03 Dezember, 2008

Christmas is coming...

As you can see we have been decorating for the holidays... and yes i know it's been forever since i have updated this blog but i have been swamped with work and then not felt like I had much to say. there will be more soon though!

17 November, 2008

and now it is over a month later and I still haven't written an update... I will soon though! I have to get through this pile of work first and then another one probably in the form of first year essays... I guess I'll just have to make some time for blogging as well...

14 Oktober, 2008

I'm off

to Germany that is. See you when I am back next week

03 Oktober, 2008

new students

We've had a week of welcoming new students and I think it has gone ok. Tuesday masses of first year students came to the school and didn't know what they were doing. It was interesting to say the least, but I think in the end everyone figured out what is going on and what they are meant to do.

Yesterday we had the new postgrads coming in and that went ok as well. A very small group this year, so I think it will be a good year. I am less involved with them now that I am not the mentor for the economic and consumer psychology group, but I did meet them yesterday and showed them around the department.

Not much else new at the moment, i really need to get more writing done on my PhD. But at least the last meeting with my suoervisor was good, she had lots of nice things to say and even said my pilot study write up can be used in combination with another study I ran last year, so that is another chapter sorted. It is actually starting to get real now. I will at some point actually have a book with my name on. It really is a scary thought, but at the same time it is exciting...

and speaking of all that writing I have to do, now I am getting back to work!

30 September, 2008

More Rome Photos

As promised here are more Rome photos...

This is just as we are sitting at dinner one evening and all the lights from the candle and also the street lamps were reflected. I thought "try something a little bit creative" and I think it has come out OK actually.


At Piazza Navona


We stumbled across this one day as we were walking around probably on that first day still actually, and then thought we must come back here for dinner one evening. This whole piazza was surrounded by restaurants and ice cream places and in the middle all those artists trying to sell their paintings.

Fontana di Trevi

The Trevi Fountain at night... at the bottom of the picture you can just about see people's hands as they are throwing coins into the fountain over their shoulders. Apparently you have to throw in 3 coins, the first is so you will come back to Rome, the second so an Italian will fall in love with you and the third is for charity. The clear out the coins at the bottom of the fountain every so often and actually donate the money to a charity. I only threw in one coin so I come back to Rome some day...

Here is another the view we had another evening having dinner right across the piazza from the Pantheon


After dinner we walked around the piazza for a bit, had some really yummy ice cream and then took some more photos of the outside of the Pantheon. I loved the warm light all the street lamps created.


Neil loved the Pantheon so much he needed to hug one of the columns


and then we thought that playing with the camera's shutter speed would be fun...


this would have been a nice photo had my leg not been in the way


And this is it once again for this post. I will put up the rest of the photos in another post, as they are mostly from the last day when we went on a tour on one of those hop on hop off busses. But now I need to get ready to go to uni. We have all the new first year students registering, which will be a lot of people. the new incoming class for just psychology (which includes some other degrees such as animal behaviour, and a few joint courses with Biology and Education and Sport Science) is about 250 students. But this is always a good way to get to know them a little bit on the first day and make sure they are not too scared.

22 September, 2008

Rome Photos

Even though Neil has already put up a lot of Rome photos I still want to add some of mine, so here they are...

These photos were all taken on the first day we were in Rome. That was one of the two days I had free while in Rome. On this day we decided to start with the Vatican. We went to St. Peter's first. Spent a little time walking around the square in front of it and then also went inside. It was just amazing. I was surprised at the Swiss Guard uniforms. I thought of them as heavy military, but their uniforms make them look much less threatening.

