A Post Long in the Making

27 06 2011

First of all, sorry for taking so long to update you all (although some of you are certainly happy cos you don’t have to read what I write). But I have been quite busy and been up to so many things, I had to check my calendar to see what I got up to. First up was a visit to Belfast to meet my supervisor there. This was the third time I met him, though I have been in contact with him regularly via email. So On Wednesday 15th May I made my way up to Belfast, to be there ready for the meeting next morning at 9am. I planned the trip to allow me some time to go around Belfast on the Wednesday, and luckily had some gorgeous weather allowing me to wander around the city and take in some sights. Thursday was a day at the University. I will write more on that in myresearch blog in the coming days however, as I do not want to bore you about my research here.

On Friday, I then woke up as usual ready for my day at Uni. However I received a special call from Bernard asking me about my plans for the weekend. He does not normally call, but Oh well, I thought it was a nice thing. However before saying goodbye he asked me whether I was able to pick him up from the airport that night, and that is when the rollercoaster began. YIPPIE!…he decided to come on a surprise visit. That meant that I first had to organise my room a bit, and keep up with the Uni stuff. That evening I had a birthday party for one of the girls from the School of Biotechnology, Markella. I headed to her birthday party, but then had to leave early to go pick up Bernard from the airport at around midnight. Fortunately, Ross offered to drive me to the airport to pick Bernard up, which made things much easier, since buses stop running at this time (thank you Ross). We arrived a bit late to pick up Bernard (though it was because the plane landed very early), and then headed home.

The weekend was a packed weekend. We went shopping, visited the Street Performers World championship in Dublin (great event, really enjoyed it, even though it rained), went to the Jameson Distillery Tour (where we got selected to get a whiskey tasting…though at 12 noon it might not have been the brightest idea, but it was great fun), went to Monika’s for the evening where she told us all about her trip to China for a conference and Zahra and Ali showed us the photos from their trip to Malta and Italy. Then Monday, I made my way to the lab, since I had a couple of things I had to do after my visit to Belfast and so on, whilst Bernard entertained himself in the city centre. That evening, a good friend of mine, Marco, was visiting Dublin and DCU, with a group of 9 other Maltese for a course on Science education and inclusion, organised by AcrossLimits from Malta and DCU partners. So that evening, Bernard and myself joined the group for dinner at the city centre.

Tuesday morning, was time for Bernard to leave 😦 :(. However since Marco et al were in Dublin, I ended up going out to dinner with them most nights. The whole group was a great lot. I really enjoyed myself with them and we really had a great time. I hope they did not mind myself butting in to all their evening activities, but oh well, they seemed to be OK about it. It was a good craic as they say in Ireland. The group finally left on Friday afternoon (Boohoo, but thank you Marco for the goodies weeeeee, and Bernard too 🙂 ).

The weekend was here again in the blink of an eye. Oh I forgot, I went to a softball game on Wednesday, and we WON!!!!…I did some good plays, and some horrible ones as well, but Oh Well. I was pretty tired when the weekend arrived, but first up was a farewell party for Ilaria, a girl from Italy who was doing her masters at DCU. I was pretty exhausted, but I made it to her house and stayed for a bit, before going home to flop into bed and sleep a long long sleep.

The weekend was pretty relaxed. On Saturday I went to IKEA with Monika. Then Sunday I went to softball training and to mass. Then it was back to another week. Sorry for a long post, but I tried to include everything in it. Sorry for the delay, but I was quite busy, and I needed a whole weekend to get my energy back up to write it. Will try to write more regularly, and keep the posts shorter from now on 🙂

Impressive Service

7 02 2011

As I have previously mentioned, last week I moved into a new apartment. I am now living on the DCU campus postgraduate accommodation. What I am most impressed with is the service you get here. I had a bad (torn, water damage etc) carpet in my room, and they advised me before going up to my room the first time and advised they will be coming in to change it. Last Friday they came in, but there was more damage than they thought and they told me they will come in today. And guess what, today after Uni I came home, and found that my carpet was indeed changed. Not all of it mind you, because most was in good shape. But all the places where it was stained, torn etc. A job well done. I liked the fact that they not only keep you updated (they advised why the delay was last Friday etc), but they actually do the job. I also got a new bed base and a new lamp bulb. I still have some pending requests (heating which does not switch off, broken shower regulator, leaking shower and the bulb went off again) but these are inputted in the online system and I am pretty sure they will get to them soon.

What would I really like to be totally happy about my new apartment? That the bad smells in the apartment (especially those in the kitchen) disappear. We have a gone off cheese smell in the kitchen, which is not pleasant at all. In my room I had a smoke smell, but it seems to be getting better. Thank God for the nose getting accustomed to smells (knew the technical word once…if anyone knows please remind me).

Everyone is welcome to come visit 🙂


Moving House

2 02 2011

OK not really moving house…but moving apartment. Today the day finally came, where I moved out of my apartment at Shanowen Hall and into the DCU postgrad residence. I had a wonderful time at Shanowen Hall. I think the place is quite well organised, safe and well-kept. The people there were really nice, and I had no complaints with my apartment mates. So…why did I move you must be asking? Well, I think that living on campus has more benefits…I will be sharing the apartment with other postgrads (not that I had any complaints with my apartment  mates, but one left last Saturday and another is leaving in a week…so I do not know who will be coming), the room is quite bigger, I will be close to my friends, the gym and the lab and I guess I think it will be more convenient.

