vervet_monkey: (Default)
 I cannot learn languages. This is what I have decided.

I'm trying to learn Swahili before going to Tanzania. Just a little to give me a starting point. I can't. I can read the book and listen to the CD and do the exercises, but as soon as I put them away, they're gone. Except for the odd word, which gets stuck in my head and won't leave (ninatoka at the moment, meaning I am going to...). I'm trying, really. Lots of short bursts and writing and speaking and listening to it when ever I can, but no. Nothing. Hello, how was your morning, how was your journey and I am going to. That is the extent of my vocabulary. Grrrr it's frustrating. 

Spent this weekend visiting the parents. Built a log store with Dad on Saturday, as well as pulling up lots of beetroot and picking raspberries. (The raspberries all got eaten, but I managed to accidently steal some beetroot). Brother and his girlfriend joined us out to dinner, which means we spent the meal acting like 5 years olds. Me and my brother tend to get excitable when we see each other, I think his girlfriend must think I'm insane, I'm always giggling and talking complete rubbish. Shopping with parents on Sunday. Not that I needed anything but it seems to be the default activity. Although I do now have a pair of jeans without any holes in them (Mum did confiscate my old pair of jeans before I came back home, I definitely missed out on her fashion genes completely).

It was also apparently my birthday. I always thought I was born in December but Mum has decided that in order that she doesn't get sad this Christmas it was my birthday last weekend and will be Christmas when I return. I had cake and presents and everything (Biodegradable soap, hand sanitiser and a waterproof laptop case, they know me so well!). All a bit odd but who's going to say no to cake (chocolate and beetroot, yum) and presents?

No newts to report, as per usual. My normal partner has gone on holiday, so I'm being very nice to people still in Southampton and a surprising number are willing to get up at stupid hours to help me.

There is a spider trying to climb up my wall but he keeps falling off. I thought spiders were supposed to be good at climbing?

Sticking with the wildlife theme, we have a sparrowhawk in our garden. She's visited us a few times now, generally with a frog to eat, perching next to the compost bin. She is very beautiful, I keep trying to photograph her but I left my long lens at my parents so I haven't been able to get anything passable yet. But it does please me to see her out there every so often.

Sherlock is rapidly becoming another obsession. Which is daft, I've only seen them once and there's only three of them. But apparently my head likes it and isn't letting go. I've been reading fanfiction for the first time in about 4 years (I'd forgotten how sad it could be...) and brought my copy of Sir Arthur Conan Doyles books back to Southampton with me. I may have to see if I can aquire a second hand copy of the DVD's at some point soon.
vervet_monkey: (Default)
 Admittedly Easter holidays would be more exciting if the majority wasn't going to be spent working, but never mind!

Not that I can complain too much, France last weekend and Wales tomorrow :)

France was awesome. It had Jess, of course it was awesome. We did quite a bit this time, constantly talking at a million miles an hour too! Got up late on Friday, having stayed up talking when I arrived on Thursday, and went to meet up with one of her friends in Toulouse. Which I love as a city, so beautiful and old and... French. Which I really need to learn to speak. Jess has clearly got the language completely now, more than she had last time. Although she was fairly fluent last time she still recognised when something was in French and had to kind of, switch gears, to understand. Not so much this time, jumping between languages without noticing. Which is good for her, but does mean she doesn't notice when I'm looking at her blankly for translation when someone asks me something. Oh why did I never learn? Thankfully everyone is lovely and spoke English for me the whole weekend. 

Saw acrobatics on Friday night which was really good, and mostly visual so language wasn't an issue. Then to the pub for a while before back to her room to sit chatting again. Which led to late getting up on Saturday also. Did very little during the day, went for a wander along the canal, which is so beautiful, had a picnic lunch then wandered back to cook dinner. Watched Dr Who over dinner (The Unquiet Dead) and then went to watch The Black Swan with another of her friends. Which is an amazing film (although very triggery, should that be an issue... clearly labelling something as triggery is firmly stuck in my brain...) how it builds up with really very little in the way of story line or speech. And really scary too. Although the sub-titles did ruin it a bit. They were ummm, interesting? The word swan got replaced with pelican a few times and it definitely said the opposite to the screen more than once.
 
