Sunday, 30 October 2011

Full House

We have had a full house this week. Half term started off with a beautiful weekend, where I climbed to Malverns with Donny and Pal. We managed it in T-shirts, only putting our jumpers on when we got over the ridge at the top, and the wind hit us. It was glorious.
Then the weather closed in and it's been damp pretty much all holiday. On Monday our first set of Couchsurfers arrived - a mother and son from Lyon, France. She's German, he's half Japanese. They are staying for a week. The son, Nao, is all of 9, half the size of a grasshopper, speaks four languages fluently and can give me a run for my money on scientific facts. Whew! I'll look forward to seeing his name on the Nobel Prize list or similar in the next 20 years or so.
The mother, Anne, is incredibly easy to get on with. She loves to sew, and has been scouring my house for things with holes in. She's even converted two rabbit skins I tanned and then forgot about, into a kind of cushion.The second set of CSers arrived on Tuesday. Dominique and her two daughters come from Calais. They only stayed one night, but they managed to fit in, do the cooking and come swimming with us in that time. Maybe we will go and visit them in France sometime.
Meanwhile, I saw a job I wanted to apply for. It is the first scientific job I've seen, that I fancied doing, for about ten years. It is about modelling climate change and species population reactions to it, amongst other things. It is the sort of job I would have walked into, if I'd seen it straight after my PhD. Now, I can only keep my fingers crossed that I will get an interview.
The thing is, of course, I love doing the Bikeability stuff, but you just can't live on it. If there was a chance of being able to make ends meet and still do Bikeability, then I wouldn't have spent the whole of Saturday afternoon filling in an application form for the Science post. On the other hand, I haven't felt 'alive' since I left science, in terms of doing a job. Just imagining dealing with data and being allowed to be precise and meticulous again fills me with a thrill, when most people would shudder! Being stretched intellectually, instead of being pushed to the limit by stress, is such an exciting possibility, that I couldn't sleep on Thursday night. I ended up reading until 2.30am before I could calm myself enough to doze off.On Friday we went to Queenswood. It is just gorgeous at this time of year - the colours of the leaves are like flames on the trees. We wondered up and down for an hour, while the kids tried to fill in a quiz on the shapes of leaves. After that, and lunch at a cafe, we went and put flowers on the family grave in Eardisland. My grandmother would have been 100 a few weeks ago. Anyway, Hallowe'en or Samhain is a good time to honour the ancestors, and it felt good to do that.


  1. Hi Rachel,
    Thanks for the nice memories and beautiful pictures. I was glad that I could show them to hubby and we had a good laugh about our little half grasshopper. Another (German) friend of mine (a teacher) called him "garden gnome" which is suitable, too. She thinks that he is highly gifted and I don't care nor mind as long as he stays funny and friendly. Of course I appreciate that he is independent at homework and school stuff. By the way I'm chewing the pumpkin seeds right now. It's calming for me. I'm crossing my fingers for the job. You will get it!!!!!

  2. Hi Anne,
    It was great to have you to stay. you and the grasshopper are always welcome!
    I've been having trouble getting on the internet - my router is totally kaput. I'll update as soon as I can. :o)

  3. Thanks for your message. I know that even without Internet problems you are busy enough, so I'm patient. I'm thinking of you! Anne (who has created a google account on purpose for being able to write comments here)


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