Friday, September 30, 2005 


I’ve been in London one full year!!!

My favorite moments (in no particular order):
1. Crossing Waterloo Bridge with my two bosses while they told me they were applying for a huge grant for my project and the rest of my PhD was paid for
2. Seeing celebrities at Cipriani
3. Every time a co-worker said, "let’s go downstairs for a pint" because no where in America is there a scientific laboratory and a bar in the same building
4. The moment I saw Heather/Debbie/Akash/my family/Sharon emerge from the plane or tube station and being so excited that they loved me enough to visit and taking them to the nearest pub because their vacation became my vacation too
5. Ok, I won’t lie... the naked spa

I’ve been to the following places:
1. Paris, France
2. Lisbon, Portugal
3. Mainz, Germany
4. All over Scotland
5. Kent

Top five statements I’ve made (ranked in order of least likely to ever come out of my mouth):
1. "Oh. Bloody. Fucking. HELL."
2. "Yea, I don’t know what to do now. It’s just all gone Pete Tong."
3. "Actually, the entire process comes about by the evaporation by several volatile excipients, thus increasing the thermodynamic activity of the drug in the system and escalating the flux when compared to the standard, marketed formulation."
4. "Ohhhh, I really fancy a curry."
5. "I’ll have a wifebeater, cheers."

Top five questions I’ve been asked (ranked in order of number of times queried):
1. "Do you think it was right to invade Iraq?"
2. "How on Earth did Bush get reelected?"
3. "Why are Americans so hypocritical?"
4. "Why do Americans think they can act like that and do whatever they want?"
5. "How do you get your teeth so straight and white?" (Seriously.)

Actually, the sixth-most asked question might have to be, "Are you going to go back to the States after you graduate or stay here?" The answer to that is tricky, as a lot of variables come into play that are beyond my control. But I think the answer may very well be, "I’d like to stay..."

Thursday, September 29, 2005 


So we did not end up in Frankfurt as I had thought, but actually an adorable town half hour away, called Mainz!

Had such a blast, which is more likely to happen on vacations when you are staying with a local (well, not "local" but American who invaded four years ago). We were only there for 40 hours but somehow managed to:

1. Drink apple schnapps
2. Eat schitznel (or in my case, pretzels with soft cheese)
3. Drink pilsner
4. Drink pilsner out of a five litre tube
5. Eat lunch outside at an adorable cafe on a twisty little European street in the sun
6. Go shopping and buy these awesome/silly boots that make me laugh every time I put them on

and most importantly....

7. Go to the naked spa!

Seventeen Euro for four hours of what was basically public nakedness. At least it was a women only day, but there were some maintenance men about! My friend and I waited around a while for them to leave, and then said, "F it," and dropped our towels. It was a bit strange at first, but by the end I'd never really been more relaxed..... I guess it was kind of like a bath house, with a bunch of different temperature pools, steam rooms and saunas and you go back and forth as you please. By far the highlight of the trip!

Wednesday, September 21, 2005 



And I've never been before. Frankfurt to be specific, and only for about 36 hours but you take what you can get. Flights were 1p each way (with taxes total comes to £20) and I've got a couch to crash on. How could I say no?

I don't speak two words of German but I'm told I'll be fine. Gutentag. Wait... no, tot ziens! Wait.... no, auf wiedersehen. Ah, thank goodness for that annoying song from The Sound of Music.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005 


Well, they sure kicked the shit out of me, but I passed the viva. Nearly two hours of thesis-level defense is rough for someone who hasn't written a thesis yet, but I imagine I'm better for it. Now I know exactly what to work on.

And better still, I'm now officially a PhD student!!

One year down, two to go!

Sunday, September 18, 2005 


Having what could be described as the biggest, most important exam of my life tomorrow sucks hard enough.

Having it during Fresher's Week is borderline inhumane.

To boot, Ken Livingstone's hard-core campaign to bring tourists back to post-terrorist-attacked London appears to be happening on my doorstep this very night. This also is the opposite of quiet.

(Still, after all my bitching about the view, kinda cool huh??)

Thursday, September 15, 2005 


Today is Prince Harry’s twenty-first birthday and that reminded me:

#41: It’s not a “costume party”; they call it a “fancy dress party”!

Which is funny to me for some reason. Makes it sound more like the prom (not the end-of-summer British concerts prom, but an American high school prom) and less like people dressing up as vampires with fake blood on their faces. I am reminded because a while back Harry thought it would be a good idea to dress up as a Nazi for a fancy dress party, and got torn to shreds in the press. Hmmmm, I wonder why?

Tuesday, September 13, 2005 


#40: Richard and Judy

Look, I'm all for older women taking a hot young lover. Go for it, I say.

However in this case (and I feel I can judge here because they have put themselves on TV and therefore are asking for it) she's about old-looking enough to be his mum. I mean, being honest, I actually find him to be quite hot, and she looks like a dried up prune; or as my mother diplomatically put, "that is not a face for television." Maybe she's seen better days but this is less a case of "way to go, honey" and more .... "ew."

Monday, September 12, 2005 


I've moved!! I'm not quite sure how I feel about my new place. I moved from one dormitory to another, so it's still a bit rough (especially in the size department) but I really do believe that my old place had some of the most amazing views in the city, while my current views are....
depressingly average.

See for yourself. (All my photos)
From my room:
Old View
New View

From my kitchen:
Old View
New View

From the waiting area in front of the elevators:
Old View
New View

You get the general idea.

But as the mantra goes, "Location, location, location." And it's definitely an awesome location. I'm closer to this and this but farther from this,
this, and that. I think I'm about equidistant from this and

But most importantly? My commute this morning was two minutes. From door to desk. Oh yea!

Sunday, September 11, 2005 


I can't believe 9/11 was four years ago. It feels like a hundred.

Thursday, September 08, 2005 


The Good News: I watched a little bit of history being made last night!

The Bad News: That history was Northern Ireland beating England at home in Belfast for the first time since 1927.

Seriously, who is this Sven-Goran Eriksson and why the hell is he in charge???

Wednesday, September 07, 2005 


Despite the constant refrain of "I don't want to. go to. Chelsea" running through my head the past two months, Saturday I went to.... Chelsea.

Eh. Don't really see what the fuss is about. They gutted the old King's College Pharmacy building and are adapting it into flats that you can buy for 22 million pounds. What? Okay Elvis, I'll never doubt you again.

The thing that impressed me most was St. Luke's, a massive cathedral I had no idea even existed. Wow!

Friday, September 02, 2005 


I spent the day taking apart a Waters HPLC autosampler and an hour lounging about Somerset House. Unproductive on both counts.

I like Somerset House in the summer (and winter too, when they try and turn that water into an ice skating rink.) The courtyard has a very Roman/Parisian feel to it. I imagine that Americans won't know what I mean, but the UK is quite different from Europe. A lot less of that sipping sparkling mineral water under awnings in the baking hot sun in car-less piazzas. I guess the weather is all wrong for it here.

Thursday, September 01, 2005 


I spent Bank Holiday Monday wandering all round Little Venice....

... and Camden. I then wandered all the way home. It turned into a bit of an emotional day, because I took the tube through Edgware Road to get there, and then accidentally walked through Tavistock Square on the way back. It was so peaceful and serene, I didn't know quite what to make of it. I just kept walking and thinking....

Cool chick

Torrid Travels

Hot off the presses

Powered by Blogger
and Blogger Templates

Locations of visitors to this page