All 6 entries tagged Family

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April 01, 2007

My sister was here, part II

This weekend my older sister, Kirsten, came to visit. We had lots of fun. Legged lots of miles. Did lots of shopping. And saw Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, which was a gay joyeous occasion! Here’s a nice 2/5 family photo for you:

Kirsten in England 8

More photos here


June 28, 2006

A little notice

My sister was here. We took a few photos

Birgit in England 8

We had lots of fun and she met lots of my friends which was fun too. Now my arm hurts with fake Hep A.


March 23, 2006

He's Misstra Know–It–All

Someone got a bit annoyed by the stupid Tubthumping entry being at the top of my blog for the past 2 weeks. Hence this.

Saturday 4 March

We had a concert with Revelation. It was beyond amazing! We had some great new talent singing solos, and none of the conductors ever stopped smiling. I even managed to keep the speeding up potential at bay in Khumbaya! I actually only sang for half the concert, as a poor diet didn't give me enough energy to blast throughout the performance. As a result, the encore turned into a comedy act, where I was supposed to get the audience to make some noise, with hardly any more than radio scatter of a voice myself. Ah well – that's what makes it all the more fun! Hopefully the CD will come out soon…

Sunday 5 March

My culinary skills have extended and now cover french toast. No single bit of egg shell in the mixture! I yet haven't managed to expand on the meal like I've done with pancakes [cheese and sugar and syrup. Try it!] but I think Nikki, Jenni, Hayley, and Mike enjoyed their breakfast regardless.

Monday 6 March

Honestly, I've no clue what I did this day. It's too long ago to care. I must have done some bit of supervision, and I probably watched Smallville. It might have been this day that I finally got my first remotely useful results out of the C++ model I've been working on this term.

Tuesday 7 March

Revelation cabaret. After 2 years of preparation [I'm sure we discussed it in our first year here] Marta and I finally performed our Dutch-Italian combo of Vivere/Zonder Jou. I almost lost track as people started laughing, convinced they laughed coz I had to sing so low [hadn't really prepared and didn't feel like singing a few As and Bs that night] and forgetting that maybe people here aren't used to hearing me speak Dutch.

Wednesday 8 - Friday 10 March

Again temporary memory loss. Though I know most of this time was dedicated to supervision marking. The powers that be had decided to give the first year one massive assignment to hand in on Thursday. They forgot that I actually have a life and don't like being forced to mark work within 24 hours. Yet, I prevailed, and even took time to meet up with the supervisees to hand back their work and have them hear the verdict through me, rather than some website or their tutor.

I just realize I also discussed the mild successes of the model with my own supervisor, which left me with quite some work to do for the next week. See further on.

Friday 10 March - Sunday 12 March

Pre-WiM. That means before WiM - or before Week in March which is actually a week in April. Plus a day. Yes TP, I almost literally stole your joke.
Anyway – WiM is a Revelation event in the Easter hols where the choirs in the UK come together to rehearse songs from scratch to perform in a concert at the end of the week. It's always great fun, and I've met some great friends in previous years! This year, I'm Arts Director, which sounds really posh, but in Rev leadership means making sure people are happy, so I ended up bringing my team members cups of tea and bags of crisps.

Monday 13 - Friday 17 March

Warwick Turbulence Symposium
_Environmental Turbulence: from Clouds through the Ocean_
Spent the Monday attending 2 out of 4 talks. I was still exhausted from the weekend, and so many thoughts and ideas were running through my head, that all I could focus on was the bright window above the poorly lit presentation screen. I did eventually get my C++ program to work on the maths computers as well [Borland apparently has an immune system that lets poor code stay where it is - after changing it for g++ the code is much faster already!].

Trouble on Tuesday, however. Missed the bus, with the next one not arriving for a lovely 50 minutes – as a result, I missed two extremely relevant talks. Thanks TWM. You have actually inspired me to buy a bike. Better not try and run me over next term! That afternoon, I found out that to get the right distribution over time, I'm going to need to track 1,000,000 bubbles. To track 10,000 bubbles for a second currently already takes quite a few minutes. Lovely – TBC.

