Taking into consideration the fact that I’m being held prisoner in my own house due to the horrible weather outside (stupid wind will not die down for anything, and I was really fancying a run today!), I will then use this imposed spare time to do some postponed activities, such as properly updating this blog.
Apart from a few photos and rants about the famous English weather this blog hasn’t seen a “proper” update in more than one month, so let us remedy the situation, shall we? 🙂
The term is almost finished: in fact, I’ll have my last lab session next Monday! Then I’ll have another pile of reports to mark, but that’s about it — then I can devote my full attention to my research (and my PhD) until October! I’ve been having some crazy Mondays, they are very tiresome but also very rewarding, and I’m starting to realise the big “people skills” boost these sessions have been giving me! And I really enjoy guiding the students towards the understanding of a specific phenomena: the icing on top is when they finally understand it and I can leave their bench with the feeling of accomplished duty. 🙂 I don’t know how the world will turn and where I’ll be in 3 years’ time (that’s when I hope to get my PhD finished!…), but a career in academia, or, at least, with some teaching involved, yes, I think I’d like that. 😉
Well, enough of thinking about the far future, when there are so many things to consider at present… apart from the teaching, my research is progressing, and hopefully we will have publishable results soon (if I’m not mistaken, I think I wrote the exact same thing in another post not too long ago… but now I think we are definitely there, and then there’s the extra encouragement of another project to be carried out, hence the current one needs to be completed ASAP!…). So far I’ve been having fun imaging several samples (including my thumb, which might one day become one of the most imaged thumbs in the world!) whilst testing and improving the sensitivity of the two channels of my system. But I won’t bore you with details, let’s move on, shall we?
OK, moving on: my lovely bike turned 300 miles on its odometer, at last! I think I’m doing a lower mileage versus time on this bike when comparing with my “old” Dunlop (well, it is only one year old now – but it is older than the Raleigh, isn’t it?). In truth, I already know most of the neighbouring region around Canterbury, so I feel no need to actually cycle to new places during the weekends (anyway, my weekends have also been quite filled with rowing practices, report marking, house chores, and shopping…). Apart from one weekend when I actually had to cycle to the boathouse (partially: I took the train to Minster and then cycled 4 miles to the boathouse!), the furthest this bike has gone was to Sturry (2 miles away from Canterbury), just after I got it (and that was last year!).
Hopefully when the days get warmer and nicer I might consider some longer trips. But it is also a bit dull to go all by myself, and unfortunately I still haven’t found people willing to go with me explore some new regions!… 🙁
The bike itself, so far it hasn’t disappointed that much. Apart from some brake tuning I had to do (pretty easy, these are V-brakes!) to make it stop properly and an annoying tendency for the chain to jump out of the front dérailleur gearset when I ask for the highest gears (which already happened twice – I suspect it is just a case of tuning the tension of the cable, but it is so rare for me to use the highest gears that I couldn’t be bothered doing that…), it hasn’t let me down, and if there is no wind slowing me down it can go quite fast as well. And I was a bit worried about its skinny tyres when the first snow came – bah! She handled the snow quite remarkably, I have been cycling to the lab every day, under rain or snow, no issues whatsoever!… 🙂
And Lidl will have a nice promotion on bike accessories this week, so I suspect I’m going to break the bank a bit and get some new stuff for the bike – the front light I bought for it is not working very well anymore, and I could use a more comfortable saddle (after all, this is a touring bike, not a racing one, so one should be *comfortable* while riding it!).
Speaking of Lidl, I’ve been there last week getting my groceries (lately I’ve been ditching Sainsbury’s for Lidl!… 🙂 ) and out of an impulse I got myself a pedometer/wristwatch/heart rate monitor gizmo. A detailed review will follow, but so far I’m pretty pleased with it, even though I still need to calibrate the pedometer function properly…
And yesterday the club kit I had ordered a few weeks ago finally arrived! After more than 3 years rowing, I finally got myself my very first onesie (that’s what they call them around here, in Portuguese we use the French term maillot). You’ll eventually see me in it soon, as there will be a series of events involving rowing (both in water and out of it) in the near future :). As I refuse to take a photo of myself wearing it just for the sake of having an image here, you’ll have to trust me on this one, it looks really great! (and I love the burgundy… would that have something to do with the fact that I drive a burgundy car? :))
OK, I think that’s more than enough (confession: I’ve started writing it yesterday, Mar 16th, but only finished the following day, so it is quite a sizeable endeavour!) for a single post, and if you managed to get to this point without falling asleep or closing the browser window I have to congratulate you! 🙂 Soon I’ll be posting a detailed review of the pedometer and some other tidbits (let’s see if I can start updating this more frequently, as that will reduce the amount of text in each individual post!…).