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)
This entry is basically me trying out whether I have dreamwidth crossposting to LJ. Which means I don't really have anything interesting to say, but I will anyway.

Went riding on Saturday. Was a little disappointed when I arrived as I had been promised a horse (we have some amazing horses, £30,000 competition horses. Amazingly talented but also very capable of just pinging you out of the saddle because they are so powerful, and their owners are normally scared we'll break them) but because of the other people riding (who are far better than me) I was riding one of the ponies instead. We were going to go out and bomb round the field, popping over a few of the cross country jumps with him, but took him into the small school first as he was trying to break out of his stable, which can mean he's in a foul mood. Except this time I think someone must have told him I was supposed to be riding one of the competition horses, he was amazing (and worse on the ground than normal, which is typical of the competition horses!). Didn't end up taking him into the field, he was just so responsive and off the leg and coming round. Really beautiful. And I could just hear my old instructor in my head going "a horse is only as good as it's rider" when people would turn up to comps with horses that were too good for them, and we'd beat them on our little riding school ponies. So not so disappointed after all.

Spent yesterday in bed with a cold that was actually trying to kill me. I knew it was coming, but being me rather than taking it easy so that it didn't get worse, just ignored it until it wouldn't let me any more. Watched a lot of Who and read the briefing for Tanzania. Feeling mostly better today, have come into town to do shopping for Tanzania and use the internet. And buy ginger beer, which I was craving yesterday. 
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!

FINISHED!

May. 26th, 2011 03:31 pm
vervet_monkey: (Tee Hee)
 So, that's the degree done then!

It's weird... I'm not sure what I'm meant to do now. What did I do before I lived in the library trawling through papers? I'm sure I must have done something... 

Went for a drink with coursemates after we finished, but have spent the rest of the afternoon tidying my room. Building up the courage to go get the hoover and do the floor too, but I don't think that's been done in a while... Am off out for dinner with coursemates later too, yay!

Off to Tanzania in 4 months!
vervet_monkey: (Adoonsie)
 So ummmm....

I got the job in Tanzania!!!!!!

Little bit (very) over excited. 

Is 6 months placement in Tanzania, volunteer co-ordinating and working on research into the wildlife corridor between national parks. So mostly biodiversity surveying, as well as social interviews. Living in a bush camp (open plan camp beds...) next to the local village. No net or running water! Yay!

Conservation work is so hard to get into and although I tick all the boxes so do many other people. This is an awesome foot in the door. Will also be involved in the writing of the quaterly reports and the opportunity to do my own research, and co-author papers. Big push on writing popular science articles too. All very exciting and the next step on my CV to getting a job that actually pays. Plus they have a big thing on working your way up from within too, so another job might come of it.
 
*squees and dances round the room*

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