Sea Survival Training & Cambridge x2

Sea Survival Training & Cambridge x2


Pancake Day was nice, I ate one with lemon and sugar, that’s the way the English like to eat their pancakes πŸ™‚ And I ate many with chocolate, cause that’s the way I like them πŸ™‚ That day it was snowing a lot! And I had a flat tire that I couldn’t repair because I was out of glue… So I had to get to Colins place by bus, which takes an hour. By bike it’s 15-20 minutes, I don’t understand how anyone can live without a bike here!

On Thursday Nicole and me took the 8 AM train from Norwich to Lowestoft for our Sea Survival Training. Such a great day!! We did theory until about 3 PM, all about how to survive cold water, what to do once you’re in the life boat, how to get rescued, even things like how to survive shark attacks… It was really interesting and I learnt a lot.

Then it was time for more fun: the pool! We had to wear overalls and shoes and a life jacket. First we climbed down a rope, got in the lifeboat, swam, and climbed up a rope ladder. Hard work, especially while wearing a life jacket that gets in the way all the time. Then we had to jump from about 3-4 meters into the pool, while holding down your life jacket with one hand and closing off your nose and mouth with the other hand. Quite scary the first time! We learned how to turn the life boat around in case it’s upside down. And how to huddle in a group to stay warmer and so that you don’t lose people. The final exercise was the most exciting: they turned on the wave simulator, the rain machines and wind, and the lights were flickering while an alarm went off. We had to jump in, and work as a group to get everyone in the lifeboat and then close the roof. Quite a challenge when you try to swim (on your back) through the waves, trying to find the lifeboat while rain is pouring. But we did it! I have a huge bruise on my arm, I don’t really understand how I got that, but well. I really enjoyed the training! And I got my certificate, so I am ready to go to sea πŸ™‚

My muscles were hurting for a couple of days, including the don’t-make-me-laugh-cause-it-hurts muscles πŸ˜‰ On Saturday I went in town to visit the library and I went for tea with Veronika. At night Nem, Nicole and me had a girls night, we had dinner and then we watched Finding Nem(o) πŸ™‚

On Sunday morning I had to wake up early cause I was meeting Johannes (from Austria, I met him at the barn dance) at 9:00 at the train station. We took the train to Cambridge for a day of sight-seeing. The weather was beautiful, quite cold but very sunny. We walked around and saw many of the colleges, this city is really amazing, never seen anything like it. It was beautiful at the river where people were punting. We went to Pizza Hut for lunch, where we had the unlimited pizza buffet and unlimited ice cream factory for dessert. We ate so much that I didn’t need dinner that day!! After lunch we walked around more and saw colleges like Jesus College, nice name ;). Johannes wanted to visit the American cemetery, which is outside of Cambridge. According to the map we looked at it was only 2 miles, but it was more like 4. It took an hour to get there! We passed BAS on the way as well. The cemetery was impressive, a lot like the one I saw last summer in Normandy at the D-Day beaches, though smaller.

Just when we were getting ready to walk all the way back (while the sun was setting), one of the overpriced tourist busses came by. I asked how much it was to get back to Cambridge, and the driver told us we could come for free!! That was really nice!! It was an open double decker so we sat on top and we decided to get out at the train station. It took a very long way to get there and we got all the commentary about the city centre, all for free πŸ™‚

Here are the photos!


The entrance of King’s College


At King’s College


And me at King’s College πŸ™‚


The river that runs behind the colleges


Hmm I don’t remember the name of this college, there are so many!




Jesus College


A cute and very small college, with lots of flowers in the garden!


This is one of the big and famous ones, but I don’t remember which one!!


The American Cemetery in Madingley


I liked the shadows of the graves….


On our way back, taken from the bus

I came back home at 19:00, sooooooo tired of all the walking we did, I went to bed early.

On Tuesday Nicole and me made dinner at my place for Paola, Nem and Johannes. Well it was more Nicole making dinner and me cutting vegetables hehe. After dinner we played Trivial Pursuit the (slightly British biased) international edition. I won!!! It’s a miracle, I never win this game. I was just lucky winning wedges for questions like: who is the companion of Obelix? It was good fun πŸ™‚

On Wednesday I went to Cambridge again, but this time not as a tourist. I went with Ian (my supervisor) and Emma (another PhD student). I had my second supervisory meeting at BAS (British Antarctic Survey), I have two supervisors there. I was a bit nervous because I didn’t make much progress since the last meeting (in November). This was mostly because of all the problems I had with the model, it kept crashing, quite frustrating. To my surprise, my supervisors there were impressed that I got some results at least, and they had some good ideas on what to do next. So I’m quite happy about the meeting!

Besides that meeting, I spent most of the day reading journals in the library, Ian had meetings all day. It was good because I got a lot of work done that way!

At night I went to the Norwich Buddhist Centre, where I had the first night of my Introduction to Meditation course… Some of you might be surprised that I am doing something like that πŸ˜‰ Yeah I am surprising myself as well, but I thought I would give it a try. I am too stressed sometimes and my problems with hyperventilation (that I’ve had for a long time) are getting worse lately. Colin recommended doing meditation and I thought it was worth the try. I was a bit scared that it would be full of crazy hippies there, but the people were quite nice and it was a very relaxing evening (I almost fell asleep, oops).

Ok this is all for now… It’s quite a busy time again here. On Friday I am going to the World Cafe, they are ha
ving an international food festival so that should be good!! I am going to make poffertjes for that πŸ™‚

On Saturday I am going to visit a house in this street… It’s a 2 bedroom apartment, it sounds really good. CΓ©lia is coming to Norwich next year so we are trying to find a place together. I’m not sure how it will work out, she might also move into my house. We’ll see! The owner of the house told me that there will be more than 20 student couples coming to see the house, so I don’t think I’ll have a good chance but I am going to try anyway. Would be so easy to just move to a house in the same street hehe.

On Saturday night I am going to a concert in the Norwich Arts Centre with Veronika. And next week I have Transitions for 4 days, Monday to Thursday. It’s a course for PhD students about how to plan your PhD, presentation skills, writing skills etc. Probably useful but 4 days is a bit too much I think. I’m afraid it’s going to be a bit boring!



2 thoughts on “Sea Survival Training & Cambridge x2

  1. hoihoi Hanneke, what a nice trip you did in Cambridge.

    about the SST, it looks so nice and I can not wait to see you to show me what you learnt there. So See you in some monthsin the swimming pool for some special courses :P.

    Tot ziens


  2. Hoi Hanneke, nogmaals bedankt voor je mail! :o) Wat een verhaal weer. En alles in het engels! Beter! Moet dit dan ook in het Engels? :o) Succes! En mediteer ze. Goeie tip trouwens! :OP



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