14.7.16 - Behold, the egregious setting mum managed to book us into. I do not like holidays based on travelling across country by car and making it up as you go along, but I have to admit she done good with this one. (We were in an apartment in the stable block, 2nd picture)
You see, when you're a PhD at ETH, there is apparently this thing called a 'Proposal Defence'. Before getting into ETH, I had never heard of it, as it is not common in the Netherlands. The proposal defence is one of the two major deadlines during your PhD (the other being the defence of your actual thesis): before the first year is up (but at the end of your first year), you have to present your 'proposal' for the rest of your PhD to the committee. In order to make it appealing, a mere schedule and some vague plans are not enough: you basically have to show everything you have done so far (or generate results very quickly), and give a very detailed plan, including methods, time estimation, etc. This is also one of the most likely stages where you could potentially get fired. After this, you are pretty safe. So: it's a big deal.
Needless to say, when the date for your proposal defence comes nearer and nearer you realise more and more that you actually do not have enough results to fill the 'approximately' 10 pages report. So, you go into panic mode and work. At least, that is what I did. I sacrificed a total of 3 weekends (farewell!) and worked more hours than usual during the week, although I did not work crazy hours: I know I'm not productive when I try that. In the end, I did have a report of 37 pages and some (nice?) results, so I guess it was worth it? In any case, the committee let me pass (after a discussion/question round, which made me sweat a lot. I know they should ask me things, but it was nerve-racking.. )
My proposal defence was July 11, 2016 and I started really working on it (or rather: generating the results) somewhere in May. Busy times.
Unfortunately, these two months of work coincided with a lot of travel (most of them work related), so I was (and still am) a bit knackered.
To get over this, I am going on a (well-deserved) holiday soon to ... *wait for it* ... Japan! Not sure if I'll be completely rested afterwards, but it should be at least very awesome.
Before I will post pictures of Japan though, I wanted to share my recent (work-related) trips with you.
The first trip (which was just for fun, not work) was Tatort Jungfrau during the Pentecost weekend: a detective game in the Swiss Alps (Jungfrau region), where you have to find clues located everywhere in the area. It was a fun way of discovering one of Switzerland's most beautiful scenery.
Snowy landscapes at Kleine Scheidegg
( Click here if you want more pictures )
Next trip I will tell you about is the PhD retreat in the black forest in Germany. Stay tuned!
This was the first recording I'd attended that wasn't at Broadcasting House. It was in the Shaw Theatre, between Euston and Kings Cross stations, and it has greater capacity than Broadcasting House. Unfortunately, it isn't air-conditioned. It was also packed full, because "Just a Minute" is a cultural institution and is still very popular. Nicholas Parsons has been hosting the show for almost fifty years, and the adulation he received at the start and end of the recording made it practically impossible to hear his greetings and farewell.
We had a little unintentional pre-show entertainment. The ticketing system works thus: You turn up an hour before the doors open, present your ticket and are given a sticker with a number on it. When the doors open, the production guests (wearing wristbands) file in first, and then the ticket holders are allowed entry in groups of fifty. It all works in quite a civilised fashion despite the crush in the lobby, because British people love queuing.
However, once we'd (nearly) all sat down, it became evident that there'd been some sort of cock-up involving the seating of the production guests. Four people wearing viridescent wristbands were stood at the front, looking up at the full rows of seats with evident displeasure. One was a blonde woman in a white jacket with a formidable aspect. I should not like to have been the young production assistant attempting to mollify her and receiving the pointy end of said displeasure. Hands were waved about. The small number of solitary seats scattered about the theatre were indicated and obviously rejected. Eventually, some audience members were convinced to shift around slightly to permit the foursome to sit in pairs on opposite sides of the theatre.
This had all taken a good ten minutes, by which point the ostensible start time of the recording had passed. The drama had now attracted the attention of literally every person in the audience. When the formidable woman sat down, the entire theatre broke into a cheer. She stood up a few seconds later to hand her empty drink cup (two will get you seven that it was a large gin and tonic) to a frazzled usher. The audience booed. Unfased, she turned around, smiled beautifully and resumed her seat gracefully. I was impressed, as I suspect most of the rest of the audience would have died of embarrassment right then.
It was not until the very end of the show when Nicholas Parsons was bidding us farewell that we had the measure of what had transpired. "If," he said, with a twinkle in his eye "you happen to run across the fellow who tore the sign reading 'Reserved for Nicholas Parson's wife' off the seats in the front..." He made a small, meaningful gesture with his cane.
The four panelists were Paul Merton, Tony Hawks, Zoë Lyons and Julian Clary. I shall say no more of the two very funny shows that were recorded, but I think I can safely share another pre-recording anecdote. Nicholas Parsons asked each panelist to speak into their microphone for the sake of the sound engineer at the back. Not one to pass up an opportunity for innuendo, Julian Clary put on his most deliberately camp voice and said, "Hello, David, are you receiving me in the rear?" Nicholas Parsons: "Yes, I think so. Poor David. He can't hear anything now."
After departing the Shaw, I arrived at my place of sleep around 22:30. I walked in the door and was greeted by the smell of freshly baked apple & rhubarb crumble and vanilla custard heating on the hob. A whisky glass was placed in my hand and unopened bottles of Lagavulin and Scapa presented upon the kitchen island for my perusal and selection.
