Friday, 27 June 2008

Communicative power

Me fritter severe avec un blogueur, et trouver tout de suite des arguments.

Ailleurs, laisser un commentaire intelligent, pour n'en lire que du bien sur d'autres forums.

Tenir la dragee haute a n'importe qui dans un debat politique, un peu comme les joutes verbales a la tele. >

Savoir, enfin, apres 10 ans d'etude, affirmer mes opinions, mettre des noms sur ce qui se passe, avoir une cervelle pleine de concepts percuttants, toujours a ma dispostion.

Faire un peu peur.

Ca fait des annees que j'en reve. A 17 ans je ne supportais pas de ne pas trouver les bon mots au bon moment, de ne pas avoir assez d'outils conceptuels. Un doctorat plus tard, j'en ai plein des outils conceptuels, en plus d'une solide vue d'ensemble. J'enseigne meme a mes etudiants comment acquerir ce type de connaissance "matricielle", et ca me rend heureuse.

Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Monday, 23 June 2008

Praising the good behaviour

Most of the time (and this for the last couple of years), my boss and I have communication issues.
That's probably what happens when one mixes friendship with work - when the work stuff aren't going so well, the friendship suffers, which in turns makes the dialogue at work increasingly difficult.
Well, at least that's what happened to us, and it's been quite hard getting out of this vicious circle - me getting paranoid, her getting incredibly frustrated, us not understanding each other.
So when on a monday afternoon, my boss and i spend 3 hours chatting about not only my work/progress but the dynamics of the lab and our field in general, all of this in a positive kind of way and actually listening to each other's input, i somehow remember that it can actually be nice to work for with her.
And suddenly i want to be in the lab again.

Friday, 20 June 2008

Lovely spot

A time-course over a day, with samples to harvest every 3 hours.
This means a night in the lab, trying to sleep in the over-heated office on an uncomfortable mattress, hoping i won't turn off my timer and fall back asleep, as if it was morning and my alarm clock was going off.
I can't just oversleep - every 3 hours i need to go down to the dark-room, and freeze some seedlings.
9 o'clock, last "night" sample before i dash home for a shower - i need to be back for the 12 o'clock harvest.
Nobody's in the building yet - weird, i'd hope some people would have arrived by now. It's been a quiet and lonely night.
Passing through the door of the lab on my way back, a pair of tweezers in one hand and a bucket of liquid nitrogen in the other, i hear some noise in the office.
"Morning !!"
My lovely boyfriend.
My lovely boyfriend who has decided to surprise me at 9:05 sharp.
My lovely boyfriend who has just brought with him a lovely breakfast.
I know.
I'm a lucky girl.

Friday, 13 June 2008


... la douceur de ma petite "font frog". Meme que ma tante m'en dit que jamais personne ne l'a regardee avec des yeux aussi gentils.

Thursday, 12 June 2008

Voyage, voyage.

Off to the sunny continent.
Off to the happy engaged couple, soon to be married.
Off to the countryside.
Off to a country i've never been to.
Off and away for 4 days.

Saturday, 7 June 2008


In the morning after the swim what could be better than a jumjam?
Could it be better than the swim before, probably not but it's close.

Friday, 6 June 2008

Better up North

When, after months of winter misery, the sun is still up and shinning when I get home well after 6pm. And stays up way past 10 pm.
When, after a long day in the lab, there is still enough time to enjoy being outside in the garden, warm enough not to feel the need to eat and go to bed as soon as.
Scottish summer anyone?

Thursday, 5 June 2008

Journée de travail à la maison

La meilleure partie d'une journée de travail à la maison, c'est le bout où on va retrouver une amie pour déjeûner. À 13h30, comme ça y'a plus trop de monde et on peut se parler sans hurler. Sur une terrasse du Byward Market, dand un restaurant où les sauces sont conçues par un cuisinier aveugle (oui oui la déco des assiettes est pas mal quand même !).

Une table à l'ombre, deux paires de lunettes de soleil, une bouteille de San Pellegrino... deux heures qui s'envolent dans les rires, les confidences et les anecdotes d'universitaires des quatre coins du monde. Ben deux coins en l'occurrence...

