April and May were crazy busy for work, as the end of my thesis-related research is in sight and I was hoping to be done with everything before my family came to visit in mid-May (which will be in the next blog post, so keep an eye out for that!). I didn't quite finish by then, but am about 5 experiments away and am designing some new experiments with an emphasis on the publishing aspect of the experiments as opposed to the thesis aspect (because I won't need to put these experiments into my thesis).
Research was insane these months, but I was also putting a lot of time
into tutoring and demonstrating for the university (I am writing this in
June, when teaching is all over and it is SO nice to have that little
break from the teaching!). I also was working in collaboration with a friend and colleague who is a fabulous electrophysiologist- and because of his great work, we have now been able to elevate the paper I've been working on to a much better level. Also, the Athena Swan committee that I have been helping work on (a group helping to promote women in science) officially submitted out application for a Bronze Award and we will hopefully hear back soon on if we were successful! So the not-directly-research-related but still work-related things kept me crazy busy as well.
But enough with the boring work-related chat, let's get on to the interesting things I've gotten up to in April and the first half of May:
Ben and I saw the London Philharmonic Orchestra play along to the Pirates of the Caribbean movie in the Royal Albert Hall. It was absolutely AMAZING and I would really like to see an orchestra perform again at some point (especially the London Philharmonic!). We also went by Portobello Road before heading to the Royal Albert.
We then took a last-minute trip to Northern Wales in the Snowdonia and Anglesey areas. It was absolutely amazing and I would recommend to ANYONE to visit Wales.
For three days straight in May, we were at The Great Escape festival (Europe's best festival for new music) and kept ourselves booked with shows from about mid-day to 10 or 11 at night. Here were some of our highlights:
Kimberly Anne (who we saw last year at TGE2013 and loved, and then again at a concert earlier this year)
Hudson Taylor. A new find, but a very good gig! It was especially nice to see these guys in the venue where they were playing- a purpose-built bar in the middle of Old Steine that is up for the summer.
Saint Raymond. These guys were definitely one of my top favorites for the whole festival. And it was one of my last times at The Blind Tiger before they were sadly shut down.
Hozier. Another of my favorites of the whole festival. Absolutely amazing and blues-y.
Kaiser Chiefs. These guys are obviously well-known, but they were a secret show that only a few people at TGE2014 were able to go to. So we got up early to wait in line and get our tickets. We also got to the venue early and were able to meet the lead singer, Ricky Wilson.
New Dessert Blues. We didn't get to see these guys in an actual venue, but luckily they had a pop-up outside performance near the Bandstand.
Amber Run. Sadly, we were only able to hear the last half of their gig and had to lean in through the doorway because they were so popular. But that just tells you how good they are.
Eliza and the Bear (who we saw last year at TGE2013 and loved, then again twice at concerts early this year and late last year). I think these guys continue to be Ben's favorite.
Dry the River. They filled a HUGE room and were a great wind-down to a very full day.
Von Hertzen Brothers. These guys reminded me of Guns and Roses, they put on a really good show.
Satellite Stories. We saw these guys twice this day, actually, but really enjoyed them so didn't mind seeing them twice.
Honestly, we were a little let down with the festival on the final day (Saturday). The festival sells extra single-day tickets for the Saturday and so when it got to the last day, EVERYTHING was full to capacity and it was near impossible to see bands we wanted to see. Even smaller bands that usually wouldn't have filled a room were at capacity hours before their set started, which is ridiculous. Luckily, we were able to see a few gigs that day.
The family got in not long after The Great Escape was over, so I didn't have time to get up to much else before then. I will fill you in on that in the next blog post!