Sometimes, I am a very lucky Nanila indeed.
- starlady is reading Dorothy L Sayers, and just posted an absolutely brilliant analysis of Murder Must Advertise, referencing both Marxism and the Tarot.
- seekingferret saw a powerful and disturbing production of The merchant of Venice, and writes really compellingly about being a Jewish audience member.
I'm not always as enthusiastic about Laurie Penny as many people in my circle, but they hit it out of the park with Life-Hacks of the Poor and Aimless. It's a really nuanced and thoughtful piece about self-care and wellbeing, considering both the ways that these things are undervalued especially for women and marginalized people, and the ways that they are repackaged and exploited within the capitalist system. There's a bit of that irritating young lefty anxiety about whether one's life choices are sufficiently "radical", but still very well worth reading.
Currently reading: A wild sheep chase, by Haruki Murakami. This was a present from ghoti. It's very atmospheric, but the atmosphere it creates is somewhat bleak and miserable. It's sort of doing the litfic thing where the recently divorced narrator is sad because his comfortable but unexceptional life isn't as exciting as he might have hoped when he was younger, with the accompanying rather annoying attitude to women. But at about a third of the way through, this is looking like a frame for doing other things, a bit magic realist, a bit thriller, with the protag getting very politely kidnapped by the mafia boss. It's told in a somewhat non-linear way, so I'm not yet sure how all the different facets of the story fit together.
Up next: I'm travelling to Hungary next week, so I am not quite sure if I'll end up with loads of time for reading or very little. The next thing on my e-reader is Blindsight by Peter Watts. Unless someone wants to rec me a Hungarian book which is available in translation, in order to be thematically suitable?
sun-burnt and sunflower-bearing
word-dry of drafting
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
Fandom: Star Wars: Rebels, Star Wars - All Media Types
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Relationships: Kanan Jarrus/Hera Syndulla
Characters: Hera Syndulla, Kanan Jarrus, Sabine Wren, Garazeb "Zeb" Orrelios, C1-10P | Chopper, Ezra Bridger, Cham Syndulla, Barriss Offee, Kallus | ISB-021, Darth Vader, Ahsoka Tano, The Inquisitor (Star Wars), The Seventh Sister, The Fifth Brother
Additional Tags: Alternate Universe, Canon-Typical Violence
Ten years after she vanished during an Imperial raid on a Twi'lek colony, Cham Syndulla sees his daughter Hera for the first time in a hologram -- now wearing the uniform of an Imperial agent and apparently working closely with a human Inquisitor. All Cham wants to do is to bring his long-missing child home to what remains of her family, but he soon finds that Hera Syndulla is only interested in two things: her duty to the Empire and her loyalty to her crew, a mismatched collection of outcasts brought together by Hera and her pet Inquisitor.
With Cham and the Rebel agent known as Fulcrum in pursuit, a new mission takes Hera and the crew of the Ghost to the planet Lothal, where a chance meeting with a Force-sensitive teenager awakens something long buried in the Inquisitor once known as Kanan Jarrus...and has dire consequences for Hera, their crew, the Empire, and the fledgling Rebel Alliance.
( Preview: Haunt )
It can't be browser settings re: external images, because monksandbones sees the RSS feed images fine and they have the same source.
Meanwhile, *I* have no trouble seeing them from my reading page. I got kayloulee to check, and she also has no problem seeing the pre-doughnut photos. It can't even be freak hemisphere-based image problems, as both Jamethiel and K are in Aus.
Can I ask if any of you are subscribed to copperbadge on DW, and if so, do you see images on HIS crossposts?§
13.7.16 - West facade of Bath Abbey, featuring angels ascending and descending ladders. Nice work, medieval sculpture dudes, nice work.
(Update: sorry for the spam, I’m testing IFTTT scripts for DW crossposting)
The light comes and goes
like a cloudy day in the 80s
or maybe the 90s, but anyway
a past time, when there were wires
and the incandescent,
and a playful sun.
Maybe even an Impressionist
as late as Monet might have
recognised it, even as his
eyesight failed. Even though
he’s long dead. But the sun,
the atmosphere, the clouds
I can see, any day I look up, are
there, and changing there
with or without me. With or
without me writing as though they are for me.
But I’m not there, in the letters
though I may scribe them
while drinking coffee or watching
turtle doves running alone
the top of the fence
as another truck slowly prints out
tyre tracks in the dust along the
new rail’s construction corridor.
Ink impregnates paper.
That does not seem remarkable
and it’s not, if the words
merely ‘come’. Exhaust and clanging
compose the day, as well
as light. And I think the air
has become more opaque
since the 90s, though it’s still
full of movement, of wings
and sound, water, leaves, disgorgement.
In the bird bath there’s a yellow leaf
clearer than the ponds, I presume,
of Giverny, a place I’ve
never been, or the nerve system
of creeks leading into the Torrens
or the oily wash of Sydney Harbour.
Light perhaps is a dream, like travel,
building, or words. It all
comes and goes, it is
as if it’s happening, at least
that’s the impression, like light
as so much fails.
From Best Australian Poems 2014