Friday, 7 November 2014

Little things

Lots of drafts and no published posts. Will attempt to remedy it this month... Maybe. Hopefully. We'll see.

But today, today during my driving lesson another driver gave me thumbs up. Such a little thing. So nice, in comparison to the usual behaviour on the roads.

Whoever he is, I hope he has an awesome day.

Friday, 28 February 2014

February's firsts

So as predicted I'm failing just a little bit at this whole blogging thing. I have LOADS of ideas late at night, at that moment when you are not quite sure whether you are still awake or already dreaming. The thoughts are flowing and dripping with eloquence and awesomeness. And then...

...then it's morning again and I don't remember what my half-conscious mind was crafting. I mean, it was something about the importance of toads. Or maybe it was impertinence of toasts? Who knows.

But what I can write about is the February's firsts, as there were a few, some cooler than others.

In no particular order.

1. I had a burrito. A proper one, stuffed with rice and everything. And, more importantly, I actually ate it in public and without making a mess (!!!). I was pretty damn proud of myself. A day when I don't make a spectacle of myself in a restaurant in front of most of my colleagues is always a good day.

2. This one is not a true first, but I'm happy about it anyway. I read a book this month. A whole, non-academic, non-scientific, non-biological book in one month! I finished "Life, the Universe and Everything" and then read the entire "So long, and thanks for all the fish" too. If I could read one book per month I would be very very pleased with myself. I guess that technically I read two this year, so I'm averaging one per month so far. Score.

3.  Subway. The sandwich, not the rail system. I've been to Subway before, but I tend to avoid buying food while on town... What a mistake! That sandwich had everything and more and was yummy. True, everything included jalapenos, which I needed to dig out from in between all the salad, but still, it was a rather pleasant experience (eating the sandwich, not digging jalapeno pieces out).

4. The above was also during my first visit to Leeds. It's quite a nice town.
5. PhDs. The application process, PI interviews, funding interviews, departmental visits... And offers. I really wanted this sorted by the end of February. And I did it. I did it. Somehow... How did I do it? Sometimes life is confusing, but also kind of awesome.

6. I finally made it to Scotland and it's lovely up there! I think I'll really enjoy exploring the north :]

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

The trip

You read things. You hear stories. You think that all those random and interesting things happen to somebody else. And then, one dark cold night, there is a knock on your window. Right when all you want is to crawl into bed and go to sleep. In one of those rare moments when you seriously couldn't care less that interesting things don't seem to happen to you.

There it is. That interesting thing. That story you will be able to tell. But you don't know that yet. All you know is that it's after midnight and you want to sleep, but there is the knocking. So you go to check it out.

Ok, maybe you are a sensible person and you make a point of not opening your door to randomers late at night. Maybe that's something we all should start practicing.

But then again... If our door remained shut I wouldn't experience a conversation which easily gets a place in the Top Ten Weirdest Conversations of the Decade.

We opened the door to find one of our neighbours. Innocent enough. She wanted to come in for a minute and since she seemed a bit distressed we let her in. Like a bunch of knights in shining armours, saving her from the shadows of the night. We even offered her tea.

Ok, J. offered her tea. I'm rude and I don't offer people tea. Not even when they are in distress. I mean, we already let her in right? I was prepared to fight off any zombies if need be. That should be enough.

We assured her that it's ok to come in (mainly because she was already in) and asked what was wrong and if we could help (see, knights!). With each passing minute and each sentence it all became clearer and clearer.

She was high, tripping on acid like a goofy baby elephant trips over a strategically positioned log. Just less cute. A lot less cute in fact.

She told us things. There were amusing things, boring things and random things, but there were also things that we didn't really want to know.

You want for instance, you say? Well, we already knew that our darling neighbour is a fan of reggae as we can hear her and whatever music is playing through the walls. She told us she went to see the Wailers. Yes, THE WAILERS. Then she told us and showed us how she danced. So now we have her acid tripping, dancing and punching the air with her fist, shouting yeah-yeah, while holding a cup of tea in the middle of our very tiny living room. My third eye can see that tea going everywhere and managing to soak both sofas, the three of us and the printer.

But somehow, miraculously,  all the tea stays inside the mug and the neighbour progresses onto telling us just how, quote, erotically charged she was during that gig. Oh, did I mention she is about 50 years old? Puts things into perspective, doesn't it? We then get informed that she wanted to go backstage and get on with the band. And that she wanted to bring two of them home to have sex with (and yes, still quoting word for word). It was apparently very important that we understood it had to be two of them too. We didn't ask why.

Most of the conversation revolved around the variations of the above. We were also informed that she knows all the best places around to pick magic mushrooms (again, didn't ask) and were assured that since we are good people she will have a big house party before she moves away and that she will tell us where those mushroom-picking places are.

We also found out her general dislike for uniforms and police, were told she wouldn't let the police in under any circumstances because they would see her maize (once again, didn't ask). Oh, and the grass looked like an alien planet apparently. Looked normal to me, but what do I know, I don't have a maize growing in my bedroom and don't go magic mushroom hunting. My life is so ordinary.

The whole happening was rather draining. She was going from uber-excited to depressed in a matter of seconds, swapping from jumping around and an excessive amount of hugging to throwing her hands over her head and crying. My facial muscles got a real workout that night - have you ever been in a situation where you have to keep switching between a happy/excited face and a sympathetic/serious face? About half way through the visit I wasn't even sure what my face was doing anymore, as soon as I forced a smile on she would start crying and then my brain would freeze for a split second and go into an overdrive, desperately thinking make a sad face, sad face! NOW! and trying to figure out how on earth one makes a sad face.

We have managed to finally calm her down enough to start directing her towards the door. We had to promise that we will keep all the windows shut, since she was absolutely convinced that someone will get into our house through one of the cracked windows, then get into my housemate's room and then get into her house (she skipped the bit where our houses are separated by a solid concrete wall, but nevermind). Once they get into her house they will go to her bedroom and torture her. Because that's what robbers do, they squeeze through barely opened windows, float through walls and torture people.

There is a life lesson for you there somewhere.

Monday, 21 October 2013

Three little piggies...

So three little piggies went to the market. Since I don't know how the rest of this story officially goes I drew three little parrots instead:

Reference photo was provided by Raffy. Not sure I did the little bundles of cuteness justice, but I tried.

P.S. A proper post is in the making. Stay tuned in.

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

A different life

I watched a documentary with my Mum the other day. It was great, an hour long and almost entirely in French.

Mum doesn't speak any French, the only word she understood was Bochimans (Bushmen). I tried to learn French six years ago, so I understood a random word here and there. Not that being able to understand "three giraffes" while there are three giraffes on the screen and someone pointing at them makes that much of a difference.

So we didn't really understand what was being said, but we loved it nevertheless. It was the documentary about Tippi Degré and her childhood in Namibia. She was born there to a French couple of wildlife photographers and lived there among wild animals. Needless to say that I see it as a pretty awesome childhood and that I'm horribly jealous. I can't really complain about my childhood, but I didn't have an elephant to ride or a giant bullfrog to snug. And trust me, normal frogs are not as snuggable (let's pretend that snuggable is an actual word) and are way too easy to squish.

Frogs definitely should be harder to squish.

Anyways, Mum suggested that not all is lost yet. I could always move to Africa and raise a child there. While this sounds like a brilliant idea (doesn't it? doesn't it?) I think I might struggle to convince my partner just how awesome it would be. I mean, if I said we should have a baby or that we should move to Africa he would probably think that this is still within the levels of my inherent madness, even if it's more extreme than normal. But I fear that let's have a baby in Africa might be a little bit too much, even for him.