Bits and bobs #3

Here are some things that happened recently (my definition of “recently” being fairly loose…).

1. The whole lab went to a conference at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories, which is a research institute located in an idyllic bay on Long Island. CSHL also publish my favourite journal. This was early October, so still kind of warm and beautiful. We saw lots of SCIENCE and chatted with people and drank some beers and went swimming in the harbour and danced to terrible pop music and took terrifying photos for the lab webpage:

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2. I started work on a new afghan, and of course the first afghan is still in progress but starting a new project is SO FUN.

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3. I saw Lawrence Arabia live in Cambridge at the Middle East Upstairs. It was so lovely! Made me miss Aotearoa a lot. Had a yarn with them afterwards, they’re nice folks.

4. HRCM sang a pretty concert on November 3rd, and so many wonderful friends came along, it still gives me warm fuzzies that they made the effort to come and share our love of singing. Or maybe it’s because we’re all so thin and popular…

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❤ with other HRCM singers Miranda and Darrick. Photo credit Ariana Baurley.

5. Lab holiday party last weekend! So of course we tried to set ourselves on fire…

6. Thanksgiving with some of my USian family up in Boxford, Mass. It was so lovely, despite my immune system relaxing and letting me get sniffly. But there was lots of amazing food and scotch and wine, and we went birding the day after the meal, so I had a marvelous time with Bob and Ellen. So nice to get out of Boston for a wee while. No photos, sorry! I forgot to charge my camera battery, boo.

7. I have also decided to do another open mic night, this time solo. Aiming for next week, which seems terribly soon and scary and I may still change my mind. Ha.

Whanau who I haven’t skyped in a while (I’m thinking The Jones Mob, specifically…), LET’S TALK SOON I MISS YOU!

Coming up soon: Party at my apartment! My first Extalab project might get submitted for publication in 2012! I’m going back to London! K-Sco and I might even make it over to the continent for a few days! I’ll start my actual for realsies PhD project! Updates posted here when I’ve finished recklessly editing all my photos in Photoshop to make them look like my life is more hipster and fashionable than it really is!

x

It’s been so long…

 

The semester is nearly over and I’ve done no updates for weeks and weeks. Shameful. So here are some bits and pieces.

1. We just had Thanksgiving break here in the US, and although I worked for most of it I also took some time to eat great food with great people. And I’ve had leftovers for days – perfection.

2. I keep thinking that winter has arrived, and it gets extremely cold, and then it warms up again. At the moment it’s in one of these warm (and by warm I mean I can tolerate two layers of clothing) patches but I expect that won’t last too much longer. I have had some snow experience here already:

Snow at Harvard Forest, where we had a class retreat.

3. Autumn here is as lovely as they say it is – I captured the progression of “the fall” outside my department during downtime at the lab bench. I think it’s interesting how the trees in the centre were first to change colour and lose their leaves, and it progressed outwards:

6th of October

15th of October

22nd of October

11th of November

4. I have settled into several favourite places here in Cambridge and Boston, most of which revolve around food. Two cafes with delightful baked goods and espresso coffee, with real ingredients in the food and none of this sugar-coated-sugar-laden Starbucks nonsense. The North End in Boston, which is a little Italy and is full of incredible food and naughty treats…

Cannoli from the legendary Mike's Pastry in the North End

Another new favourite haunt is a yarn and fabric store called “Gather Here”, where people sit on the couches and bring their knitting/crochet projects and chat or find help from the lovely people who work there. The store sells the most beautiful selection of quilting fabric I  have ever seen – all very cute and modern – and good quality wool and tools. (Good quality = not the cheapest, but I feel like it’s worth it). Also they have several solid Bernina sewing machines that you can spend time on for $10 an hour – luckily my lovely host family will let me use their sewing machine if I want to, but it’s nice to know the Berninas are there, anyway. I was so inspired the first time I stepped foot in Gather Here that I decided on the spot to make an Afghan blanket. My spare time is now often spent crocheting and I think I have made good progress:

My completed granny squares. The blue is actually more of a turquoise but it's hard to get a good picture in artificial light.

5. Work is very tiring and I am looking forward to Christmas break, when I head to London for two and a half weeks. I enjoy my classes and my lab work is fun, but trying to do it all at once is less than ideal. It’ll be great when I am done with classes (in a year or so)…

6. Choir is super great – I have one christmas concert with the Grad student choir, and in the undergrad choir we are rehearsing Rachmaninov’s All Night Vigil, which is over an hour of a capella singing. Amazing. In January the undergrad choir (“Collegium”) will be touring NYC and singing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Soooo excited.

It’s my bedtime now so that’s all folks, but I will try to set aside a bit more time in future to post more frequent updates. I miss everyone at home (and abroad-but-not-here). xo