St Peters Basilica, Rome




Swiss Guards

Next we went to Castel St Angelo. It is just down the very long road which leads to St. Peters. It was built as a mausoleum for Hadrian and his family I think and then later was used to protect the Vatican. There is some mention in the Dan Brown Book Angels and Demons, I seem to remember it had something to do with the Illuminati, but can't quite remember all the details. I really need to read that book again, but anyway, here are a few pictures from our visit to the Castel







After the visit to the Castel we had a look at our map and thought that it doesn’t look very far to get to the Pantheon which it didn’t so we ended up visiting that as well on the first day. Here are some pictures of that as well, but as Neil already said it is so hard to capture it properly. So my pictures will just be from the outside and of the fountain in the piazza.




this was it from the first day we were in Rome, to finish this post here is a picture of the view we had from our Hotel’s roof top garden


More to come soon

09 September, 2008

Back from Rome

yes sadly we had to come back from Rome. But we had a lovely time. The main reason was the annual IAREP conference for me to attend. I was quite nervous about having to give a talk, and got even more nervous when I was sitting in the actual session on the first day realising that all the other people were behavioural economists. But it went ok in the end. I was nervous for the first few 30 seconds and then actually got into it and had to rush a bit to get through the whole talk in 10 minutes. Overall it was a good conference, but the one I went to in Edinburgh 2 summers ago was a lot friendlier for someone with my research interests.
Photos to follow once I properly sorted through them.

01 September, 2008

off to Rome

we are off to Rome in the morning. Well first we have to get to the airport and then we are off to Rome. I am really hoping that this conference will be a good one, that I make lots of good contacts and also that my presentation will go well. I am so scared, there is no one in my session whose name I even know, so hopefully there will be a few friendly faces in the audience. So I better get my packing all done and I will report back from the trip when we are back next week. Hope to get some good photos with the not so new anymore now camera! See you next week!

29 August, 2008

moving office

I knew it was all too good to be true and I shouldn't have thought that we would just be able to stay in our little three person office until the end of the PhD. Well, really I should have known considering that we were in the official Head of School office in the department. But anyway, now we are actually being kicked out and have to move to a different office. Maybe the move will be good, new suroundings = more motivation to work? We shall see what happens. All my stuff is now packed up and stacked in 6 cardboard boxes that are waiting to be moved when the new office is free. Luckily I won't be around for that because Neil and I are off to Rome. I will be going to a conference and I am really starting to get nervous about it. I hope we find our way to the hotel from the airport and I really really really hope that we won't bump into my aunt who is also on holiday in Rome for the next week.

18 August, 2008


We went to see the second day of the British Fireworks competition which was held in Plymouth last week. I decided to take my camera with me to see if i can get anything resembling a nice picture of some of the fireworks, and I was surprised how well they came out.




Before the fireworks started we walked along the hoe for a bit enjoying the view out to the sea and of people gathering to watch the fireworks.




and we also enjoyed the funfair for a while and somehow ended up on this...


31 Juli, 2008

Mamma Mia

went to see Mamma Mia today with some people from uni, and I think this film was just brilliant. Mark Kermode from the 5 Live film review was right about all of it (Pierce Brosnan was horrible singing, but at least he tried I would never have the guts to sing on camera, Meryl Streep was quite good, and this film does indeed make you feel good). Well I can see how you could not like this film though if you don't like ABBA's music. I loved this so much that I now want to go see it again. Hope I can find someone to join me. I'd also love to go see the Stageshow. Maybe I can convince my mom to go see it when I am in Germany in October for a week.

Michael Clayton

This week is a week of films. Tuesday the Dark Knight at the Odeon, Wednesday night Michael Clayton at home on DVD, and there are more to come. But this is about Michael Clayton. It's an ok film I think. Very confusing to start with, and actually right through to the end. Lots of things are not explained properly and you never quite understand the motivation of the characters. The music was brilliant though, and George Clooney handsome as always, and Tom Wilkinson was really good in his role as the laywer.

30 Juli, 2008

The Dark Knight

We went and watched the new Batman movie last night with some friends, and it was very good, although not quite as good as the previous one I think. I am sure lots of people will disagree with me on that one, especially for Heath Ledger's performance, but I still think as a Batman film Batman Begins was better than the Dark Knight. This one also didn't set itself up for a next one, so it will be interesting to see what happens next. Still very enjoyable and very creepy and dark film with lots of moments to make me (and other people in the cinema) jump.

