So, in the midst of a water polo match on the Cam (playing between the banks at King’s) some DUCKLINGS swam across the pitch :D We promptly herded them together, where it was then possible to get them to sit on our paddles. So cute! So small! So likely to end up as a snack for a fox/mink/otter…
The mess of paddles in the middle of this picture is - in fact - a two-man inflatable open canoe, being paddled by two people with kayak paddles. Down the Legacy Loop at Lee Valley White Water Centre. As you do…
Today was my first day on the course of 2014, as I had wussed out during the cold weather. Now that it’s sunny, there’s no excuse! Pretty pleased with how I did today: two swims, lots of rolls, one run catching 12 eddies, some front and side surfing, and a pop out that worked! Things to work on: stamina, stamina, bracing, stamina, stamina…
Newsflash: if you have a middle class or aspirationally middle class name, you are more likely to go to Oxford or Cambridge!
Isn’t this rather obvious? Middle class students are over-represented among the Oxford and Cambridge undergraduate intake. Among the working class students, there are a lot with very ambitious parents. I know that my mother was given a middle class name - despite coming from a very working-class background - because HER mother wanted her to have a name that could take her wherever she wanted to go in life, without overt working-class connotations. As a result, my mother ended up fitting the Sloane Ranger stereotype (names like Diana, Georgiana, Henrietta, all ending in ‘a’; studying English at Oxford) even though she was the daughter of a coal miner!
The same must apply to so many other children (the Captain, for instance, has quite an unusual middle name that his mother vetoed as a first name) who come from working-class backgrounds. Their parents are ambitious for their children and so choose a name that they perceive to be middle-class or class-less, so that their child won’t stand out wherever they end up in life. It says a lot about the UK that name ARE so strongly tied to class - it’s sad - but I think the situation may even be diverging between class groups more strongly than in the past. The middle classes and aspirational parents stick more strongly to traditional first name, and quite a lot of the country goes for something individual that’s going to ‘age’ badly (eg instantly peggable as a name from the Noughties, in the may that Margot makes you think of the 40s and 50s).
I have decided to stop being a wuss, and have signed up to the Anthony Nolan bone marrow register. Over the next few days, my saliva sample will be making its way to the Anthony Nolan labs in London for HLA typing. My tissue type will then be checked against that of people all over the world who need a haemopoetic stem cell (bone marrow) donation. If I’m a match for someone (unlikely - only ~1/500 people on the registry ever get called to donate), I’ll probably be able to give stem cells through a series of blood component donations. Now sure why I’ve waited this long - you can only sign up if you’re under 30, and I am (horrifyingly) not that far away…
Think I saw Darcy Isa from Waterloo Road cycling around Cambridge today. Which is a bit… random. I’m guessing she simply has a look-a-like…
How quickly can you get back to paddling after breaking a thumb?
Based on my facebook photos, I was back kayaking six weeks after I came out of a cast (so around 12 weeks after actually breaking the bone). I know I went for a very painful canoeing session the day after I came out of the cast!
Patient asks me what kind of nurse I want to be
People ask me whose postdoc I am.
I’m a woman! I’m my own boss! I am not the junior of my male colleagues!
The next time someone tries to sell you on the wonders of fracking, tell them to check out the USGS map of the US, particularly the map of Oklahoma, which weekly shows one or two earthquakes, ranging from 2.3 to 4.2 on the Richter Scale (as I type, there are five earthquakes on the map, none lower than 2.8).
Then tell them to do a news search of earthquakes in Oklahoma, which had next to no earthquakes in the decades before fracking began, and see what the pundits feel is the cause of the sudden epidemic of earthquakes there. (Hint. It isn’t a major fault line. OK doesn’t have one.)
You don’t even have to say anything. They can look up the arguments for themselves.
Not a fan of evil big companies, but:
SCIENCE folks. What would be nice is a study showing that these are statistically significant correlations, not just unfortunate coincides. I’m sure there’s a causal link, but I would like to see the maths.
THEN you can tell the fracking companies where to get off.
Three months into my 2014 length swimming challenge, and I have swum 720 lengths - a third of the way there!
I spent a lovely Mother’s Day in the sun with my mum and dad (and the Captain + his mum and dad) at Lee Valley, watching the GB canoe slalom selection trials. What a change from 2013! Shorty cags, sun cream and mirrored shades all round.
Had lots of fun watching part-time male model Tom Brady qualify for the K1 senior team (alongside Olympian Richard Hounslow), accompanied by commentary from gold-medal winning C2 pair Etienne Stott and Tim Baillie. They both very kindly signed some commemorative Olympic postcards for my mum and were generally really nice guys as well as amazing athletes!
I have a lot of sympathy for Etienne Stott with his recently operated on shoulder, and hope he is back in action soon!