday at ASK. As always the food was lovely and we had a nice evening all together. Yesterday was a bit of a write off day for me. I got to the office not too early because I had to have an eye test (eyes are fine and I don't have to spend any money I don't have on a new pair of glasses at the moment!) and then almost instantly developed a headache, which still hasn't gone away completely now. Might be a combination between the weather and it being a bad time of the month :( Ah well, now I have just got up and having my breakfast, tea and an apple. Outside it is grey and wet again, and I am not really all that motivated to go out there. But today I have to get to uni at a reasonable hour, office hours are set up so my tutees can come an see me if they wish to do so. Plus my supervisor wants to see some results by tomorrow. I think he is finally realising that he actually is leaving in a month and a half and that we haven't really moved my research that much forward ever since I handed in my upgrade document on the 2nd of February... still not meeting set and I don't really expect to hear back for another while now. It is annoying me a little bit, but I am also getting close to not caring as much anymore. They are all saying that I shouldn't worry and that I surely will be told it is all ok... so I think I should just adopt that attitude myself... it's at least worth a try...

ok I need to finish my breakfast now and then get ready for my day while listening to Classic Gold on the DAB... I guess at 29 I shouldn't really say this too loud, but I just like their music ;)

Hope you have a good day :)

13 Mai, 2007

weekend catch up

this weekend has just disappeared way too quickly... not sure what happened. But it might be the fact that the last weekend was a day longer which i really enjoyed. This weekend started quite nice with meeting up at a pub with some travelling 'friends' of Neil's. We had a nice evening there.
Then Saturday I went into town in the morning for a bit to get some drinks and nibbles for the evening and to try on dresses. Talked to my mom on the phone for a while and then went out in the evening to meet up with friends to watch the Eurovision song contest. It was great fun to watch. Some of the acts didn't take it very seriously while others took it very seriously. My text vote had to go to Germany, but otherwise I would have voted for the Latvian entry.
Today I woke up and then instantly wanted to go back to sleep with the grey weather outside. I played DS a little and then got up and had a cup of tea and some food. Then waited for Neil to come and pick me up, then we went to his mum and dad's for lunch and to watch the F1 Grand Prix. The food was really nice, the GP a bit boring, but at least stuff was happening. Lots of cars dropped out of the race due to several different engine failures, and one car even caught on fire briefly after refueling. When I got back home I did a bit of work on my paper and then watched some tv... the best of Top Gear is always fun!
And that was already it... I guess I did do quite a bit...oh I forgot to mention... I managed to already disgruntle my first SIM created in my new DS game... never give them your name!!!

12 Mai, 2007

Eurovision

just got home from watching the Eurovision Song Contest with friends. It was a lot of fun watching all those entries from all over Europe competing with each other. It just is an experience. I am off to bed now though... might write a bit more about it tomorrow

10 Mai, 2007

Shop Girl

Just finished watching Shop Girl on DVD... not sure why I even put it on my list, but it was all right I guess. A love story with Steve Martin, Claire Danes and Jason Schwarzman, all a bit flat, but quite sweet at the same time. Apparently based on a novel by Steve Martin as well, so I guess he had good reason to be in it. Claire Danes' character was interesting, a tiny little bit like the female lead in Venus, but then again not quite es desperate to be loved. I guess you will have to watch it yourself to decide whether you like it... I guess I'd recommend it for a quiet evening in ;)

Day's been grey again with lots of rain during the day. I didn't get that much work done, but at least heard back from my supervisor. We are meeting tomorrow, so we will see he has to say then. I just want to know if they accept my upgrade and let me register as PhD, and also who will help me finish this PhD... I just really am starting to feel like I need to get away from the academic setting. Sometimes I think that I would quite like to teach undergraduate students, but then I also think that I don't want to have to deal with all this politics that come with that. University departments are quite bad I think, from what I have seen in this country at least. In the US I wasn't so aware of what went on, but there in general lecturers seemed happier than they are here. Here is seems to be all about competition for the best research and who can bring the most cash into the university, while in my experience in the US it was more about teaching students. So maybe I should think about alternative job opportunities outside of academia, or try and go into the student support sector. I have a lot of experience at being a student and also at being an international student, so I think at least on that front I have a lot to offer. Or I can always consider getting into marketing, since that would be semi related to my thesis topic. Neil keeps saying I should write a book... but I don't really know what about... I could write about what it is like to be a PhD student... or I could turn my thesis into a book. Might consider that as my supervisor keeps saying my writing is too chatty, should be good enough for a pop psychology book about shopping then!

