Hello again and happy new year! It’s 2020.
So first off, I should address the fact that it’s been a while since I first posted. Shock horror. I knew this would happen. There’s nothing like the beginning of a new year to get you back on track though so, once again, we’ll see how it goes.
The last few months were manic, let me tell you that. One day I’ll properly get into what my PhD involves but for now I’ll just say that my kit decided to break, out of the blue, and I’ve been trying to fix it ever since. It’s been almost five months. Whyyyy!? I’ve had to become an electrician, a mechanic and all sorts! I’ve certainly been putting my electronics knowledge to good use as it seems to be a problem with a circuit. Anyway, enough of that for now. I’ve been in the North for a couple of weeks so I could spend the festive period with my family. It’s been so nice to just relax with them, eat good (and by that I mean, bad) food and watch a load of telly. My favourite musicals have been on so I’ve been well chuffed.
The point of this post is maybe to be a bit of a reflection on 2019. It was a big year for me and I’m painfully aware of the rate at which time passes. In a couple of days, January 3rd, it will be exactly one year since I moved to Brighton to start the PhD! Honestly, where did it go? So much happened.
It was a big move for me because it properly felt like I was doing it on my own. University was a completely different feeling because everyone was in the same boat. We were all wide-eyed freshers, in it together! This time I was moving for a (almost) job. I was nervous but mostly excited and by goodness, I’m still excited to this day. I love my work and I’m so happy there. Like everything, it comes with stress and struggles, (ahem, broken kit, ahem) but I wouldn’t change it. I’ve learned so much already and the learning just never stops! If you told little 2014 me that I’d be working in a lab, I would have laughed and said I’d rather die. Look at me now.
This PhD just keeps on giving. I’ve had the opportunity to work at the FELIX Laboratory in the Netherlands and I’m set to go back in a few weeks. Maybe watch this space? Basically, we get to shoot lasers at our ice in the vacuum chamber to see what happens! Sometimes I just stop and think about what I’m doing and I really am just so thankful that I am where I am. Let’s not forget about the people I’ve met and the friends I’ve made! Also, going to give a sneaky shoutout to the friends that have been there all along. The love and support from these people is overwhelming and I only ever want the best for them. Every now and then I can’t help but gush about how grateful I am and sometimes I get a bit mushy. This is purely because it all means so much to me and I don’t want to take anything for granted.
All in all, I’m fortunate to be feeling so happy but the world is a particularly dark place at the moment. We can fight the big fights but sometimes we just need the little things to get by. I’ve made a list of some personal 2019 highlights that have kept me smiling:
- Been to some amazing gigs – Gong, Ed Wynne, Dreadzone, Steve Hillage and The Orb
- The rise of Lizzo!
- Dancing to ABBA in a club with my best bud – the most confident and powerful I’ve ever felt.
- My brother graduated – so proud, fella. Well done!
- Two trips to Aberystwyth – I don’t think I’ve ever laughed as much.
- 30 – 50 feral hogs.
- Got my cuff tattoos – what a long 7 hours that was. So worth it.
- Visited London and met up with our lovely Norwegian friends!
- Warner Bros. Studio Tour!
- Brighton Pride!
- Astronomy Summer School in Kent – felt like being back at Uni. Wow.
- I was Nigel Thornberry for Halloween. Best night of my life.
- Mamma Mia 2
This has been a little bit of a (slightly) emotional jumble but it’s written with the most sincere intent to get this thing going. I’m going to get myself motivated and find a direction but for now, keep laughing, stay smiling and let’s dance on through the next year!
Also, I swear I need to suck it up and just buy a new laptop after 2 years of putting it off. This thing takes about an hour to open a blank document and then crashes a billion times. Eeh.
See ya later!