liv: In English: My fandom is text obsessed / In Hebrew: These are the words (words)
[personal profile] liv
I'm somewhat ambivalent about chanukah, as I've blogged several times before, but this year I've really really enjoyed the festival.

On the first day of chanukah [personal profile] jack was here unexpectedly; he went away for a thespy weekend with the readthrough crowd and it took place near here, so he stopped by on the way home and ended up staying all week. So I made him latkes, because he ought to get some of the benefits of going out with a Jewish woman who spends lots of time and energy on inexplicable religious stuff.

During the day I met a colleague who has loads of common interests with me (and we only found this out because I had to write a blurb for some bit of PR). It looks like we may be able to collaborate, because he has an established lab and a reputation, but for political reasons no employees, whereas I have time and practical ability but no money or equipment. The plan is to apply to supervise a student jointly (which I have to do anyway since I am too junior to supervise on my own), and I'm really energized and excited about this!

On the second day of chanukah I went with [ profile] mathcathy to join a gym. And having joined, I had a go on some machines which work your arms (as my legs were still tired from the previous day's effort!) The plan is to encourage eachother show up twice a week, which should make me really strong and fit!

On the way to work in the morning, I saw a parhelion (a word I didn't really know until someone posted about it on Facebook), namely a meterological phenomenon where you can apparently see three suns joined by a horseshoe-shaped rainbow. Combined with sleety snow that sparkled with tiny miniature rainbows, it was a really awe-inspiring experience. I bought doughnuts for my students and colleagues, who were very appreciative.

On the third day of chanukah I travelled to London by first class train. About one time in five, first class Advance tickets on the high speed west coast route are cheaper than standard class. This was the first time since I started taking this journey when being in first class actually meant being treated like a VIP, with a carriage almost to myself, free food and tea and actually working internet, and very pleasant service. Probably still not worth extra money, but I can at least see why someone might want to pay.

Then I showed up at Amazonia and was promptly plied with a really amazing selection of sushi and smoked fish. And there was really excellent conversation, as ever in that house. It was so incredibly relaxing and lovely to see [personal profile] khalinche, [personal profile] ewt and [personal profile] hairyears! I chatted to [personal profile] khalinche some more while she packed, and spent some of the morning with [personal profile] ewt (who gets up early), and provided [personal profile] khalinche with further packing moral support. Then I went out to the most amazing lunch with [personal profile] ewt and [personal profile] hairyears, at a place called Le Belgique in Wanstead. It looks like a funny sort of place that doesn't quite know whether it's a café or a bar or a patisserie, but serves the most delicious food you could imagine, especially the cakes. [personal profile] ewt had a cheeseboard which would have made a substantial meal for two on its own. I washed down this ambrosial feast with a Belgian white beer flavoured with coriander and orange, and some hot cherry beer.

On the fourth day of chanukah, after [personal profile] khalinche had set off for her adventures, I went to [ profile] abigailb's place for [ profile] doseybat's party. I always love Doseybat's parties, and this one was particularly brilliant. Just really wonderful fascinating relaxed conversation with loads of interesting people. It was lovely to see [ profile] lethargic_man and [ profile] aviva_m, and I finally got to meet the [ profile] toothycats properly (some talking shop may have been involved). Also [ profile] blue_mai brought gin and berry cordial, which she mixed with hot water to make a really tasty punch. I possibly drank more of it than I ideally should have, considering that I'd had drinks with lunch as well, but hey. My friends don't mind if I'm a bit giggly and over-talkative. To make a good party even better, [personal profile] ruthi brought chanukah candles so I didn't have to miss lighting the fourth candle. And [ profile] abigailb kindly provided crash space as well as hosting the party.

On the fifth day of chanukah, back in Stoke, the students ran another chanukah party at the synagogue here. It was fantastic. Everybody showed up, even families with kids who live too far away to attend anything like regularly. The students made £100 for the local hospice with their cake sale and raffle. There were some slight disasters involving attempting to make latkes out of 7 kg (!) of potatoes but no eggs, but it was one of the best communal chanukah parties I've ever been to, just how the festival should be.

On the sixth day of chanukah I returned to the gym. I had to have a "health check" which was a bit annoying, but I suppose fair enough. And while I was there I did more working out. Which meant I felt very virtuous about keeping my appointment with [ profile] mathcathy to go back to the gym at 6:30 the following morning. Though I ended up swimming rather than doing anything strenuous, as I didn't quite have the energy within 12 hours of my previous exercise session!

On the seventh day of chanukah [personal profile] jack cooked me a tasty dinner in the evening. And today I ran a really great practical on blood, and none of the students horribly endangered themselves or otherwise caused trouble. Generally work is going really well at the moment.

On the eighth day of chanukah I lit the last candle with a little pang of regret. Normally chanukah is after the solstice and the candles remind you that the light is on its way. This year chanukah is too early, and there's a cold snap, and there are several more weeks of darkness to get through. I'm kinda looking forward to Christmas this year, though. Spending time with [personal profile] jack's family for the third year running I'm feeling relaxed enough to have positive feelings about giving and receiving presents. And then I'm going to Limmud, which I'm tremendously excited about. And [personal profile] hatam_soferet is coming here for the conference and hopefully staying for New Year, yay.

... and a partridge in a pear tree!
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Miscellaneous. Eclectic. Random. Perhaps markedly literate, or at least suffering from the compulsion to read any text that presents itself, including cereal boxes.

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