15 Juli, 2008

I am done!

well with the paper for now anyway. It felt quite good to send it off earlier today, but I am sure that it still could have used some more work. but then again nothing ever is perfect with writing, it can always be improved somehow. But for now I am done with it, it has been sent off to the judges who will decide who will win the student paper prize (€1000 and a subscription to two academic journals, or just a subscription to an academic journal). Either would be nice, but of course the €1000 would be better, but even the runner up prize would be nice in the sense that the paper will be recognized.

Besides that not much has been going on. We had workmen in the department today to re-seal the windows so there are no more drafts in the building, so from about 11 am this morning our office was smelling so bad of this sealant that we had to relocate to another office for the day until they came to that room as well and made that just as smelly. By that point I had submitted my paper and also read a few other ones so I thought it was ok for me to go home, where I now am.

Oh an earlier I had a moment of inspiration regarding my PhD. I have found another line of research within which I can situate my work, or I might be able to use it as an answer to a number of questions I still have unanswered or only have vague answers to at the moment. I need to go back to my earlier studies and properly look at the results in very much detail and see if this applies, but it might do. I'll discuss it with my supervisor next time i see her. Wonder what she thinks, probably a rubbish idea, or someone else would have mentioned it along the way, but who knows, might be that just no one has looked into it as much as I have by now...

Also the conference is less than 7 weeks away now, very scary to think about it. The programme has been published on the website and I know when I am presenting. But it is in Rome!

04 Juli, 2008

just finished two days of admissions work. We had a group of sixth form students from the Channel Islands visiting us, so we put on a show for them. Begged lots of the other postgrads and postdocs to do a short presentation that's fun and still teaches these students a little bit about psychology and what it would be like to study at university level. I think they all enjoyed themselves, and we are happy that it all went so well. No major problems came up and now we know that we can organise these things successfully. Now we just have to wait and see whether these students will consider Exeter (and especially Psychology at Exeter) as one of their university choices once they are done with A-levels. We all thought it was a good sign that a lot of them went and bought Exeter University hoodies while we took them on a campus tour yesterday.
Now back to normal PhD student life, which at the moment means for me to finish off this paper I have been writing on forever already, so I can submit it for the best student paper competition for a conference paper for the conference i am going to in september.
and now it is my weekend!

28 Juni, 2008

even more excitement

yesterday was one of the most stressful days so far of my PhD career, one of my office mates had her viva in the afternoon; I had no idea how nervous I would be for her. Now this is making me worry even more about my viva which will be coming up sometime in the next year. I can't believe how stressful it was for us sitting there waiting for her to come out and tell us she passed, so I don't even want to imagine how stressful it was for her. But it was such a relief when she came out after three (!!!!) hours of examination with only very minor corrections. We all thought that a viva on a Friday afternoon wouldn't take the whole three hours, but it did, started at 2:15pm and she only come out at 5:15 but with such good news. I have to admit I am a bit jealous that she is done now... oh well, I will get there, after all she started a whole year ahead of me so I still have time to finish, plus I have until the end of September 2009. But first I need to concentrate on getting that conference paper done so it will be included in the programme for the Rome conference in September. It is so nice, people keep telling me about all the things I need to go see when I am there... I really hope I get some time to see some of the city during the conference and not just on the two extra days, but we shall see.

23 Juni, 2008

ok this will be the last change of the template for a while I promise... this is much nicer on the eyes, especially if the eyes reading this blog are feeling a little bit tired. Anyway, as I said in a previous post, I got accepted to present a paper at a conference in Rome, and today I went through and sorted out how much money I will need from the department, and somehow they approved it all by the end of the day I had the email saying yes it's fine. Now it is getting even more exciting, it is more real... even though it is still a few months away I am really excited that I get to go to Rome all expenses paid! Anyway, I think it is time for bed now...