Et là il est 18:30, il fait 22 degrés, le ciel est un peu menaçant mais comme la terrasse est couverte, je devrais pouvoir continuer à travailler si l'orage n'est pas trop fort. Une bière à ma droite... c'est reparti !


First comes the buzz of the alarm clock.
Then these eyes that won't open.
Eventually - and slowly - the clothes are put on, the bags are made, the car starts and is on its way.
Once the automatic doors passed, the bags get opened, the bodies get undressed, the goggles get put on.
All of this in a haze, a festival of yawns.
But that's when it happens.
The happy moment.
When the flesh gets in contact with the cool water.
When Archimedes replays its magic.
Suddenly, here i am, awake and swimming happily in the early morning.
And that’s the best reason to get up every day.

Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Back for good.

For some months i've been out of control.
Angry, annoyed, and beside myself.
I knew that getting myself off anti-depressants would be hard work and would involve some adjustments, but i didn't think i would feel like an angry teenager all over again - not at the grand old age of 31 !
Then more recently came the other feeling - the one that makes you want to plan your own car accident, because enough is enough. I didn't think i'd be suicidal ever again, and certainly not in the middle of the spring, when the trees have all turn green and the birds can't stop singing.
So today i took the only sensible step i could think of, and i went to see my doctor.
Because at the end of the day, there's no need to feel ashamed or defeated.
I'm back on Prozac.
And despite the prospect of feeling sick for the next 2 weeks, i've not been happier for months !!

Tuesday, 3 June 2008

Chester-le-Street with Griffin

Saturday. I never work Saturdays.

I open one eye on a Saturday. It's sunny. I text Griffin, a delightful friend with several degrees in art history. We meet at the bottom of my street and walk to the bus station. We grab a bus to Chester-le-Street, an underrated destination in the North East of England that has dozens of charity shops and a flee market on Saturdays. We methodically check them all, rejoicing in our quirky unexpected finds. Then we retire to a coffee place. Not Starbucks. This town is not part of the Starbucks gallaxy. In fact the place doesn't even sell coffee, just tea. We're so excited that we dig back our finds from our bags unto the table: a cravate, some mugs, some books, an evening gown, a tiara. We gossip like crazy about everyone we know and some we don't know.

When we get back to Durham, there is always a standing invitation to meet up later in the day, for cake, or the following day, for dinner, or Monday, for an artsy movie. We never follow through, we get caught up in the other aspects of our lives. Until the next sunny Saturday, when I gleefully declare to my new flame that I'd like to go shopping with Griff again. If I'm being honest, the faint hint of disappointment in said flame's eyes just adds to the fun.

Monday, 2 June 2008

Ultimate Happiness

I walk home, using a slightly longer route, but oh so much nicer! Lilies smell good. I can see the trees reflection in the river. Under the 6pm sun, the metal bridge is even more white than usual. The music is great, relaxing. I open the door, smiling when I hear the cat rushing to me from the other side of the apartment. And then I smell something weird: lemon. And then I remember: the cleaning lady came today. Everything is in order, clean and my apartment will be looking - at least for a day or two - pretty much like an Ikea catalogue. Except it is my place. This is a great 2 mn of happiness!


He kept saying i was wrong.
I kept coming back with arguments.
He kept using the same old results to prove his point.
I added new informations.
"OK, you may be on to something" he just emailed
Ha !

Sunday, 1 June 2008

It's raining again

Il pleut, il pleut, il pleut... ici aussi, à croire que c'est planétaire.

Le bonheur aujourd'hui ? hmmm alors : un canapé, un chat miraculeusement calin, du thé et des petits écoliers (ceux au chocolat noir) alors que la pluie fait plic plic plic dehors ; la chute d'eau de la rivière au bout de la rue aussi, toute énervée de recevoir autant d'eau et qui gronde sourdement en s'engouffrant vers la province d'en face ; écrire en français aussi c'est du bonheur, parce que demain matin, c'est reparti, en anglais....

Au fait, c'est un blog du bonheur en quelle(s) langue(s) ?

Bonne semaine !

Wet sunday.

It's raining today - and i'm inside and cosy.
When did i forget how much i love being inside when it's grey and rainy outside ?? And when will i stop thinking that it's such a shame that my big red sofa is not here with me ??
Just like today !