Archive for April, 2007

an exciting update

Friday, April 27th, 2007 | sophie | No Comments

What a week! Things have been remarkably like a roller coaster for the last couple of days, but it’s Friday and I think I finally have a clear enough head and a couple of minutes to tell you all about it.

On Monday night, still recovering from a rather heavy weekend courtesy of the MacKriell’s, six of us headed out to the Jooglebury for a Catalyst Club special. Ken Campbell regaled us with highly amusing tales of the Liverpool Science Fiction Theatre, how buying a parrot is only slightly more expensive than a computer and the joys of decorating dog poo (I kid you not!) It was really very funny, if a little weird, and cheered me up good and proper.

The lovely Mr Glasnost came around for dinner on Wednesday, complete with two bottles of red and in perfect timing to coincide with a fantastic job offer. Drink I did, and was merry (if somewhat distracted and liable to shout “woohoo” at inopportune moments). So yesterday I dashed about, handing in my resignation letter, trying to explain my new job to numerous people and being stopped in car parks, corridors and toilets and asked, “what are we going to do without you?”

What will I be doing now, you ask? Well on the 14th May I start as Studio Manager/Project Assistant at Clearleft. I am a combination of very excited and a just a little bit scared. I’ve been at the University for over five years now, so working somewhere else is a bit of a daunting prospect. But it is my ideal job, with a bunch of great guys and in the industry I want to work in – what could be better?

And now I shall go back to grinning happily at people and occasionally shouting “woot!” Me? Chipper? Good Lord yes!

bargaining

Friday, April 20th, 2007 | sophie, theatre | No Comments

On Wednesday evening Tom & I headed out to the theatre to see The Bargain, a new play by Ian Curteis based on the imagined conversations (i.e. blackmail) that took place between Robert Maxwell and Mother Teresa when she visited London way back in 1988. I’m not really sure what to say about the play, the jokes were fairly obvious, a lot more could have been done with the characters (Maxwell was the typical tyrannical capitalist). Mother Teresa was slightly more interesting, and came off as a cool, hard businesswoman rather than meek and angelic.

It’s not so much that I didn’t like the play (I only gave it a 4), but I’d decided to wear my pointy shoes and they were a little distracting. I mean you do need to make a bit of an effort to look good when you go to the theatre. At least, that what I’ve always been told. So to make up for the fact that I was wearing jeans (I had a minor crisis trying on a number of skirts and failing miserably to like any), pointy heels and a pashmina were my saving graces. Unfortunately my little toes didn’t really agree. They got somewhat squished. And the pashmina? Well apparently that’s just a scarf!

So last night, when all the girls bundled onto the sofa, wine or jasmine tea in hand, it was a great relief to be in a big cozy jumper and slippers. Me, style? But of course! I have a style all of my very own.

dark energy

Wednesday, April 18th, 2007 | brighton | No Comments

Yesterday evening we headed out to Café Scientifique at the Branch Tavern to listen to Bob Nichol answer the question “Has anyone seen our universe?”

Now me and maths, and physics for that matter, just don’t get on. I did try but for some reason each lesson became a struggle to keep my eyes open, to concentrate as equations and theories went way over my head and travelled off into the distance. And brown: there seemed to be a lot of brown involved in both maths and physics. Brown shirts, brown trousers, brown floors. However I was greatly impressed to understand (all bar the equations of course) the premise behind dark energy.

What really got to me though were a couple of small sentences. Firstly, what if the mass within the universe has enough gravity to stop it expanding? Will it then stop and reverse the expansion? Hold on! I thought, does this mean that we’ll end up being squished out of existence? And then my brain went down the whole, “but if we’re not here, and the universe isn’t here – what would be left?” series of questions, which make my brain boggle and the rest of me feel slightly disorientated.

Secondly there was supernovas, and how if one happened near us we’d have a whole two seconds before our atmosphere evaporated. “Don’t worry about global warming or your mortgage!” we were told. But somehow I have a feeling that the bank might get a little bit shirty if I told them that I didn’t want to pay the mortgage anymore because a supernova could happen at any minute and then we’d all be dead.

Fascinatingly though, I learnt that gravity may work in a different way when dealing with space-time. In fact, whole chunks of gravity may be leaching off into another dimension. String theory and the eleven dimensions are apparently not just way beyond my mathematical abilities but everyone else’s too, and so five dimensions seems a sensible place to start. Five? I thought. And then decided to stop thinking and go home and have some dinner.

picnic

Tuesday, April 17th, 2007 | weekend | No Comments

The first picnic of the year, and boy was the weather lovely. I’ve decided that picnics are the way forward this summer. There was something simply glorious about finding a patch of warm grass in Brighton, away from the hoards where you can lay down your blanket, nestle against your boy and only have the gulls to fend off.

We settled in Queens Park at lunchtime, having climbed up Southover Street panting (me) and admiring the view (Tom). After a quick look around we decided on a patch of grass near the pond, in sight of the ducks but far enough away from the nearest group of people. And then we began, tearing apart the loaf of soft white bread, smearing it with delicious dolcelatte or brie, fingers greasy from samosas and glugging on ginger beer. Personally I really don’t like ginger beer, but glug I did, and only having drunk much of a can in one go did I let out a “yuck”. No one can say I didn’t try.

It was glorious, and since then I have filled my head with images of picnics in fields of long grass, picnics by the river at Barcombe, picnics on the sand in Camber… and of course without the lashings of ginger beer. There’s nothing quite like them, and with a “garden” I can only describe as a walled-in area of concrete, they are likely to be the only times this year I shall be able to feel the grass between my toes.

I know how the green woods laugh

Sunday, April 8th, 2007 | countryside | No Comments

It was the perfect start to Easter Sunday, a walk out along the farm track at the bottom of the paddock. The track leads along by fields of bright yellow oil seed rape, blue sky above and the warm sunshine beating down on the cracked earth.

We walked along to the end of the track and then up and around the fields, before picking our way through the yellow to a patch of woodland. Under foot the branches cracked, primroses, celandines and bluebells a carpet under still leafless trees. There was no noise at all but the bird song and hum of bees. And there we stood soaking it up and dreaming, my boy and I.

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