I think that's enough rambling for a day!
another grey morning here... not so sure what my day today will bring. I was supposed to have a supervision meeting at 10 am but I asked if we can move that to tomorrow later in the morning, I have just not got as much work done as i should have, and then also meet a student, but now he has emailed me as well that he can't meet. Oh well, at least that gives me some peace and quiet to get a little more work done on that paper and to mentally prepare for the meeting tomorrow. I sent Brian an email the other day that I am having a bit of a drop in motivation lately... waiting over three months for some feedback on my upgrade and also not knowing who my new supervisor will be when Brian leave at the end of June. It is a bit scary with all the rumors that keep going around the department at the moment. Ah well, I guess I should try and be positive, they won't leave me without a supervisor... I think it is time for a cup of tea now and then I should get ready to get going.

09 Mai, 2007

Venus

went to see Venus last night. it was a nice little film with a lot of characters who were confused and acted in certain ways for the wrong reasons and then felt sorry for what they'd done. But it was a good start to the film... hardly ever have I laughed that much in an opening scene of a film... Better get a move on and get ready for my day now.

08 Mai, 2007

such a nice long weekend

and now I have to get back to work... Well I have already 'wasted' 15 minutes now on the computer since I got up. I am so addicted to the internet. anyway, I really don't want to go back to the office today. But I really need get some work done, Brian wants to see some results. I need to come up with a study idea that actually works, and which is also scientific enough with many complicated questions, otherwise it isn't good enough for the PhD. It makes me feel more and more like I chose the wrong department. The conference I went to last summer made me think that I can do what I have been and it will be ok, as most people there did qualitative research. But then Brian keeps saying that I chose a psychology department for the PhD so I need to use better psychological theory. But why, when all these qualitative papers do get published in all the big journals. Who knows, maybe I just need to be better at networking. So keep your fingers crossed for the conference in October. I should hear from them in the next couple of months... I would love to go, even if it is just a trip to the US. Ok I better go have a shower now almost 8 am...

07 Mai, 2007

Bank Holiday Monday

not really been up to much today. Woke up early-ish but stayed in bed for a while reading the Saturday paper... and then finally got up and made myself a cup of tea. Pottered around a bit... and then finally had a shower around 11 and then made myself some lunch. The Neil and I went out for a bit to have a look for a microphone so he could record some stuff for an upcoming radio show he will be doing. Then came home and got three loads of washing done and now I am watching some old episodes of Ally McBeal. I really like Robert Downey's character... he is so handsome some might even say sexy as Larry Paul... I remember how sad I was when he left the show. I really wanted him and Ally to end up together... he is a way better actor that Jon Bon Jovi, even though I used to really like him as well... I know I am admitting to really embarrassing things here ;)

06 Mai, 2007

Great West Run

went into town this morning to cheer on Neil who was running the Great West Run, which is a half marathon that takes place here in Exeter every year on the Sunday before the May bank holiday. Neil finished it in 2 hours and 7 minutes, which I think is quite impressive, considering that I would never ever be able to do that. I have always hated long distance running. There were a couple more people who did it as well from the psychology department so I cheered them on as well. After that I had a cup of tea and some food with a friend of mine at Starbucks and then came home. Not much else going on this Sunday... I am glad though that I have tomorrow off as well... might go somewhere if Neil feels up for it

PS: Our friend Sarah took a really good picture of Neil running...

05 Mai, 2007

BBQ and Mission Impossible for 1p

went to see some friends and had a bbq with them enjoying the sunshine, although there wasn't quite as much sunshine as there has been over the past few weeks. Still it was warm enough to sit outside while we were eating which was good. After that we were going to see a film, but couldn't decide forever which one to actually see. Then someone decided to have a look at the Virgin film on demand list on the cable tv and we found that Mission Impossible 3 was on for only 1p, so we decided for that. It was fun enough to watch, but way too predictable for me. I had completely forgotten that Kerry Russell has her big movie breakthrough in this film, but I still see her as Felicity. I used to really like that tv show when I was in college, got together with friends in their rooms and just veg out in front of the tv every thursday evening or whenever it was on to watch the newest installment of that show. I guess it was so good to watch because we were in a similar situation, being away in university and trying to make new friend, with the only exception that none of us decided on a particular university based solely on what some boy had written in our yearbook...