So today, after University, I went home and finished my last bit of packing, and waited for Ross to come over. Ross kindly offered to help me transport my stuff in his car. He could not believe the amount of stuff I had (and neither did I). This accumulation was of just 4 months. I cannot imagine how it will be once I come to leave Dublin. We managed to get everything into his car in 3 trips and made our way to campus. This time round we met with Monika, so we only needed 2 trips to get everything into the apartment. After showing them a bit around, they left and I started unpacking. It took quite long but at last I have everything in place.

So what do I think of my new room? I have now met one of my new apartment mates. She is a final year PhD student in Chemistry and seems to be really really nice. The other person is a guy who is also in his final year, though I have not met him yet. The room is much bigger and I have much more storage space. Oh and I do have the longest desk ever. According to my very accurate measurements (using the length of A4 papers) the desk is more than 4m long (14 A4 papers lengthwise 🙂 ).

On the negative side? There is a funny smell in the apartment, and I have a sort of burnt carpet in my room (but the residence operators already know about it and told me before I went in, and they should be fixing it soon, so that should be OK). The residence is nice, though I do wish we had wireless internet access. Being a University I would have expected that. But Oh Well.

Tomorrow I should be going to IKEA (thanks to Ross again) to buy some more stuff for my room, and my room would be ready. I have a much bigger room now so visitors would be more comfortable.


12 01 2011

This is a week of new activities in Dublin…after softball and swimming, today was my turn to try Zumba…this is a new class showing up in the DCU gym group schedule. Unlike all other classes, members would have to pay €5 for the class. However today was a free starter class so I obviously signed up to go and try it.

The class was held by two girls from Zumba Ireland and it really was a class of calorie burning fun. I really enjoyed myself and at the end of the day it is a really good workout. However I am glad there were no people there that I know, cos there were some moves I will certainly never repeat out of the confines of a Zumba class. Here is an idea of a class and you could understand better why:

Overall what is my verdict?…A really great class…Will I be back?…Seriously doubt it…the DCU gym group schedule is packed with interesting classes, which are free…so why pay €5 a week to go to this class? They do not even have an option of say €20 for 5 classes or so. I seriously doubt they succeed…but hey I am in Ireland…so what do I know?

Swimming :)

11 01 2011

Unfortunately no…not in the sea in Malta…but it was great fun nonetheless. It was in the DCU pool. I have been a member of the DCU gym since last October when I moved to Ireland, however I never managed to make it to the pool, even though it was one of the things which I really liked. Monika, a friend who is also on the ATWARM programme has gone twice and said she really liked it, and out plan was to make our way there as soon as the Christmas holidays were over.

DCU pool

DCU pool

Since yesterday was her first day back from her Christmas holidays, we quickly made plans to go in the evening, to have a swim and catch up. We met at 7:30pm and made our way to the pool. And Oh what bliss is was. My sore muscles (from last Saturday’s softball tournament) certainly enjoyed it. We swam and chatted, and also made it to the sauna and steam room. The temperature of the pool was just right (although freezing it seems after going to the sauna and steam room hihi). I really like that it was not too busy and so we could swim and chat to our heart’s content.

Thank you Monika for making me get to the pool, and for your company. Cannot wait to be back 🙂

Gymming again

6 01 2011

Today was my first day back in the gym after the Christmas holidays. The class schedule has changed, and so a whole new set of classes has been opened up to me. There are classes like kettlebells which sound interesting. Once I move onto campus (weeee did I tell you I will change residence and move to the campus postgrad residence on the 2nd of February…I just paid my deposit and everything should be in order…I will be in a 3 bedroom apartment and having a much larger space in my room wippie) I hope to get into a couple of 8pm classes, such as boxercise and so on. At the moment once I go home I do not feel like going back out again especially at 8pm when it is dark. However once I am living on campus, I will be just 2mins away from the gym, so I would have no excuses 🙂

Well, what class did I do today? Pilates. What does it consist of you might ask?

The Pilates method seeks to develop controlled movement from a strong core and it does this using a range of apparatuses to guide and train the body.

Basically…no sweating involved. But lots of muscle contractions and breathing. You do things like sit ups and other exercises, but instead of huffing and puffing along you do them slowly. No cheating here…you get to feel all the muscles. I found it quite confusing…you have to think about what you are doing, but also on whether you are exhaling and inhaling. There were also exercises where you exhale 5 times in a row then inhale 5 times in a row…or else where you are squashed and should be breathing in…but my lungs were all squashed hmmmm. It is not an easy class…but many not for me…or maybe next time I combine it with a walk on the treadmill or something…but it does give you more muscle strength…my problem is that I have no muscle strength in my core at the moment I think.

Will keep you updated 🙂

The videos are in :)

8 11 2010

Here are some videos 🙂 You can hear the enthusiasm in the room, especially in the first video! I excuse myself for my not so good video skills…the thing was more impressive than I am showing, but anyways, this is the best I could achieve….