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: (Tee Hee)
Been in the new house for 2 weeks now. Feeling settled in, although I don't think it is going to feel like mine as I'm just staying 3 months. Still no internet, which is rather annoying as the small amount of work I do have relies on it (and, well, I like it!), but the guys I'm living with don't seem in much of a rush to sort it, and as I'm not around for long I don't feel like I can just do it. Just means I'm spending a lot of time in the library or various cafes in town. Which I do kind of like, but when you just need to check what time you're working in the morning it's a tad annoying. And with our council workers STILL on strike (or mostly on strike, I'm not entirely sure what's going on) the public libraries are not the most reliable places atm.

Newt work, the whole reason I'm hanging around for three months, is not really going anywhere. As is always the case with field work we are waiting on equipment. Which, when I'm in the middle of no where I can forgive, when I'm in Southampton and said equipment is sheets of wood, not so much. I'd go get them myself except their barely paying us as it is so really no room in budget for buying of wood as well. Have been doing research for the time being though, and we know where the refugia is going and such. Just need the actual refugia and we'll be off. Absolutely have to have them by next Monday though, otherwise we are going to run out of time to run the project before I leave for Tanzania.
 
Have been doing outreach work alongside the lack of newt work, which is good as it pays me. And not too boring either, but will dry up after this week, given that the schools break up.
 
Went riding on Saturday on a ridiculous pony. To start with she is tiny, no more than 12hh (120cm) so really tiny. Which is OK, so am I, but still. But we were jumping, so normally, nice collected canter would be good. Nope, this tiny little thing runs at them flat out, but she can jump. I have no clue how, we were doing 2'6", but I had her owner on the edge telling me just to let her do it. And she did, bless her. Also, and the real reason I was riding her, had a nice bronc session to start the lesson. She's been being ridden by the kids and had learnt a few bad habits when they ask her to work. But again, tiny, so I wasn't going anywhere, just providing entertainment for everyone watching. Ache so much now though, from clamping my legs round her sticking to the saddle. Might have found my project for the summer!
 
Graduating next week. Parents, Grandparents and brother all coming down, which will be good. Off out to dinner the night before, to the Olive Garden, which sounds good although I've never been (bit outside the student budget!). Bit worried about Grandad as he hasn't been well and I know he really won't speak up if he's not feeling well on my graduation. I'm the only Grandchild to attend (my cousin went to Uni but was disappointed with his grade so didn't go) and it's been paid for by my Grandparents (I know, I'm amazingly lucky), so it's a big deal for them. 
 
And quick note on Torchwood. I like the concept, wasn't overly blown away the show, but it was good enough, no real complaints more substantial than there being perhaps a few to many guns.
 
Oh, AND, just booked flights to Tanzania!
vervet_monkey: (Default)
 Back home in Southampton after a week with the parents. Week was nice but it's always good to be home and back to independence. 

Spent this week training for my job with the City Council, surveying Great Crested Newts on Southampton Common. Unfortunately our training was done by a botanist who seemed to think his book was the most important thing in the world, and therefore at least 4 hours of the 2 days was spent IDing plants using his books. Which is fine, if that's what you need to do, but really not relevant and, umm, zoologist, so anything more complex than 'leaf' or 'stem' is going to mean nothing to me. Very dull 2 days.

Meeting with supervisor next Monday though, so hopefully we will then get going on Tuesday, at least setting out the refugia. As we still need GPS and the refugia however it might take a little longer. Actual surveying has to take place around dawn, so starting at 4.30am this time of year, so my sleep patterns are going to be all screwy for the rest of the summer.
 
In town today looking for another part time job to go along with newts, got to be the most depressing thing, especially as I don't actually want any of the jobs I'm applying for (and there's not that many jobs about anyway!). But grit my teeth and I'm sure I can cope for three months. Plus money would be good, as payment from newts only barely covers rent and food (I have savings so it's not vital, but would rather not be using them!).
 
No internet at home, so have been sat in a cafe for 3 hours, trying to remember everything I need to do online before I go home. Hoping I've remembered it all!
 
Tumblr has also made me all nostalgic for Harry Potter now. Damn all the books being at my parents. I haven't even seen most of the films, but suddenly I want to go and watch them all.

Off to London tomorrow to see Hamlet at the Globe with Mum. Can't wait, Mr Tennant has stuck me on a bit of a Shakespeare kick at the moment!

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