03 Mai, 2007



took this picture this morning on campus... Very nice sight I thought

02 Mai, 2007

The Queen

just got home from seeing the film The Queen. I thought it was quite a good film, but then again that's probably because Helen Mirren got the Oscar for her role. For me it was a bit odd at time as some of the actors really did look like their real counterparts, then of course there was actual news footage which made it even more confusing. Still I am glad to finally have seen the film and I enjoyed it quite a bit. Very recommendable

01 Mai, 2007

Knut

I was just looking around the web and found these really cute photos of the polar bear cup that was born in the zoo in Berlin... you just have to have a look at them... so very sweet!

http://www.guardian.co.uk/gallery/2007/mar/23/internationalnews?picture=329755939

http://www.guardian.co.uk/gallery/2007/mar/23/internationalnews?picture=329755955

http://www.guardian.co.uk/gallery/2007/mar/23/internationalnews?picture=329756066

http://www.guardian.co.uk/gallery/2007/mar/23/internationalnews?picture=329755961

Das Leben der Anderen

We went to see The Lives of others at the cinema the other day, and it was the best film I have seen this year I think. I knew it would be good just from seeing the trailers before... I don't know but somehow when the trailer for a film is already so excellent and completely captures the main point of the film, the film just has to be this excellent. Anyway this film was set in the German Democratic Republic in the mid 80 and focused on a playwrite/writer and his girlfriend. Very very good and if you haven't seen it, go see it! It really deserved the Foreign Language Oscar so much more than Pan's Labyrinth... and I don't care what Mark Kermode thinks on this matter!

29 April, 2007

after thinking about it on a off for a long time i have now decided to go with a contract mobile phone. I had been spending way too much on pay as you go, so now hopefully it will be ok. I am really excited about the new phone I got free with the contract :)

and here it is :)



it is really cool, takes photos, plays music from an mp3 player and the radio, records video... and yes it does make phone calls and sends texts as well!

28 April, 2007

let's see what's been going on here these past 7 days... not that much really... students have come back to uni and are just as confused about things as ever really... but I guess that's ok. Gives me an opportunity to earn some cash. Plus I did have a good time making my first year students do presentations. I also showed a prospective student around the department, that's always fun. At that point they are always so excited about coming to university and they are full of energy. Wednesday night we met with a few friends at the new Tapas Bar in town and it was a lovely evening. Neil has decided to treat us as it was his pay day that day so we had booked a table and just had a nice evening sampling different kinds of Spanish food. Still not sure what the Spanish word "Tapas" actually means, but from the food we got i assume it must be something like small portion or something similar. The next day I met a friend from uni for an evening meal at Wagamama which was excellent as always. I just really love the food... and now I have another friend to go there with :)

Last night we went out for a friend's birthday, had a few drinks at the Impy which was nice. At some point a whole load of superheros walked in which was quite funny. But in that humid weather they must have sweat like pigs in their costumes...

I have also recently joined facebook. I was a bit resistant at first, but it is much much better than myspace! Well that's just for me. It is helpful to get in touch with uni friends from my time in the US and also got back in touch with a friend from London who (whom??? English sometimes is still really hard) I hadn't heard from in a while. So that is really cool. And also just to share photos between friends... and to waste a bit of time sometimes ;).

21 April, 2007

last week

I have been having a good week I think... still fairly quiet as students are still away. They will be coming back to campus this weekend and taking over again. It is actually good that they are coming back because it means I can earn some money giving them advice again ;)

Anyway, the week was fairly quiet in general, although we have been quite busy in the evenings. Monday we were supposed to meet some friends to go to the cinema but they cancelled on us so we met up with other friends for a drink after Neil was done with work at the new Tapas bar in town. It all looks very new and flashy and at the same time in combination with the weather makes you feel like you are in a completely different place. Tuesday we went to the cinema to see "The Curse of the Golden Flower" was nice to look at but a bit too bloody for my taste. Wednesday a friend of mine took me out for an Indian meal as a late birthday present, Thursday night we went to a concert up at the university by a band called Hayseed Dixie. They were fantastic, very entertaining and the music was so different from anything you hear on mainstream radio... very good. Last night we met up with friends to BBQ and then watch BRICK on dvd. It was as odd as the first time watching it... but still a good film. The dialoge is incomprehensible though!

yeah that was my week... not sure exactly what the weekend will bring besides some work which I was too lazy to do in the week and maybe some poker in the evening today...

