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Entries in fancy dress (3)



It's taken a really long time. I submitted (September 2014), got through my viva (February 2015), submitted my corrections (August 2015) and got my letter saying my corrections were accepted (September 2015), but I finally got to graduate for my PhD. 

EAM31's graduation, Jan 2016

Yes, that is me. Promise. 

EAM31's graduation, Jan 2016

(I was messing around afterwards - all photos are from Clarkie.)

It feels slightly disconnected from the effort of finishing the whole thing, but it was bloody lovely to draw that line under it. It was nice that my parents could join us for the day too. 

EAM31's graduation, Jan 2016

So that's that. All the things done and dusted. Finally, I'm actually a doctor!

EAM31's graduation, Jan 2016


Batgirl runs again

Today was the 6th birthday run for Brighton and Hove parkrun. We haven't been going to parkrun much recently - marathon miles kind of take precedence - but I've got a study on tomorrow so I'm holding off on my long run until Monday. The birthday runs are an optional fancy dress, so I thought I'd revive the Batgirl costume I wore for the last Hero's Run I managed to get to.


It was even warmer than I remembered, with every hot exhale getting circulated around inside that headgear. I was extremely sweaty by the end. I managed to keep it on for the full 5k though, and on the first lap on the way past the playground I heard one of the kids saying "Mummy, Mummy! I saw Batman!".


August catch up

Whoops. August and early September kind of got away from me. Things are slowing up again now, so that's something. 

August started with cricket week. I don't actually play any more, so for me it's more umpiring week. This year it rather became golf week, which is a new thing for us. Clarkie decided she would like to take up golf after watching Grandad (91) handily beat his sons (61 and 56). Golf, she reasoned, looked like a game that a) you could keep playing for a long time and b) didn't need 21 other people (assuming the batting teams umpire and score). I was dubious, but she found a taster session advertised for just £4 each, and lo and behold I've got a bit hooked. 

This is fitting - cricket was my maternal grandad's game, golf is my paternal grandad's game. Seems about right to balance them both. I'm not good, but I don't suck quite as much as my only previous experience had lead me to believe I would (Aviemore, aged 15, Dad teaching). So I ended up playing 9 holes with a couple of the other non-players on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, making Clarkie rather jealous. So we went out for 9 holes on the Saturday with two of the other captains. We played at Dymock Grange, which is a nice, cheap course in Gloucestershire. Don't tell anyone though, or it might get busy. 

The Friday of cricket week is now the annual day for dressing up. This year was the first time that the captains revealed the theme a full year in advance, resulting in a distinct leap in costume quality. The theme was children's TV. 

So yes. We went as Noddy and Big Ears (thanks to Jo Beasley for the photo). The car was flat-packed and constructed on site (thanks to Shirley Taylor for the loan of the tent) from cardboard, double-sided tape and duct tape. It's built around two wine boxes, one for each of us. Click here for more photos from construction. The trousers and the two neck scarves are both made from plain yellow fabric and fabric pens. The beard, ears and my hat came as a set. The rest we already owned! Next year's theme is heroes and villains so plans are already being hatched. I have said no cars this time though.

The two weeks between cricket week and my DiGRA trip to Atlanta didn't quite work out as I'd hoped with the running. I picked up a bit of a calf strain, so ended up taking it really easy. I may pay for that, but at least the calf feels a bit better and I did cycle so the fitness shouldn't have taken too much of a hit. 

The trip to Atlanta was interesting. I couldn't afford a nice central hotel, so I had an airport hotel instead. That then left me with the challenge of getting to midtown every day. I made use of the hotel-airport shuttle, and used the MARTA train system to get in from the airport. A few people warned me of the dangers of this, but honestly, compared to the London Underground I found it to be quick, spacious and everyone was very polite. I did skip all the evening activities to avoid using it late at night though. I actually regret being too far out to go running with a couple of the other attendees more than I regret skipping the evening stuff, but there you go. I had a pretty nice room, although they could have done with double glazing for the noise of the planes and the fans/airconditioning from the restaurant outside. 

I ended up having to stay an extra couple of days after the conference ended, because the flights dropped by £600. Yes, I had to pay an extra £80 for the hotel, but I'd bought a 7-day transport pass, so it wasn't so bad. I ended up seeing the World of Coca Cola on the Friday, which I decided was a pretty good record of the popular culture around the brand as much as anything else. I even found a Berliner Bar, so my holidays all linked together nicely (cricket week is in Colwall, which also had a Malvern Water Coca Cola factory until 2010). 

On the Saturday it was time for the Dragon*Con parade. Now, I worked in a comic shop. I'd heard of Dragon*Con. And I've been to Disney, so I've seen parades. But what I got was somewhat more than I bargained for.

31 Aug 2013 20:28

Stormtroopers were what was mentioned to me before the event, and stormtroopers there were. Along with an awful lot of other things, and mashups beyond my wildest imaginings. Muppet stormtroopers? Why yes. 

31 Aug 2013 20:28

As you do. Check out the rest of my pics. That's only a tiny, tiny part of the craziness. It was like the Friday of Cricket Week on steroids. And yes, I did have a moment of wishing I had my Batgirl outfit with me...

So that's August. I think that's enough for now!