Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Modern minioning

So today I was back minioning at the Horniman Museum SCC.  I think the plan might have been to crack on with some specimen cross referencing, but as I hadn't been there and apparently Paolo had been 'busy' doing curator type things the room was a complete mess. Paolo could see my OCD kicking in, so before I started twitching he suggested "we" have a bit of a tidy.
Three hours later the bin was full and some progress had been made.  I was calm enough to confront the two lists and two piles of index cards whilst Paolo wrestled with MIMSY.
After half a hour I got to the foxes, and realised we hadn't yet looked at them so excitedly ran to the shelf to pull them out.  Emptying the contents on to the table (I mean box on table, but it was a flat surface) to be confronted with two bags of poo.
I'm not sure why they are in the collection, or for that matter the collectors obsession.  They were collected two years apart and from Nottingham.
Was this an exciting dietry experiment involving the comparison of fox faeces from around the country? Were the sixties concerned with the evolution of vulpes vulpes tastes?  Or was this an environmental conservation query?
The more burning question should probably be: why does the museum have TWO samples of fifty year old fox poo? And more importantly: why do we have to create records of their existance before we can dispose of them?
Hopefully the bin will have been emptied by friday...

Monday, 21 May 2012

A Sambista's Journey

So apart from my general lazyness, my appalling excuses and having short term employment, one of the main reasons for my poor blogging in recent months was my marvellous trip to Kiev.

I cant remember if I told you, but this year I joined a Samba Band (buying my own small drum, much to the delight of my husband).  At the end of April the opportunity arose to travel to Kiev for a meeting with our sister bands from around Europe, and the chance for a good old knees up in a relatively secluded area so as not to upset the locals - or at least a few as possible with a band of over 100 drummers :).

Accompanying me on my journey were two lovely band members (when I say accompanying I mean they planned it and I brought a ticket).  

The first leg of the journey was straight forward and relatively dull - we got a bus to Vienna, which took 25hrs. We saw Dover, the euro tunnel (gasp), Calais, Lille, Brussels and slept through a massive amount of German motorway before hitting Vienna mid morning.

From here on it was easy - team London picked up the "just tag along with people who are more organised" routine .  After spending 2 days doing touristy bits we hit the road again, this time a train to Budapest.

A few members of the Vienna band had managed to hitchhike and would be meeting us at the station in Budapest for the onward journey. All this sounded terribly organised, and of course therefore didn't work out quite so well.  We arrived at the train station in Vienna with plenty of time to spare - only to realise that one of the band members was at the wrong station, luckily loading 10 people with massive bags and drums is quite time consuming and she managed to just make it.  Then of course the train was delayed and we missed our connection, but not to worry as team hitchhiker were on the case to find a back-up route, which we made with minutes to spare... we were on our way to the border.  

All was going well until we hit passport security in the Ukraine.  The youngest amongst us had forgotten his passport and wouldn't be allowed in to the country.  I on the other hand was unable to pass through for reasons that were never revealed to me.  The nice man (and he was nice) found a problem with my passport which was then taken away.  Then he disappeared.  Everyone else passed through and were ushered out and still I stood there.  Eventually I was taken in to another room, where the other band member was still having issues with his lack of passport.  Eventually a translator turned up - who was clearly at the end of her shift as she couldn't wait to leave.  When I asked her about what was happening with my passport she looked at me like I was mental and disappeared.  Ordinarily this wouldn't have concerned me (I get it all the time) but we did have a train to catch in 20 mins.

Out of the blue (or more accurately out of another room) man in a marvellous hat (obviously in charge) returned with my passport and I was sent on my way.  That's it.  No explanation.

Train tickets were speedily brought, stray band members rounded up, and we were on our way to Kiev.


The return trip was fun too, but that's another story...

Sunday, 26 February 2012

sunny scotland

i am spending a marvelous few days in sunny scotland (ha ha), and although i have visited a couple of times before, this time we are trying to cram in some free culture.

i have dragged my wonderful husband around the scottish national gallery, the scottish museum and the hunterian in glasgow. i think tomorrow we are off to sterling for more culture (must remember to steal the membership cards, can't be seen to pay for these things).

today however is being spent partaking of a proper past-time, one which i rarely get to enjoy:

watching rugby in the pub.

ahh, culture...

Thursday, 23 February 2012

the meaning of interesting...

last week, whilst having a rather excellent afternoon tea with my bestist friend, I got to thinking about the meaning of interesting.

it has been almost a month since my last post (gasp), the reason being i hadn't been up to much except work. it was then noted that as i recounted what exactly i had been up to at work that it was quite interesting when viewed by someone else.

isn't that interesting...

it makes me wonder why you get bored, it's not as if i am doing the same thing day in day out, for instance, yesterday it rained, so i worked whilst getting progressively damper, is that interesting?

probably not.

who judges? clearly the listener (or reader) which means it must be defined by the people, and we all know that they can't be trusted...

Thursday, 26 January 2012


I can't believe that it has been a week since my last post, I'd like to say it was because I have been super busy doing fun and exciting things. But to tell the truth I'm not entirely sure where the time has gone.

I remember visiting the Horniman on Tuesday, with much progress having been made on the new project we were filled with a tremendous sense of achievement, which was novel.

What I remember most however is Rhino's introduction to Google and YouTube, where you can find pictures of crickets the size of the screen, he sat and stared at them for what seemed like hours, though on reflection turning on the sound was probably a mistake, especially considering he threw himself at the screen...

my wonderful wee man. It's what I like to call "cute".

I think this week can be only be described as lazy, still maybe next week the laziness will be note worthy...

Friday, 20 January 2012


Another day with the lovely people of AOC Arch, and I finished going through the context sheets in an effort to identify the grip plates from the mud covered, dirt encrusted, vague descriptions and sketches (successfully i might add).

Anyway, a byproduct of all this record checking was a discovery of an entertaining marvel of stating the obvious. The point of the sheet is to note down any useful information that will help in the analysis, and as such prompts have been provided, but these notes are classic...

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

power to the people

tonight (so far) is the first night this week where we have had power (electricity, not total world domination, mores the pity). it is amazing to realise just how much it has affected our lives, and i definitely realize that we need either a gas hob, or some kind of back-up generator cos i have been gasping for a cuppa.

so what has been happening these past few days? rather disappointingly not a lot i have to say. i have visited the Horniman SCC, and had a fun day looking at scales, trying to identify any possible existing records for the specimens, and them putting them in the second comparison draw. yes i am fully aware that this might not be most peoples idea of fun.

today i had my interview with my JSA advisor, and after talking at him for a few minutes he said that in his 25 years he had never met anyone like me (probably true) and that i had made his day.