As the year draws to a close, and I realise I haven’t blogged for 3 months, it’s time for a round up of all the fun and nonsense in (and out) of the lab in the past year.
Fluorochem surprised me with a free t-shirt for the summer, very trendy don’t ya think? And in the lab, it became clear that a thorough defrosting was necessary to remove the very bizarre ice sculptures...
The Boss continues to leave little notes on my bench when he misses me, and Herman the German friendship cake took the Chemistry department by storm, giving me my Mary Berry moment.
...the annual cataloguing of chemical cupboards got as far as C to D this year! Meanwhile Mr Squirrel continues to feast on peanuts next to the liquid nitrogen tank.
The students continue to surprise us, this time with liquid oxygen in the high vac trap. And my lovely friend, riding buddy and English-Polish food exchange partner Dominika left the lab to write up :(
Lab DIY reached a pinnacle of achievement this year, with my new “Bench of Buchis” hooked up to a -20 degree chiller to counter the truly staggering dry ice bill. And in the shiny toys department I got my hands on a Biotage peptide synthesiser for a month and the lovely Uniqsis Flow Syn kit below. Thank you reps!
Highlights of the year included an unexpected trip to the Cornish coast to pick up our new Genevac pump which weighed down my Suzuki Swift all the way to Norwich, where it was back to watching the sun set over the forest through our homemade glovebox...
Back in May I was forced to take a month's holiday after breaking my collarbone in 3 places, and stoically refusing morphine (why???!!!). I spent most of my hospital stay washing my hands a lot and thinking about the review of Vancomycin antibiotics I wrote last year. Soon enough I was back in the lab (and more importantly, back on a horse!). Recent fun included the lab Xmas do, and the opportunity for ritual humiliation of drunk undergraduates.
And finally, the University of East Anglia may not have the academic standing of Cambridge (or indeed the architectural elegance), and can be a pretty frustrating place at times, but every now and then I look back over my photographs and realise that it is stunning in its own way. Not long to go now, and I intend to make the most of it.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year everyone!