18 January 2017

Double dressing

I have a rather warm dress. It came in handy at the last wedding I attended; the one of our postdoc Martyn, as it was was both in October and outdoors. I showed up in a more festive dress but rather soon I had to double up on clothing as it got cold.

I once wore the warm dress to the office, but, rather atypically, it got too hot there for it. I couldn't really take it off without being inappropriately dressed. I was stuck with it!

Recently I felt like wearing a dress again, so I did, but it was a thinner one, and I needed all the jumpers in the world on top of it, which made it feel less dressy. These days I am mainly sieving samples in a rather cold lab, so I thought I might wear the dress again. If I would end up in the (warmer) microscope lab, though, it might immediately get too warm. What to do?

I decided to just copy my own behaviour at the wedding and wear a thin (but this time less festive) dress under the thick one. If I end up somewhere warm I can take one dress off! I am sure I have just invented the wheel, but it still felt like I was being rather inventive. When I write this, BTW, it is almost 5PM and I still have not had much need for removing the thick dress. I only had a bit of a moment of doubt when I had lunch with aforementioned Martyn in a well-heated room, but that didn't last long enough for any stripping. I might do this more often! 

16 January 2017

Sieving like mad

When I came back from the BGS with my last batch of slab samples I did not have a lot of time left. I started to sieve! I sieved relentlessly the rest of the week. All but two of the samples (I had brought 38) were done. It wasn't necessarily very pleasant; the wet lab is cold and splashing around with water doesn't improve things like that. But it was satisfying to see the pile of samples to sieve shrink rapidly!


15 January 2017

No Thursday trip

I had got away once. It would not happen twice! When I was driving to and from Scotland, many signs along the roads warned of forecast heavy wind. Luckily, that was forecast for the Wednesday, when I would already be back. I had an uneventful trip!

Then it was Thursday. There was another weather warning issued by the Met Office; this time for snow on the hills. Snow on a Thursday isn't pleasant; we drive back from a remote area in the dead of night. If it is slippery and snowy that can be unpleasant! Even getting to the meeting point in unfortunate weather can be difficult. But I didn't worry too much; the worst seemed to be further south.

David's car had broken down in the old year (this had prevented him from going underground on New Year's Day) so he depended on his rather slow Landrover. That meant that we would have to go with my car to our underground venue. That didn't help; David's car is better at, well, everything except containing large volumes of whatever. And David was less optimistic.

 From the Met Office website

We would go and dig, but a lot of people had pulled out, for various reasons; I was starting to suspect it would be only David and me going. Which is fine! We can get a lot of work done with only the two of us. I went home from work ealry and got my kit ready. Then I waited for Davidto show up. Then my phone buzzed.

It was David. He had decided to pull out! He had kept an eye on the detailed weather forecasts and figured we might very well get there, but then not manage to come back home. Getting stuck in snow on a very cold night after having got cold, wet and tired underground is not a very attractive prospect. And without him I didn't want to go either! Firstly because well, risking snowy roads in a bit of a summery car with a man with 29 more years of driving experience is one thing, and even getting stuck for the whole night with a trusted friend is one thing, but risking it on my own didn't sound so pleasant. And going into the digs on my own didn't sound good either. The one dig is not a one person place; it still needs securing. The other one clearly is, as Miles is in there on his own on a regular basis; he would actually be in there until just before we'd arrive (bad timing). However, we're not all Miles (I might go so far as saying only Miles is Miles), and I would probably only have risky things to do, given I'd be without equipment. So I pulled out too! And that was the end of the Thursday Night trip. It must have been a bloody long time ago that we last cancelled!

Sitting on the sofa on a Thursday Night felt weird. It got worse when Miles appeared on the underground forum, fresh from the dig, and commented on our lack of tenacity. But what can one do? I decided to make the most of it. I had been quite tired the whole day; probably as a result from my mad dash to Edinburgh. Now I could have an early night! But it was only 5PM, so that would have to wait. I started by having some dinner and reading a bit of newspaper, but soon I went down to business. I faffed a bit with some caving equipment I had bought, repaired my tripod, got the bins ready for rubbish collection day, did my Welsh homework, gave myself a haircut, did some admin, and blogged (this!). I did lots of chores that otherwise would have had to wait for the weekend! Maybe during the weekend there will be another opportunity for going to the digs... I don't have many chores to do anymore!