I haven’t posted much over the past few days…not before I have not done anything, but because I was finding it difficult to put pen to paper…ahemmm…fingers to keyboard and type.
On Wednesday, I went to university as usual. However, after a while, the other PhD student in my centre came down to see if I had seen Linda, a girl from Slovakia who was in Slovenia, and who was in London for a job interview…hmm…not as yet…well, he said…I am meeting her in around 30mins if you’re interested…sure!
Well – we took her around UCL, in general just chatting and enjoying each other’s company. I think I get along well with both her and Jacob, so it was a good time. Linda also brought me some colour photographs, form the 50′s to now (WOW – great big THANKS!), so my research collection is growing and growing – I am sure I have 400 now, but any more are MORE than welcome :). In the evening then I had a meeting with my supervisor…didn’t go too badly I think, though nothing out of this world in my thougths etc either – didn’t say anything groundbreaking believe me! ;)
Yesterday then, I went in late to university, since there was another guest lecture, so would miss dinner, so wanted to get a good lunch. I went in – and of course! – the one day I go in late, my supervisor is in the meeting room adjacent to my office talking to the other PhD student – woohoo :| (not). Well, it is not like he keeps tabs on me or anything, but it is still a bit irritating that the one day I am in late, he knows.
In the evening then there was another guest lecture (these are held every month by my centre). The talk was about a metal bridge and a metal ship (the SS Great Britain), and how they went around conserving them, the decisions made etc etc. Even though I have never worked with metal, and will probbly not in the forseeable future, it was still intersting to see how a lot of different requirements go into conservation, and that balances need to be found for the specific artefact – a balance which is right for one object (or even a location on an object) is not necessarily right (and most probably is not right) for another.
After the lecture, there are always drinks in the Senior Houseman room (or something like that). I sat on a table with Joel, a research fellow at my centre, and a girl who had done the master course some two years ago. We sat there chatting and laughing, and having a good time. Then, halfway through it all, the head of the centre came and said that the bar man had told her that he has 3 baguettes left over, if anyone is interested, he is giving them away for free…the other two on my table immediately went over, and got the three baguettes, so we got a baguette each, and I got free dinner – woohoo! :P
During our time chatting we also spoke about the RAE scores which came out yesterday. This is the UK research assesment exercise for universities, on the basis of which research funds are allocated, so it is a big deal. The department I am in ranked very well, to the happiness of everyone concerned, coming in second in the research area from other unviersities (after Cambridge, which supplied research for assessment from very few of its staff, compared to our department), and ranked 6th from all UCL departments (some 49 or so were submitted), while UCL ranked 5th overall. So everyone is happy :)
Today then I again went in late, cos the dining room was closing at 2:10pm for the Christmas holidays, so, again, wanted to get some decent food (yeah – I like my food!). And of course, as I was going into the university, who do I meet? You guessed it! My supervisor! Grrrrr – oh well!
Last Wednesday, during the meeting with my supervisor, he had said that he would be going to St. Paul’s Cathedral today to colelct some passive samplers he had placed there for monitoring…Do I want to go?…Sure! (of course – that is my ever-ready answer for anything :)). So this afternoon saw us two making our way to St. Paul’s. This was my first time in there, and I have only seen it from outside once.
WOW! I was impressed! I got to see the whole view of the cathedral from on top, when it was empty as it had been cleared for a service around 1 hour later. I also got to enter the Wren Library, which is generall only open by advanced booking of the comprehensive tour. So I got to enter for free, and see areas other people don’t. That, for me, is one of the greatest perks of what I am doing! It was a good experience, but of course, since it is me, I HAD to make a gaffe! Well…as we were walking out across the cathedral floor, the person taking us round said something about a service. Since the cathedral is dedicated to St. Paul’s (with the saint written), I assumed it was Catholic, and asked if there is a mass there every day (or soemthing like that), and I was told – hmm…this is an Anglican cathedral…there are two kinds of Anglicans…those who accept calling a service mass, and those who don’t, so maybe it is better not to call it a mass. OMG – it was embarassing…but I lived :)
Back at the office, my supervisor asked me if I could go to post some of the samplers we collected today since they have to be at the analysis company by Monday – sure I said. Off I went, then back to the university to drop off the change, and then off home, with a detour on the way through some shops to give the last push towards gift buying. Not quite done, but on its way :)