Wednesday and Thursday I made some important baby's first steps in my degree. First, I went up to a speaker after his talk to ask him about one of his experiments. He seemed to be in a hurry though, so couldn't get a lot out of him. Next, I went up to someone I'd met in the December conference, and ended up chatting to him for the whole next hour. We discussed: air bubbles, rain drops, collision efficiency, granular motion, sand dunes, PSV Eindhoven, Zenit St Petersburg, Abramovich, Hiddink, Israel and Palestine. In that order. Then Peter came in and we discussed bubbles some more. We're afraid that merging bubbles is not the kind of phenomenon that is useful for further research, but we'll have to see.

We also discussed the C++ model some more, and Peter tried to convince me to learn yet another language, but I'm quite happy being a sheep and use a language everyone uses. Like English. Then he tried to convince me to change one of my algorithm into a big tree and spent an hour explaining it to me. Then we realized it wouldn't be useful since the bubbles rise at different speeds and the tree would have to be cut down and grown each time which probably wouldn't give us any advantage when trying to track 1,000,000 bubbles.

The final step was that I actually asked a question in a seminar! Big deal, you might say. Pot you! Ali would say. It was a talk by someone from Southampton whose articles I'd been reading last year – mainly concerning phytoplankton and turbulence, something I hope to be researching at some point in life – and he obviously didn't have time to discuss every little bit, but I thought he left out something really important. And I even linked my question to another question! If only I'd have worn my name tag.

The Friday was a bit of a let down. I think I went to the most interesting talk of the day [at least most relevant to me] and I spent some more time talking to Peter about bubbles. We decided we could study bubbles merging in sparkling water or whatever soft drink you like, but we'd need all of you to start pouring your drinks into the ocean now if this were ever to be important in air-sea gas exchange.

Friday 17 March - Tuesday 21 March

After two exhausting weeks [yes, I've got bad stamina. And no, this is all relative, of course I know 99% of the world population has got far bigger problems than I do, and don't get a lie in] I thought it to be time for a holiday, and arranged a weekend of fun in London.

Actually, it was Pat's birthday [St Patrick's Day] party on Saturday and he suggested a long time ago I should stay till Monday for London Revelation's rehearsal. I thought I'd add Friday in to work on a song for Rev with Dan, and meet up with Frank as well while there. And so we proceed.

Euston -> Euston [it was too busy Friday 7pm] -> Euston Square -> Moorgate -> Tooting Bec: Dan's house -> Camden Town: Underground. Good night out. Though all 5 layers I decided to wear smelled of smoke afterwards. Night bus back was ok until some guy thought I was someone else, namely someone that gets all the girls he wants [spot the sad false assumption] and gets his beep beeped [or smurf smurfed] whenever, wherever. But no. Then he sat down. And 5 minutes later started muttering obscenities in my general direction. So Dan suggested we sit downstairs.

Didn't get anywhere arranging the song on Saturday. Spent two hours deciding what key to put it in, then thought it best to keep it as it was. It needs some serious work to make it vaguely interesting for the choir though… Went to some burger place with the best burgers within some radius which couldn't have been too far, because despite the obvious quality ingredients, I usually enjoy a Big Mac more than the overdone piece of carbon I got on my plate. Ah well. No tube stations this day. Pat's party was amazing – possibly the best party I've been to. Lots of drunkenness with lots of things that could have ended badly, but in the end were just really funny. Despite earlier statements that no one would sleep in the dance floor room, 7 of us did, and we thought we were ok the next morning, until we found out in the hall way that an alcohol percentage below 70% in the air was possible.

Sunday got more tube action again: Clapham South -> Tooting Bec: Dan's house to do nothing, really -> Bank -> Aldgate East where I met Frank despite his phone being stolen and mine out of battery. Had a lovely alternative roast and listened to Charlotte Church and saw his fun loving housemates again. Chats involved lots of Dutch speaking and future foreseeing. No night time bus this time, just the tube back to Pat's.

