Friday, 28 September 2012


Yesterday was a great day, I submitted by PhD Thesis to the exam schools in Oxford.  Sadly there is no fanfare for this (it comes after the Viva exam when you get to be Dr.) but I was happy all the same. I took a photo of the slip of paper just before the copies of the thesis got sent away to the examiners.
submission process

In celebration of the culmination of 3 years work and the end of 8 years at university I did a bit of window shopping (I need a handbag and coat for work), met a friend for lunch (we had cheese toasties at Zappis), learned to blowdry my hair after a haircut and had a makeup lesson at debenhams. Good girly day right?

In the evening Mike took me out for dinner. I was sorely disappointed (though the restaurant has amazing reviews) but Mike loved his meal. I had a goat cheese tart (not any better than shop bought) and mussels (which I think will never live up to those I had at the original Loch Fyne). I skipped pudding though perhaps the cardamom creme brulee would have won me round?

This week whilst waiting to submit (you have to informally invite all the examiners and wait to hear back) I have done lots of tidying and sorting; I had to clear out my desk at the lab and find somewhere for all the stuff to go. (I can't wait for Mike to finish my bureau so I have somewhere to keep pretty stationery but in the meantime I am enjoying researching bureaus and writing desks for interior inspiration). I bought and labelled flour containers in our baking cupboard, and emptied the one box we hadn't yet unpacked. I also baked a honey spice cake but it was far too sweet and therefore is considered a failure.

This weekend we have some visitors and I'm planning a visit to a country estate for an autumn walk tomorrow (and forage). I have given up on the tomatoes and picked them green so making chutney is probably also on the itinerary.  Next week I have no plans at all so hopefully Mike will whisk me away somewhere for a few days of relaxation before I start work properly on the 8th.


Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Sunny weekends

Since we moved house we are entirely lacking in a social life which has the unexpected bonus of lots of time to ourselves. The weather over the last few weeks has been my favourite: sunny with a slight nip in the air in the morning so that the leaves gleam.

The new place has two sets of decking with table and chairs on (spoiled I know). One gets breakfast and evening sun, the other gets the rest of the day. I could happily eat all meals outside if suitably wrapped up. Meals of salad and bread for warm days, or soup for cold.

We had some great success with a walk on Saturday afternoon. With a screenshot of the ordinance survey we hadn't known there was going to be a pub exactly halfway around the 6 mile journey! A pub with deckchairs, hampers, cider and icecream next to the river. We will definitely be going back there because the food looked ace! The walk itself had lots of variety - a lovely wood, some open fields and a meandering riverside. I have incorporated some of it into a new running route (though I have to be very careful to avoid tree roots in the wood and so my pace suffers).

morning run
In over-excitement about autumn I spent a fortune on food yesterday, on the menu (literally, a chalkboard menu a friend bought me for my birthday) this week:

Sea bream with smoked paprika spiced aubergine and tomatoes, leek and potato soup, butternut squash and sage risotto, butternut squash, sage and sausage casserole, fish pie...(you get the idea). 

I am also about to give in and use our green tomatoes to make mum's chutney ready for winter. I've got enough plum and blackberry jam to last forever so if anyone would like to swap it for apples (which we don't seem to have any of nearby) then that would be awesome.

PhD is still plodding along. I spent yesterday making sure all the formatting was perfect. Today I am researching residue functions in MRI and how my project may help. Hopefully finished this week!

Does everyone else love autumn as much as me? Wooly scarfs, blankets, lined-boots, tights, still sunny???


Wednesday, 12 September 2012

A reveal!


hanging out after blocking

I can finally say that this blanket is done.

some closeups

It was originally started for a friend's baby but it turns out her sister crochets too so now it's in the 'pile of things I really should give away but-oh-it's-soft-and-pretty etc'. I'm not sure I like it as much as the bright blankets I've made but it is much better yarn and so the softness is a definite plus. I also made it big enough to snuggle on the sofa in (though it doesn't look it in the pictures). I would have made bigger but I was stopped by a lack of pink yarn (and even had to take apart a pink elephant to finish it so now he has blue ears)

Anyway, here it is. The pattern is Lucy's summer square with a HDC border, the cream wool is a huge ball of aran I got from a discount shop and the other bits are odds and ends given to me. 

I hope you like it. It's hard to take photos of blankets!


Monday, 10 September 2012

Work outfits


this is exciting because it means I can blog again.

I started work last week. First post back is this one purely about dressing up for work. Having been a student for 8 years (yes) I am used to wearing jeans, or pjs. But last week I got to dress up smartly every day and wear heels. I bought some lovely underdress slips (not the squeezey ones though because I thought I was going to faint when I tried one) and played around with existing dresses. I also bought a new 3/4 sleeve dress and a belt from Jaeger which I adore (but it was too warm to wear the dress last week). I currently have 8 outfits, but may buy one more dress in navy 'cos I'm taking the one with the gold collar back.

The first week of work was great! It was an induction week with some playing around with cars, and lots of team building. For the next month though it's back to finishing the PhD. Which I better actually get back to because I'm supposed to be submitting this week. 

so long