Up early on Sunday (despite the again late night) to go to the space museum with more of Jess's friends. Fairly interesting, also saw Hubble 3D and the planetarium. Which were interesting but lots of speech that didn't mean a lot to me! Dinner at a nice little vegetarian restaurant before catching my flight back home :(
 
Was so nice to get to see Jess, I do miss her quite a lot... or more than a lot. Its nice and safe and comforting. Although I did get home to find an e-mail apologising for not being up to talking about 'grown-up things', meaning the idea of me and her. Meaning clearly her head is still in confused space, as as far as I understood we were just continuing along. She knows where my head is, being that taking things further would be nice, but that I don't expect it, and don't at all feel like I have second best in having her as a friend. And that I'm not moping around waiting for her to decide what she wants. If it happens, it happens, if not, I still get a Jess, so all is good. It worries me more that she couldn't talk to me... but she knows where I am should she want to. Have also pointed out that most of our friends have worked something out, so she can talk to them all she likes too.
 
Off to Wales riding tomorrow, which is exciting. Then working until 16th when I go home and too Morocco :). Yay
 
And, assuming reports are right, congratulations to Mr Tennant. 
vervet_monkey: (Adoonsie)
Life post!

Still pretty much living at library. Have also somewhat accidentally got into the routine of getting up at 6.30 every morning (went to bed really early one night, so then got up early, was really tired etc....) so am getting to library for 8am every morning! Don't feel particularly stressed by it, although I did wake up this morning with skin that would look more at home on a 14 year old, so maybe I am and just haven't realised it... ah well...

Work is going well though. Am waiting for my supervisor to get back to me on my almost final draft of dissertation, he only gets an outline but it should be quite useful. Am behind on other reading, but not hugely so, and on top of other coursework, so it's good overall.

Have just had SUCV AGM so as of 3 weeks time I will no longer be president. Am quite glad tbh, not that I haven't enjoyed it, but it will be nice not to have to be the one to do all the organising, and I will not miss having to lug 6 litres of water up to uni every sunday, and then washing all the cups up afterwards. Got a mostly good committee. This year hasn't been as good as the last I don't feel, but that might be because all the people I started with haven't really bothered to turn up, hopefully next year will continue to be awesome, because that society really did give me my home at uni.
 
Off on the resi this weekend. Which is stressful to organise but should be fun, I hope. Going to spend tomorrow doing food shopping for it and sorting all the last bits.
 
Then off to see Jessica the weekend afterwards. Yay. Will be nice relaxing weekend where I have to think about nothing. And I'm arriving on the Thursday and she has lectures all day Friday so I plan on sleeping too. 
 
Then the weekend after that is riding trip to Wales! Yay again. Going with one of the girls from Belize and lots of people I don't know but very exciting and welsh cobs and lots and lots of riding. :D
 
Easter will be work filled but includes a trip to Morocco with the parents. Again with excitement. Go home for a little while to see brother, but not long. This is little brother who turned 20 yesterday... yikes!
 
Ronan album coming out on Monday! Have it all pre-ordered to be delivered I hope :). And getting very excited for new Dr Who. AND Much Ado, mostly thanks to the absolutely amazing photoshoot of David and Catherine. They both look stunning.
 
Job hunt is still going nowhere but hey ho. Just keep ploughing on...
vervet_monkey: (Default)
 New theme to the journal... although I'm not sure if I like it. Mostly triggered by a change in default icon (have a definite Ten thing going atm, I'm blaming revision, DVD's, Shakespeare and baby/wedding news) and it kinda clashed with the old theme. 

Guess what... exams done! Yay. Have just had a very nice evening with the 2 other girls who also finished today (most of our other friends still have one wednesday as they did a different module). Pub for tea drinking for me, cider for them, then to ours for pizza and DVD. Cool runnings which I'd never seen before but is an awesome film! Was really nice to have a non-alcoholic end of exams, as they will go out to celebrate with the others next week, but means I got to do a bit of catching up and relaxing too. We also have a big poster on our living room wall entitled 'Questions every good zoologist should be able to answer' with all the questions my housemates have asked over the past two years, which caused much amusement!

My plans for the week that probably aren't that interesting )
Mostly I'm looking forward to a week that doesn't involve pouring over notes and memorising studies. That's not really learning and throughly boring. Even dissertation writing seems like a good break from it, as at least that has something to show at the end of it!
vervet_monkey: (Default)
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I spent a year travelling the world? I don't know if it's the most dangerous, but it took the most guts I think. The scope for it all going wrong was huge, but then I guess the liklihood of it killing/seriously injuring me was pretty slim I guess.

Maybe mustering cattle was the most dangerous thing to my actual body. Riding is pretty dangerous anyway, add up to 5,000 head of cattle and it doesn't get any safer. Then 12 hours for 10 days in a row, so you ache and are so exhausted you can barely stay in the saddle...

