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Category: England



After a fun summer with lots of travelling, I was looking forward to coming back to TromsΓΈ and not get on any planes until Christmas… but guess what, we’re in England now! Paul got a very last minute opportunity to analyse the samples from his cruise in a lab in Southampton. And I decided to come along πŸ™‚ We only had a few days to arrange everything, but we managed to find a self catering apartment in a very convenient location – much better than being stuck in a hotel room!

Paul is making long hours in the lab, and I try to work as well as see a bit of Southampton and the surroundings. Southampton is not exactly the most scenic town in England… It was bombed in WWII and rebuilt with lots of concrete. It’s quite industrial as well, mainly as a harbour. But I do enjoy being back in England! No language barrier, less expensive, good cinemas… πŸ™‚

Yesterday I took a little ferry across the river to Hythe. Quite a nice place! The ferry goes to the far end of Hythe pier, which is quite long (640 m). In the photos below you can see the pier with the ferry.

There are lots of planks with inscriptions on the pier, I guess people were able to sponsor the pier in that way. It’s nice reading all the messages as you walk along. If you don’t want to walk, there is also a cute little train! The train ride is included in the ferry ticket so I took it one way.

I walked around the marina of Hythe, from where you can see Southampton on the opposite side of the river. The ships here are enormous! Not only the container ships, but the cruise ships too. The cruise ship that you can see next to the container ship in the photo below is a rowing boat compared to the other cruise ships that are in port sometimes πŸ˜‰ I also found some trees in spectacular autumn colours, very pretty!

I took some leaves home with me, and played with my new macro lens. The leave in the photo on the left has a wormhole in it πŸ™‚

Today I watched a homecoming parade for British soldiers returning from Afghanistan. I had never been to something like that, and I was just curious. It was quite nice actually, they did a kind of show with different types of boats, explaining where and how they were used. The parade itself was not very long, but it was fun to watch the people there… πŸ™‚

That’s all for now… hopefully more photos soon πŸ™‚

Almost Dr. Hanneke :)

Almost Dr. Hanneke :)

I passed my viva (PhD defense) yesterday!! I was questioned for about 2.5 hours before they asked me to leave the room so they could make their decision. It wasn’t a bad experience, but it was quite tough. Fortunately I got away with minor corrections πŸ™‚ I have 3 months to finish them, but I estimate it’s about a month of fulltime work, so that’s not so bad. This is quite a normal outcome here in the UK, but it does make it a bit of an anticlimax. You come out feeling quite criticised and overwhelmed by how much work you still have to do. It took a while before I was in a festive mood, but in the end I realised that I have a clear list with 16 issues (which are all quite reasonable). Once I have addressed all these issues, I email my examinors and they will check if they approve of the corrections, and that’s IT – then I just have to print and bind it. Doesn’t sound that bad, does it? πŸ™‚

In the evening we went for drinks and a meal. It was Nem’s birthday as well, and another PhD student had just submitted, so we had plenty of reasons to celebrate! I really enjoyed the evening πŸ™‚ Here’s a photo of me with Karel (on the left) and with birthday girl Nem (on the right).

I had a great time being back at my old university, and seeing my friends here. I lived in Norwich for over 3 years and have so many good memories πŸ™‚ I went for a last walk around the lake and took this photo of the “ziggurat” student accommodation.

I’m flying back to Amsterdam tomorrow and will spend another 2 weeks in the Netherlands.

I would like to thank everybody for their support before (and after) my viva! I got so many emails, text messages, phone calls, blog comments, etc etc, from all over the world (seriously ranging from Brazil and New Zealand to the Arctic… wow!), and it was wonderful to know how many people were thinking of me and wishing me luck πŸ™‚ it means a lot to me!



Just a few photos we took last week at Winterton beach…Β 

We’re really enjoying our Christmas holidays, and the weather has been nice (but cold!). I’ve got more photos to share, but I haven’t had time to edit them. We’re leaving for Wales tomorrow, where we won’t have internet – so no updates for a while… I’ll try upload more photos when we’re back next weekend. Happy 2009 to everyone!!!