New Year’s Antics

For our New Year's celebrations, we picked up Sam and Ceri and drove over to Ally's flat in Edinburgh for "a most splendid gathering of peoples" as Ally so daintily put it.

Kev, Sam, Ceri, Mabster, Miriam, Ally, Angus, Dave, Lou and Wee Andy (along with occasional visits from Ally's absinthe steeped housemate) attended and there was much tomfoolery with the boards, unicycles and other miscelleneous objects. Sam and Ally played the guitar and serenaded us the whole evening even after a bit to drink and had us all in fits of hysterics - they both have a talent for making random lyrics fit various tunes and it made for some fantastic duets.

Closer to midnight we all a-wandered up to Arthur's Seat - some of us stopped half way up and the more intrepid of us continued to the top - needless to say I was not one of the latter!

As midnight struck 7 lots of fireworks went off across the city - one of which was set off from the bottom of Arthur's Seat, and those of us remaining on the lower peak had one of the best views of them in the whole of Edinburgh, I would be willing to bet on it - while the panoramic view gave us a cityscape erupting in colour, the main feature was the fireworks exploding at eye level in front of us. The atmosphere was amazing and you could hear the whole city cheering and singing in the new year.

Late on New Years Day we surfaced and managed to source some food to last us through the rest of the stay in an Indian supplies shop. Kev, Ceri and I bumped into Mabster and Miri in a cafe and had a proper breakfast whereas the others went back to the flat to chill out.

The day after New Years we went to St Andrew's but it was blowing a hoolie - Angus, Dave and as far as I know Ally had fun but it was a bit too wet and wild for my non-waterproofed self!

A great weekend was had in the end and I really look forward to the next time we're all together.


This Christmas saw me returning home for a brief stint of family visiting and a little work before heading on up to Kev's - Kev's last consultants appointment resulted in him being allowed to begin to weight bear but I'll let him tell you all about that if he gets around to it.

 When the day came to fly I woke up to a horrid sense of de ja vous - freezing fog, just like the day I flew last year, had enveloped Derbyshire and a result of which was that all the flights from East Midlands were delayed - some of which were cancelled. I got to Kev about an hour and a half later than planned but at least I got there!

It was so cold up at Kev's compared to Bangor - Bangor had seen one half decent frost whereas by the time I got to Scotland several nights of non-defrosting had left the whole area wrapped in blankets of icy spines. The pond in the garden was solid with ice and everything looked as though it had snowed. But it hadn't!

 Closer to the 25th we went south to spend Christmas with Kev and his family down in Staithes, Yorkshire.

We stayed in some nicely refurbished army barracks and although there were a few heating issues they were otherwise lovely and very spacious.

Christmas day was lovely - I had a sack from Santa full of lovely little gifts (thank you Santa) and some lovely presents from my friends and family.

We went fossil hunting (well, I went fossil hunting mostly but when we went to Robin Hood's Bay Kev joined in too, finding some much nicer fossils than I could manage to find), crabbing, dog walking and generally visiting around the area's beaches and between us Kev and I managed to take some really good photos.

All in all I had a really wonderful Christmas and I'm so grateful for Tom and Jane looking after me the way they did!

Happy New Year!

Well, I've been here there and everywhere since I last posted at the end of Semester 1 - now I have a lot of posts to catch up with all the things happening!

 Happy new year to everyone and all the best for 2008.


On being a cripple.

Well its been just over a week now since I broke my finger. It's only a ring finger, you might think, because I sure did when I did it, but it's been significantly more debilitating than I imagined.

Firstly, your ring finger is very much a digit that goes without the appropriate recognition. Your thumb, deemed most important of all digits in the scientific world, allows you to grasp things easily. Your index finger is the main finger you use with your thumb, and is also good for poking people in the ribs. Your little finger is used to steady your grip on things, and your middle and ring fingers are just there for additional grip.

However, it turns out, I use my ring finger for typing (it is mainly my backspace and enter key finger, but it does other ones too when it's required) and its also the one I use for switching my laptop on. I use it for scrolling on the mouse pad (for instance, if I were highlighting text).

I currently can't:

  • Hold a pen and write properly.

  • Hold a knife to cut food properly.

  • Wash my hands.

  • Light the grill.

  • Use scissors.

  • Wrap presents.

  • And many more.

However, yesterday I noticed something very strange. My left hand has been used so much more this last week for a lot of things but now I'm beginning to use it without realising - I open my advent calendar with my left hand, I've started lighting the oven using the lighter with it, I switch on my laptop with the ring finger on my left hand now. I text more using the left hand than the right, I pick up cups to drink from with my left hand automatically (as a result, I've had to move the coaster (thank you Simon!) to the left hand side of my laptop rather than the right hand side). It's even getting to the point where I'm using my left hand to type for all the keys up to U, H and N to make up for the lack of keys my right hand now types, and my left hand and right hand are on equal usage terms for how I stab the space bar.

