Leicester is havin’ a party – Mon 16th May

Today was a strange day, the city of Leicester went a bit nuts and >200,000 descended on Victoria Park (which is right next to the University) to celebrate Leicester City Football Club winning the premier league. There was a great atmosphere in the city but I admit I decided to duck out early and left work at 4pm. For anyone who lives in Leicester it was no problem but for me, trying to get home on the train later would be a nightmare. I was actually a little sad, the weather was lovely and everyone was having a great time, but once I saw the queue for the train at my local station (going into Leicester) I was very, very happy.

I arrived this morning at 9am, after a really lovely, PhD free, weekend. My first job was to set up a plate for sequencing – the sooner that went on the better. Once that was in the collection freezer I could sit down and plan my week. Normally I do this on a Friday but I didn’t get round to it last week. I had already decided I didn’t want to do much lab work today as I knew I’d be leaving early. Instead I decided I’d finally tackle my experimental plan for my remaining months in the lab (the countdown to thesis writing is officially on!). This is something I’d put off for ages – I actually started a while ago and organised everything into chapters but then the idea of solidly mapping everything out was terrifying so I just didn’t do it. Today I decided to finally tackle that beast.

It was going to go one of two ways, I’d either feel energised and motivated or really demoralised. Luckily it seems to be the first option. I was able to turn quite of lot more of the experiments in my spreadsheet to green (i.e. done) than I’d anticipated, so that was an unexpected boost. I planned my remaining experiments roughly into months, I haven’t planned anything down to the day, or even the week, but I have set monthly targets e.g. have all growth curves complete by the end of June. Already having the work organised into chapters really helped and I even had this conversation with one of the post-docs:

Post-doc: “can I make a suggestion?”

Me: “sure”

Post-doc: “plan it into chapters”

Me: “already done”

🙂

 At 11am (after starting but before finishing the experimental plan) I went over the the Students Union as one of the societies (Hungry for Change, who run a student allotment) were doing a plant sale and I can’t resist an extra plant or two for my veg garden, especially at 50p a plant. I grabbed some leeks, a cucumber plant and some cosmos which are good for attracting bees. I also got some free wildflower seeds, and in my little kit was also a bee house which I got a little excited about and put together right there at my desk. Procrastination was strong at some points today.

IMG_5085

IMG_5087
Newly constructed bee house (it’s already up in my garden)

After the mornings distractions I had lunch at my desk and entered my most recent batch of data from the hospital into a spreadsheet. I actually took these samples over not last week but the week, before but they forgot to send the results through. Oh well as long as I have them now I don’t mind. The work I’ve been doing there (to ID ~250 individual bacterial cultures) is nearly complete. Now the work begins to find out which of the samples in those 250 will actually be useful.

My final job for the day was to plate out some bacteria ready for some growths curves tomorrow – I have targets to meet now! I left the lab at 4pm and was home (with a spreadsheet to play with) by 4:30pm. Getting home early gave me some time to plant my newly purchased leeks out in the garden which was a lovely end to my day. Until tomorrow everyone, thanks for reading.

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