Monday involved me and Pat going to Brixton, testing if it really is as exciting and interesting as the buzz makes us think. But no. It's just Coventry's Indoor Market. But then outdoors. And with lots of Afro-Caribean music and rhythm. And more smell of wee. But we did walk down Electric Avenue. And I did buy a gospel CD. And a kitchen sink drain thing that stops the rice from going down. I also got shouted at by some Jamaican "asking" me if I was with de Bri'ish or de Irish man – at this point I realized that maybe I should leave my bright green coat at home next time, as it seems to be giving me the wrong kind of attention. No one got hurt, however, so we went -> Green Park -> Leicester Square to see the Photographer's Gallery which was a tad bit dull but had good lemon cake and then we went to try and find Fopp in Covent Garden but it wasn't there. Instead, we got lost in the Seven Dials and found Fopp. Then we had to help Pete and his brother [or Richard and his brother] but they didn't understand my directions:

Cross the road at the station, then take a left into Short Street [actually called Short Gardens or something] then there's a map, or you end up at a roundabout thing where you'll take the road at 1 o'clock, at the end of which you'll find Fopp.

Apparently analogue clocks don't help in directions. Bought Innervisions [it's good!] and went to a restaurant where they served rijsttafel and I got excited. It's Dutch. No more boring stuff happened and then there was Rev!

Silly enough, there's no official Revelation rock-gospel choir in London [bar Royal Holloway - which is a lifelong journey away from the city], and they're trying to change it. The choir needs to be affiliated to a university to be an official part of Rev, but in London, it needs at least 20 students from 4 different colleges to sign a form if it is to be a student society. Sigh. But the workshop was good. Learned a new song and some interesting approaches to old Rev songs. Plus, it was good to sing with Dan, Pat, Pete, Kate, and Jenni again.

So we went back on the tube, making the Northern line my most visited tube line. Must have spent 0,0001% of my life on that line now! Tuesday, it was time to say goodbye with one more trip on the Northern line to Moorgate to have lunch with Dan, Pat and Kate where Kate demonstrated the goodness of work for a charity organisation: casual dress.

And then I went back to Cov and then I suddenly had lots of emails that were of no interest to me and then I went to the pub and then I slept and then I downloaded lots of research articles and then I arranged more of the song and now I finally finished this entry.

He's a man

With a plan

Got a counterfeit dollar in his hand

He's Misstra Know-It-All


February 20, 2006

Confessions

Dear friends, family. What you have feared for those years while I've been in the UK has come true. I've been taken over by the force, and have been identified as a Christian, and even been spotted evangelising

The signs have been there all the time. Whilst in England, I have visited a total of 36 churches, some of which more than once! I'm very proud of this fact actually, as churches are generally cold buildings, and revisiting them is a sign of true spirit.

Then there is Rev. Singing songs with words as Joyful, joyful, Lord we adore thee! must mean that I believe the Lord exists and is wonderful. In the same way as singing you make me feel like a natural woman is speaking from my deepest desires.

On this blog I have touched upon some religious issues, inviting Christians to help me out in finding out about Christian concepts, such as heaven. Clearly, one must be a Christian in the first place to even want to talk about Christianity, or Christian related stuff.

On other blogs, I have tried to explain how I see the ways some Christians work, for instance how evangelism to them makes sense, a sense that makes it feel like it's their duty to tell people about their faith. Another sign of being a Christian: actually trying to make sense of Christian activities and trying to explain others about their ways. Surely a non-Christian wouldn't even bother?!

Then look at where I spend most of my time. This term I've actually managed to get to campus in the morning every day when I didn't feel crap. Some of the time spent on campus was for direct maths purposes [lectures, supervision, seminars, PhD progress], but most of the time I spent in the Chaplaincy, where obviously all one can do is talk Christian stuff and be converted if not already and figure out how to convert other people.

What went wrong?!

Nothing, really.

I joined Rev because I like singing. I ended up visiting churches [which I already did, but mainly for tourist purposes] with Rev because, well, that's where we stay, and that's how we're supported most of the time. I ended up talking about Christian stuff because many of my friends here are Christian, and I like to understand why their faith is so important to them. I believe in something there, and it makes sense to me to call it God.

Grown up in a Western society, it's quite common [understatement] to be brought up with Christian morals. Seeing that our laws are based on Jewish-Christian traditions, I don't think anyone in such a situation can reasonably say they have nothing to do with these religions. [I'm not implying Islam has had no influence or contribution in Western civilization, but it's not part of the current argument.] I understand if people don't want anything to do with these religions, but to dismiss their relevance in life shows a complete lack of historical and political awareness, and that annoys me.