Most dangerous thing I do that has actually done me some damage? Riding again. Broke my back apparently (yeah, maybe should have gone to Dr a little earlier than I did...)

And yes, I would/do them all again, and again, and again...
vervet_monkey: (Makosie)
Long explanation of my life, probably quite boring, but never mind! Cut for length )
Wow, that kind of turned into an essay! Time at the moment is filled with uni work (or procrastinating), riding, conservation and far too much boyzone/ronan listening too. New boyzone album is amazing (and didn't make me cry!) and Ro's show this week was equally so (but did make me cry). Just looking forward to Easter, and having at least one week at home in which no work is too be done! 
vervet_monkey: (Default)
My laptop is still revolting against sonic stage, so I have no music still. I do however have the radio. Which means that has been on almost constantly.

And therefore i have been getting quite excited over the Kilamanjaro climb (plus, Ronan, thats always good) Roriama wasn't as high as they have gone, so we didn't have altitude sickness to contend with. But it is just reminding me so much of our trip. The absolute drugery of walking and walking and walking one foot in front of the other, crawling on hands and knees to get up the slope without toppling off sideways. Climbing into tents that you don't really fit 3 people in and trying to sleep(although watching their videos they have a tent about as big as we did for 3 people each!), but the ground being so rocky that by the time you wake up you are covered in bruises. Now we did have to carry all our stuff on our backs and cook for ourselves and put up and take down our own tents at the begining and end of each day, which they don't, but it doesn't make it any (well, much) easier. And remembering when they ar speaking about how good it is to be there, but actually, they've had a bad day and really would like to stop now.

Tbh when we climbed the top wasn't all that exciting. It was cold, it was wet, we did get a day off at the top which was wonderful, but you do then just haveto climb down again. BUT I have this vivid memory of getting to the end to this weird little gateway village thing and dumping our bags in a pile, sat on my bag facing the mountain with Gemma (I think) sat next to me. I just remember looking over at her as these park rangers are searching our bags and both of us just collapsing into giggles. We were so pleased to be down and absolutely filthy and exhausted but we just sat there giggling and hyper. And by the next day, we all wanted to be back there again. Even if just for that ending (although the day after we did look really strange trying to climb up and down the stairs with legs that were aching so much!)

So yes, that is what my week has consisted of. And being glad that I've managed to find a good group of people here, that I am acutally going out 2/3 nights a week (although I am generally back by midnight...) And a group that as far as I can tell is nice and stable and isn't going to be as manic and stressful as my last group of friends was (not that I don't love them, but a bit lass drama is very nice) AND that when we go out we go and sit in the pub and TALK TO EACH OTHER which is always good. Oh, AND we're going to the llama farm!

*smiles*
vervet_monkey: (Default)
Oh I hate it when its nearly the end of term but its not quite the end of term and everyone starts getting bouncy about the end of term but it takes sooooo long to get here!

Spent my evening today playing battle ships over the radio. Twas quite good fun! We actully spent much of the evening working out a radio friendly way of saying 'fire' that wouldn't make people think we were terrorists... we ruled out 'fire' 'attack' 'bomb' 'missile'... slightly pointless evening but all good fun (This was an SJA excercise btw... i'm not that sad!!) Oh, and i learnt that the reason we're FB on our radios at home is cozwe're buckinghamshire, where FD in hampshire... this intetested me, i didn't know why we were FB... ok, maybe i am that sad...

Got assignment today aswell that looks like it might be a little scary. All about protein sequences, we have to key them into the computor and then get info out and match it and write up reports all on this section of letters... it doesn't look that hard but i think it will be time consuming and repetative.

Isle of Wight this weekend. Yayness. Tree chopping and socialising. Was going to go out tonight with conservation people also but the mean buses stop at 10.30 so i would be there about 20mins beofre having to leave... seemed kinda pointless!

Looking at placements for nixt summer. Thinking I'm going to have about 6 weeks at VMF and 4 weeks somewhere else. Found a school type place in Hoedspruit, about 2 hours from VMF that takes kids for a week and they do all sorts of conservation work,. I think they have animals there and take them out into the bush and teach them why not to just destroy it all. From what i can tell they are the working class schools, not the posh South Africanones. It was saying there is normally 160+ in there classes at school, but they take 14 at a time to the conservation place. Don't know but i figure that kind of education would be good to have experience in, espcially if it is conservation i end up in.

*Smiles and nearly but not quite end of term sparkles*

Kayla :)

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