sorry for the constant changing of my template in the last few weeks. I just can't settle on one at the moment. But for now I like this dark one, it brings out the photos a bit better than some of the other ones.
But yes why am I excited you might wonder... well I just found out on Friday that I got accepted to speak at a conference held in Rome later in the summer. It will be nice to get away for a bit and see such an exciting place, but also I think it will be good for my professional development. Getting closer to the end of my PhD, I really need to start thinking about what comes next. At the moment I am favouring the option of becoming an academic more than anything else. The whole lifestyle that comes with it and the possibilities to be more flexible in my job just sound really good. But we shall see. I am going to apply for some post-doc positions and research jobs though, don't want to just bank on one thing and then not get it... So I wonder what this conference will be like. The last one was a bit strange because I didn't really know that many people there, and I felt a bit awkward for most of the time. Hopefully this one will be better. But it should, from what I can tell at the moment, there will be a number of people from Exeter there as well. Now I just have to see if the department will give me enough money so I can actually afford to go. But they really have to. I have not claimed for an international conference before and more other people get to go to multiple conferences in a year.
So Rome... if anyone has been before and can tell me where to go and what to see or has any other tips that would be good... Better get some breakfast now

13 Juni, 2008

and it is the end of another week

time seems to be flying at the moment. I can't believe it is already the middle the June, wasn't it just my birthday? Oh well, must have been longer ago than I keep thinking. Anyway, I have been trying to work on this one paper for so long, and now I am finally making some progress. Earlier in the week i got about a page and a half done in one day, with all the adding and taking away things so that was quite good. Today was a good day as well, I think I have got about 2-3 pages more done, and I think I may have found my flow. All of a sudden I was getting ideas and things seemed to sound OK whereas before it was always that I would write something and then have to delete it as it was pretty much just rubbish.
I've also been thinking about what should come next. A post-doc position would be nice, so I can write up a bit more of my thesis for publication once I am finished with the examination. I came across the ESRC Post-doc thing, which is exactly what I want. Get a year employment at a university and write up the PhD thesis with publications and also attend more conferences and learn a bit more before even attempting to get a job somewhere. At the moment my publication record is nowhere near good enough to get a job at a university... so that needs work in any case. The major problem is that I really don't want to move away from Exeter at the moment. I feel quite settled where I am and I haven't really felt settled in a long time, so this is very nice. So at the moment the only plan I have for when the PhD is done is hope for the post-doc in the business school in the marketing department. Yesterday afternoon I downloaded the notes to help you fill in the application form for this job, and it is evil. Well I guess you have to put in some work if you want them to fund you for a whole year for any research trips and other expenses plus a job... but still it is a really nasty application form, and you need so many supporting documents. Nightmare, but I will have to do it...
But the main worry at the moment is who we can ask to be my external examiner once the time comes. I am already terrified about the whole experience, but nothing I can do about it. We all have to go through it sooner or later.

09 Juni, 2008

walk by the Quay

It was such a nice evening on Saturday that we decided to go for a stroll by the river after dinner. It was a nice walk and we even got to see a swan with its signets. they were so cute! so here are a few pics from that walk

06 Juni, 2008

noch mehr Blumen

I've put up a few more plants on our window sill. Well, we'll have to see what happens with them anyway. the white pot in the middle should grow some herbs in a couple of weeks, and the brown one should hopefully grow an orange tree.

01 Juni, 2008

Neue Blumen auf der Fensterbank

here the new plants on the windowsill.

First a Venus Flytrap. I've been wanting one of those for a long time, I think they look a bit spooky and very cool at the same time.

Then this pink one, we have no idea what it is so if anyone does let us know. Neil just saw it and said "aww pink!" and that decided we were buying it...

And then also a spider plant which doesn't live on the window sill...

Ich hab beim letzen Mal ganz vergessen zu schreiben, dass ich den neuen Sex and the City Kinofilm gesehen habe. Der war echt gut, auch wenn nicht jeder mit dem Ende zufrieden sein wird, aber egal. Mir hat er gefallen und ich glaub Dee und Ilka fanden den auch ganz gut.

Ansonsten war die Woche bis jetzt ganz gut. Hab mich mit ein paar Freunden getroffen und war an der Uni. Arbeit geht ganz gut im Moment, die 4te Studie ist jetzt endlich am Ende. Ich muss jetzt nur noch alles analysieren und dann aufschreiben was es alles zu bedeuten hat.

