At this rate of posting everyone will bugger off, and quite rightly! Things are mostly going well here and I'm settling in pretty well. Our flat still isn't completely sorted, but I have now lovingly planted out a variety of slug foods, also known as vegetables. I like to avoid killing critters unnecessarily so have discovered an exciting new passtime - snail picking. This is where I lovingly 'rehome' snails and slugs from my back garden, to my front garden, where they can't do much damage. And despite having quite literally taken hundreds of them out in the first few weeks after I cleared the garden, I still managed to pick at least 50 of the little darlings tonight. Apparently they don't much like if you put eggshells around your plants, so I've been eating a lot of omelettes. It may be helping a bit, but while you're picking snails off the eggshells you begin to wonder. Must say, if we'd had the same slug problems in NZ I doubt we'd have got as into growing veggies - it certainly takes the shine off it!
Otherwise life in the new flat is ok. I've only ever lived on my own for 6 weeks before this; I went partially mad then and I'm probably getting a little loco now too. It's the talking to yourself which is the big worry! Sean arrives in early July, so hopefully my sanity will return then! Been spending a lot of time at uni anyway, after having decided not to spend so much time working when I finished my phd. I figure it's ok cos there's nothing much for me to do at home except talk to myself, and the snails, but when Sean gets here there will be no more late evenings in the lab. I intend to take full advantage of the fantastic local pub at the bottom of our road and to develop a beer belly. They do great pie and mash there too! One of the things I complained most bitterly about in NZ was the lack of small local pubs that you can just have a quiet midweek pint in, so to have one of the nicest little pubs I've been in as our local is a bit of a result! They even do a really tasty local beer (as well as local ciders, which I still don't feel I'm ready for).
I haven't seen Bristol's most famous (indeed, realistically, only) tourist attraction; the suspension bridge, but I promise to bring you a photo of this fine piece of British architecture as soon as I can be bothered to cycle over there. Well I'm actually lying, I can see the very top of the bridge from the end of my road (we're on a hill), but that doesn't count. Bristol is quite a nice looking city, not entirely dissimilar to Sheffield (where i did my undergrad). Lovely rows of terraced houses, often painted bright colours. There's a nice, I guess, cathedral thingie (I've only seen it at speed as I come hurtling down the hill on my bike) as well. The city shopping centre is an absolute dive though - very depressing place somehow. Actually that may be partly for another reason. I've discovered recently that my increasing awareness of ways to limit my impact on the environment has taken all the fun out of shopping. Bugger! I finally now get paid properly so I could buy any clothes I wanted (well, within reason) but I find myself saying - yeah but do I need this? Where was it made? Where were the raw materials grown? Do I not already have something similar? And before I know it I've spent hours wandering round the shops and couldn't find anything that I 'needed' enough to get rid of the guilt! Now realistically, this is an entirely healthy position to find myself in - I DO have plenty of clothes already, and I DON'T need any more. But I still hate it, there's no joy in shopping anymore!
Work's going ok. I'm feeding my bugs some special precursors to see if they put them into their natural products, which I reckon is kinda cool! Never done anything like that before. The people are all cool, although there is definately a bit of politics and eggshells you have to avoid treading on in the group it seems. Still, they're all very welcoming and it's quite a giggle usually.
Well, I'd like to have some photos to show ya'll Brizzol and our new flat and stuff, but I don't so it'll have to be in the next exciting installment! Hope all's well with you all.