Pictured below is an example of just how clever my left hand is getting. I got frustrated at making such a mess of the kiwi when I ate with the spoon in my right hand, so let my left hand have a shot.

The Kiwi

The Kiwi

Home again!

It's almost time for me to finish for Christmas already! The last year has flown by so fast with all its ups and downs and a-happenings.

 This week I've been mostly bored. I had one lecture on Monday (Coastal Management L2) and have had none since - so I've spent my time entirely waiting for late post (some undelivered, so some of my Christmas presents will have to be distributed after the festive season) and tidying up ready for leaving on Tuesday.

I have two more lectures - one more Coastal Management and a palaeoceanography lecture for Estuary Processes - on Monday.

I really can't wait to go home!


Today I came across an image during my internetly travels that reminded me of the Snowdonian Mountain Mole, and the Megasquirrel.

 It is of some archeologists recovering the bones of an ancient human in Saudi Arabia. It's quite a big project.

I guess its just one more entry to my library of pseudocreatures!

Big Human

Hospital Trip No.1, Semester 1.

Well, Dad was laughing and joking before my return to Bangor speculating how long I could go without a visit to Gwynedd Hospital A&E and I think I did pretty well to make it this far.

 Last night We Are Scientists played in Bangor. My housemates and I have had our tickets booked since the 15th of September and we were all very much looking forward to walking 50 yards down the road to watch them play in Time.

 The doors opened at 8 and the two support bands played, I bought an "i are scientists" t-shirt and all was good. Then the Scientists came on; Jenny, Christie and I were 2 rows from the front.

 Now I'm all for a good time and wasn't too bothered by being wedged in and crushed by wave after wave of rampant fans because most of them were the same size as me - but Jenny and Christie are considerably smaller than I and most often found their faces wedged against someone elses sweaty back, so got pulled out. I didn't want to stay there by myself so got pulled too - thats when it happened.

 As the Security Guard lowered me, I think I was ever so slightly longer than he was expecting and he had to take a step back to get me down. This meant my fingers became wedged between his security-gurad-build frame, my camera and the corner of one of the speakers.

It didn't hurt to start with but then the pain set in to my right hand ring finger and it was the strong pain I've come to associate with breaking small bones. It swelled up pretty well and went a lovely shade of magenta compared to my other white fingers and the other security guards downstairs taped it together with my middle finger, we were bought free cocktails and went back into the crowd to finish watching WAS.

Afterwards we took a jolly up to one of my favourite places to spend time in Bangor, Ysbyty Gwynedd!

 The doctor there poked and prodded it, made me bend it (which I could do pretty well, because it was only the very end bone that was hurting) and decided oweing to the shooting pains up my hand and lower arm it was probably broken but there's no need to x-ray because they'd do the same thing if it was broken or not, and strap it together.

 So now I'm being advised to get an extension on my essay because I can't type properly (this alone has taken me damn near half an hour to write) by everyone else doing the essay (such a sense of comraderie, haha) and everything is taking longer because I'm much slower with my left hand - Maybe I should take a leaf from Kev's book and shout "I can't do it, I'm a cripple!"?


Last weekend saw the start of a good 5 weeks of travelling about on trains for me when I came home to work and chill out after a bad week at Uni.

This week I'm home again to work even more shifts and make a bit more money, next weekend I'm intending to go to Hoylake for a day or two to watch the WSYC racing, the following Wednesday I'm travelling to Kev's and, due to lecture changes and cancellations and a holiday week coming back just after my birthday after racing at St Andrews.

 I want to work out how many miles I'll be doing before Christmas because I think, because of the distance out towards Birmingham and Tamworth I'm having to make for connections to and from Derby, and then all the other journeys, it's quite a good distance.

For some reason I actually enjoy it.

Update on Peg Leg Kev

Well, Peg Leg Kev, aka Wolverine, Bionic Boy and so on, will hopefully soon be off crutches!

An appointment with the Consultant again on Friday and the Physio on Monday should hopefully mean that sometime soon I'll be back walking again (and driving I hope).

I'm looking forward to the more manouverability it will give me having not only 1 working leg, but having 2!

And So It Begins

Well, it would appear, what with student loans coming in and suchlike that it is the time for spending some money.

Recent aquisitions for myself include:

A 3.9m Combat (affectionately known as Dingbat)

A Samsung U600 (very thin and sleek, but taking time to get used to the txting facilities)

A CKB Deck (Custom built and light as a feather, hopefully it shall bring some more stylish board offs)

And of course, Leahs recent 'new stuff':

A 6m Combat (Tomcat the Combat)

A 7.5m Combat (On loan from Si)

A 0.7m Buster (WHY?!?!)

Life is good! :D