Gestern abend waren wir mit ein paar Freunden in Bickleigh im Fisherman's Cot, das war echt nett. Erst haben wir gedacht dass es wohl doch nichts mehr wird weil es hier in Exeter so doll geregnet hat, aber dann auf dem Weg hat es gar nicht mehr geregnet und in Bickleigh sah es so aus als hätte es gar nicht geregnet, und so haben wir noch eine ganze Weile draussen gesessen und dann auch noch eine ganze Weile drinnen. Ich glaub am Ende waren wir dann erst so gegen halb 12 wieder zu Hause. Aber es war echt ein schöner Abend.

Heute wollen wir mal zum Gärtner fahren und uns ein paar Blumen für die Fensterbank kaufen. Ich hoffe wir finden was schönes dass zu meinen Sonnenblumen passt. Denen geht's ganz gut bis jetzt und ich hoffe es wird was aus ihnen werden. Diese Pocket Garden sets sind total super.

30 Mai, 2008

I thought it was time for a new template once again

und dann hab ich mir gedacht, dass ich doch mal wieder was auf Deutsch schreiben sollte. Da hab ich so gut mit angefangen und dann gar nichts mehr. Na ja, aber ich bin es ja auch gar nicht wirklich gewohnt so viel Deutsch zu sprechen. Obwohl jetzt mit den ganzen Deutschen bei uns an der Uni da hab ich schon ein bisschen mehr Übung, und dann will ja Dimitrios auch immer dass ich ihm Deutsch beibringe. Bis jetzt hat es ja nicht so gut geklappt, aber immer mal ein bisschen und irgendwann geht es schon. Aber mal sehen.

Oh ja, meine Sonnenblumen machen auch ganz guten Fortschritt!

und so weit gucken sie schon über den Rand vom Blumentopf.

25 Mai, 2008

North Devon has beautiful beaches!

yes it does! I had been telling Neil that i would like to go to a proper beach, meaning a beach without pebbles and with miles of sand. So since Neil had Saturday off work and the weather was supposed to be nice enough we decided to drive up to north Devon for the day yesterday. We went to Woolacombe and had a lovely day. Here are some photos of the day:

this is just an overview of the beach with the town in the background. I couldn't believe the length of the beach... It was so nice to be able to walk barefoot in the sand and stick my feet in the water.

here another view of the beach to the other side, it went on for miles... We enjoyed a very nice walk into this direction, not really taking notice of the very strong wind and how much it would blow in our faces on the way back.
As usual at any beach we have been to so far, Neil had to built something. Here is his sand castle. As I was taking photos of it a man in a surfing outfit came by and asked why I was taking photos of the sand castle - he must have thought it wasn't very good. I thought he was being quite rude... Very unusual of an English person to just come up to someone else and tell them what they are doing is silly. Usually English people would just talk about this behind your back... or maybe I am misunderstanding the English there... anyway, we didn't really care about what he said and took a few more photos of the sand castle.

After all the fun of building the sand castle we walked up into the town to find some food. At first we were going to have something to eat at one of the vans parked on the beach selling food, but decided they were too pricey so town it was. We ate some fish and chips, which are always being served in the same box saying something like "the great British take away" on the top. After that we went and played a round of Krazy Golf, yes spelled like that! Neil beat me but that was clear from the start... it was still fun though.

After crazy golf we went back to the beach and went for a walk watching the many surfers trying their luck at finding the perfect waves. It was amazing though the amount of spray being produced by the wind.

And a seagull struggling against the wind

here is Neil about to stick his feet in the water...

and then getting wetter than he wanted

And here a very windswept Neil:

We also saw this guy whizzing past with a kite. it looked really cool, but who knows how difficult it might be...

I really had a good time at the beach... and I think so did Neil...
I love walking barefoot in the sand!

In the evening we went to see some friends to watch Eurovision which this year was a big disappointment. I still can't believe that the German entry was so bad. The No Angels are usually quite good, their performance was really not up to their normal standards. There were only a few very strange entries. I would have voted for Bosnia & Herzegovina, but in the end didn't really feel inspired enough to vote for anyone. Hope next year Eurovision will be back on proper form, otherwise I might not want to watch it again... if even Terry Wogan doesn't quite know if he wants to be involved again something is seriously wrong!