16 April, 2007

first day back

wasn't so bad actually. I had a meeting first thing in the morning, which was fine. Just some changes on the horizon for the student services at the uni and one of my many jobs might be changing at some point in the next couple of months. Not sure what but he just wanted to give us all a heads up for it, which is fair enough. Then was in the library for a little bit and then met a friend for lunch. After that I went to my office and then went to see my supervisor to let him know that I am back and when we should meet up to talk about things. Still nothing about the upgrade, still the meeting hasn't been set... this is getting a bit annoying. I handed in my report at the beginning of February and now it is the end of April soon... I really hope I will hear something soon. then did a bit of office stuff, booked rooms for tutorial meetings next week and updated my diary with a few things. And then I met up with a few friends for a Starbucks before meeting Neil after work. We then met up with other friends for a drink and sat outside at the new Tapas Bar in town. Such a lovely warm evening.

15 April, 2007

had a nice couple of days getting used to being in Exeter again. Thursday Neil and I went to see a film called Climates - probably the worst film I have ever seen. I am not even completely sure what the main problem was... maybe it was because I didn't understand the language and also felt like I couldn't relate to the language at all. Friday I met a friend in town for coffee which was really nice. We got caught up and it is always nice to see her outside of uni. In the evening went grocery shopping and afterwards went for a drink at a little pub in a small town outside of Exeter. Yesterday I felt a craving for a Wagamama meal so I went and had a late lunch there... very yummy Chicken Katsu Curry and then met up with Neil briefly during his afternoon break. In the evening we went to play poker with some friends. And today was a fairly lazy day... went into town for a bit enjoying the weather, then came home and made food and then watched Lost in Translation on DVD. I saw it was coming on the telly this evening, but I didn't want to watch it with commercial breaks so I thought I can just pop in the DVD. all in all a very nice few days! Tomorrow it is back to reality.

11 April, 2007

back in Exeter now

after a long day of traveling in a car, a plane, a bus and then a train I have arrived back in Exeter. now I am avoiding unpacking ;)

10 April, 2007

last day already

and it is my last day in Germany already... I can never believe how quickly the time goes by when I am here. At least this time we managed to get most things done and today I am seeing a few of my friends. ok better get to my packing again...

09 April, 2007

Maschsee Hannover

went to Hannover (Lower Saxony's capital city) to enjoy Easter Sunday by walking around a lake in the middle of the city. Here are a few pictures:











05 April, 2007

not much going on today. Fiddled with my mom's computer for a while to make sure it still burns CDs and got rid of some useless software that she never uses. Now it seems to be ok... at least what she wants works now. Not much else going on today either. Maybe watching some tv and just generally be lazy. Tomorrow we are going to have easter dinner a few days early because my dad might need to go away for work again on Saturday .

04 April, 2007



just took this picture of the very colourful sunset outside
not much has been going on here. Yesterday my mom and I went shopping in a suburb of Hamburg with my aunt. We had a good day going through the usual shops and then had lunch at a steak house. It is the best steak I have been able to find so far, even in the States I haven't had a better one in the 5 years I was there. Anyway, I got a few new shirts and bought a PD James book called "The Lighthouse" I think. The bit on the back cover sounded quite good, but first I will have to finish reading "Shopaholic and Baby" before I can start another paper.

We didn't get tickets to go to Starlight Express this trip, so we will have to do that later in the summer. I might just plan a short trip sometime in the early summer maybe in June and then go again for my friend's wedding in August for a bit longer. But I will have to talk to Brian about that first, he will be retiring at the end of the academic year (at least that's what he's been saying the last year) and I don't know who will be taking over my PhD supervision. So I have to figure out how I can deal with going away on holidays. Also with the personal tutoring I always have to think about the students and whether they might need me or not.

Oh I got a 6 CD set with Tchaikovsky's ballets for 19 Euros today. I had been looking for a CD with the whole Nutcracker ballet on it, but never found anything decent. Will be listening to it later. I hope it is good, it is by the London Symphony Orchestra.