Thursday, June 30, 2011

St Ives part 1

Its a long way to St Ives, so we set off first thing in the morning and poottled down the M5 and then A30, taking a little break to Yandles, finally arriving around 5. We had a cup of tea in the Nook, where we were staying before having an explore - what a beautiful place. We chose Rhurbabs for tea - exceedingly yummy - mussles, baked chicken with sweet potato wedges & salad and then a rhubarb crumble cake for dessert!

Sunday, June 26, 2011


What a week! On Tuesday I had (the day from Hell) an interview and a big presentation to give. The interview was really hard and to be honest I thought that I had completely blown it so I headed off to the presentation thinking I'll give this my best shot and see if I can find a job else where. So I was really surprised to find a message when I got home to say they'd like to give me the job! Of course I said yes and next week I will meet with the head of the department to finalise a contract and duties - fingers crossed it'll all work out! The newest member of the School of Dentistry lecturing/academic staff.

When applying I said if I got it I would buy a kiln - might be a bit surprising but then I have been hankering after one for ages and over the last 6months down at the MAC I have been making all manner of strange and interesting objects. Today I got some time to go to the Earth and Fire Ceramic Fair at Rufford Park and I did indeed buy a kiln. The lovely people at Potclays are building it for me and I can pick it up in about 2 weeks. Its dinky - so I can get it in the car and can run it off the normal electricity supply. Starting small!!

While I was at the fair I bought a ticket for the tombola and I never win but I did this time! I am delighted to now own this pretty pot made by Katherine Winfrey! Back at home I harvested our burgeoning crop of raspberries into it. Fabulous all round really!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Gardener's World

We had a super time yesterday at Gardener's World Live at the NEC. Mum was volunteering for the RHS and we had time to potter about all the beautiful plants - I managed to come home with just 2 - a cephalotus (Australian picther plant) and a tiny hosta called snowy mouse ears. Wonderful fun! Then for Father's day we popped down to Highbury Hall where they had a bird display going on - and nearly got eaten by the biggest vulture I had ever seen - she could have gone off with my car!!

Saturday, June 11, 2011


And back at Easter we took a trip to Anglesey with Jean and Dick - visiting Amwlch, Tregarth, Plas Newydd, Parys Mountain and South Stack

Friday, June 10, 2011


At the beginning of May Nick, Charlie and I went for lots of walks around Grasmere - Silver Howe, Helvelyn and Helm Crag - some more pictures on Charlie's blog too. There was also the start of the use of the Tom Tom

Tuesday, June 07, 2011


I have been toying with ideas around the use of plasticware in the lab for a little while. I am struck by how durable yet disposable they are. To highlight this I have been making porcelain casts, which are delicate and not so disposable, of the humble Petri dish and trying different glazes on them to represent biological samples - either eukaryotic or prokaryotic cells - growing on them. I particularly like the one above where I have used a very tiny sliver of red glass, which seems to have pooled in small colony like patches. I have also been wondering if there is enough iron in biological preparations - for example bacteria brown on iron rich agar - to make a glaze. Below I have used Porphromonas gingivalis, which is fairly iron rich - I think a hint of brown can be seen! Next I would like to track the route plastics take through the lab - from pristine box fresh to autoclaved distortion.

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