Seeing that lately, I've had trouble getting my point across, so I'll try some more:

  1. I don't and I won't call myself a Christian [I believe in most of the stuff 'necessary', but without sounding rude, there's other stuff in my life that I think needs more attention]
  2. I don't mind you calling me a Christian if that makes sense to you. I don't see how what I've said makes me more a Christian than a Muslim though
  3. I don't mind anyone being whatever-ist or -im or -an. Just don't go about telling other people why they're wrong [note that this is different to telling people why your faith is good, which sounds perfectly acceptable to me - hence me defending evangelism]
  4. I'm sure there's another point, but no one's perfect so I can forget things too

On a final note

Apologies for the attack on your senses. I was on a mission, being truly annoyed by someone claiming to show so much respect but disrespectfully dismissing my attempts of coming to a common ground, and I changed my blog in such a way to get my message across of how ridiculous the dismissal was. The green-ness is all in favour of Hayley to see if she can shine a better light on the entry if the letters don't dance in front of her eyes. It's only temporarily, really.


November 11, 2005

Why fox hunting should not be banned

It's just too much fun! People dress up especially for the occasion, and little kids run around trying to look for them.

And when they find them, they have to guess who they really are! Really, if you're a little kid, it's one of the most fun activities, trying to recognize your teacher hidden in some crazy costume. Here's my mum with one of her good colleagues as on old couple. Coincidentally, I bought that hat ages ago for a fiver. Bargains always come in handy. [My mum is the 'bloke' on the right.]

Apologies to my mum if she didn't want the whole world to see this. I just thought it was a great photo worthy to be the top entry for my blog [rather than a stupid quiz reminding me that I should work even harder next week!].


January 31, 2005

The longest day

I'm ill. Can't really point out what it is but as I'm writing I'm trying to avoid spilling anything on my housemate's desk. It doesn't include a headache so I am just gonna add a few entries to my blog. Here's what I did last week. Don't go away now - it's almost interesting!

Actually, the first event happened earlier this month, but I need to mention it anyway: I have some sort of foundation for my thesis! And I've only been doing it for 4 months (seriously, that's quite an achievement seeing that it's mostly a trial and error process). But yes, I had some trouble getting excited about earlier articles I read – too technical – so my supervisor googled another name in the field I'm interested in and voila, here I am, fully enjoying and understanding three articles about the influence of turbulence on the population dynamics of phyto- and zooplankton, a system that plays a vital role in the global carbon cycle. Will explain more later.

Second event: Departure of housemate. Now, I'm not sure what the rules are for housemates that are your friends when they leave (as in, no bad word about the dead) but let me just say, he didn't make it easy. I'll just note that I spent my whole Thursday doing the dishes he left for his goodbye dinner (which I didn't particpate in, see below). Still need to clear out the fridge. You get the idea.

Third event: Concert team meeting. Actually, this is not of any interest to anyone, but let me just say we got a great design team, and an awesome (SC accent) publicity crew, so it's bound to be a wonderful night. What night, you say? Saturday 5 March, Coventry Central Hall (near the Litten Tree), Inspired!, brought to you by Warwick Revelation Rock-Gospel Choir. Keep ears and eyes open for more publicity!

The longest day: Wednesday 26 January.

  • Woke up at 8am which only happens once a blue moon
  • Had graduation (MSc in Mathematics) which only happens twice a lifetime or so – blatantly lasted 1,5 hours longer than advertised
  • Mom and sis visited which never happens (as they'd usually spread their visit and mom would come with dad) – blatantly ended up shopping in Coventry
  • Walked home from Coventry Railway Station, which is bound to happen more often this year
  • Said goodbye to leaving housemates and hi to his friends some of which are also my friends – made them improvised dessert (stroopwafels with cream and hagelslag, yumm!)
  • Went over financial details with housemates so that everything was (more or less) sorted
  • Went to bed 1.30am fell asleep before 4am, I think – surely there are longer days, but when are they so packed with events?

In the mean time, I ruined my throat singing a really high bit in Rev, which signalled the arrival of swollen tonsils (Wed-Fri)/ flu (Fri-Sun)/ severe cold (Sun-now). I was planning to go to Edinburgh for the weekend for EdRev's Ball and to see many friends, but yeah, thought that wasn't too clever an idea… Don't think I can write this much about this week as I'll probably stay in for most of the time.


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