Nearly 1 year

in Tours, and as you all know not too happy about it. It is summer holiday now, the university is dead. I have been having a hard time, especially the last few weeks.  Luckily my work is keeping me rather busy and I do spend a lot of time at the other lab which is way more fun than being at my lab.  I have given up on things getting better, I tried talking to the person in question and that was a total FAILURE.  My initial response was then to go F*CK IT  but that is WAY easier said than done.

I sent an email to the dude in Swiss land asking him if he received my application, I mean it was nearly 3 weeks with NO response. And then I got a reply: ” I am in Japan, will get back to you when I return.” OOPS.. I felt a bit stupid for sending the email, but then again WHY post a position and leave for an overseas trip?? Will see what happens, would be nice to get invited for an interview at least (and a good excuse to visit Fleur and HJ).

Been writing my fellowship application for the UK too, I sent off the first part to my prospective boss yesterday. It was really hard to write and I am not sure what he will think of it.  We are moving to a totally different field, no more memory but Schizophrenia research. The whole idea is pretty cool and I can learn some pretty interesting stuff, but honestly I never really considered schizophrenia research so I have been reading heaps. The funny/weird thing is:  it seems like everyone is pointing me into this research direction. First J, who has me applying for fellowships to work in his lab in Sydney. Then P, UK-boss, who said it might be easier to fund schizophrenia work than memory research and finally C, my French-boss, who is still looking for funding for me. She works a lot with Pharma companies and for me to get some money she asked them for a contract (I would have test some drugs for them, normally antidepressants) now however they want to move to schizophrenia research.. AND then I was reading that at Kings College they recently formed this consortium with pharma and different labs where their main goal is to develop medications for schizophrenia.  I had a long chat with C about this ‘sudden shift’ and it seems that for the pharma companies, the patents on Fluoxetine are coming to an end and they are obviously looking for other ways to make BIG BUCKS. When I first got into research, during  my undergraduate, I visited a pharma company and always thought that it would be way awesome to work there, MAKING MEDS to CURE people, have all the equipment in the world etc. Now I am not so keen, mainy because I realise that really these companies dont care too much about curing people but it is just about money.  Also working at an university seems a lot more relaxed than working for the industry. I will never say never, but dont really think it is an environment that would suit me.

In other news: I started running again, I know I have started and stopped for the past 11 months, but this time we are actually training for a race.  The Paris Versailles race: Will see how I go, so far running 3 times a week for exactly 1 week.. but usually once I have a little schedule I tend to stick to it. The good thing is I am training by myself which makes it easier to go when I can instead of having to arrange things with Bruno. The bad thing is that sometimes I do really need the extra motivation to actually go..

You Got to be Kidding


This morning I was ready to check my slides under the microscope only to discover that the thing is broken, the lamp burned out or something!  In any other place that would mean get a replacement lamp and change it. Here not so.. For one there is no replacement lamp and secondly we can not order one because the accounts are closed for summer.. This means that from the 15th of July until the end of Aug it is impossible to order anything and in our case it is actually even worse since the only person who can put through orders is our secretary who just retired and the replacement is not starting until late September.. Do you still question me wanting to get the hell out of here.. I am considering just moving to the other lab permanently and work there full time at least they have microscopes (now even a confocal) and great FOOD.

I am totally procrastinating on my fellowship application (for the UK) in my mind I have moved to Sydney.. This week I am really going to try and focus though!  I did apply for a fellowship for France, my boss contacted me saying she had just found this foundation and that the deadline was the next day.  I don’t I have ever handed in something in such a rush, I could modify an older application so it is not like I had to write the whole thing.. Will see what happens. No other news on the job front and am not sure if I should contact the dude whom I applied to.. It has been two weeks, maybe he is just not that interested, but he could at least send me a: Thanx but no thanx??

Gotta run, just needed to vent!


It seems to be a while since I have actually talked about what exactly is going on at the moment. So here is a brief update:

Two weeks ago I went home to see mum and dad but mostly to celebrate Fleur’s last weekend as an unmarried person.. Dad is still in a lot of pain and it sucked seeing him like that, I am hopeful that once he can start back on his old medication things will get better.   Saturday and Sunday were heaps of FUN, despite me being pretty bad at organising stuff I think I can say that the whole hen’s thing was pretty successful. Mainly because we were with a group of old friends and regardless of what we do, we always have a good time. My initial plan was to do a line dancing course,  something that goes way back between Fleur and I and all started with a Dolly Parton cd. Unfortunately it was a bit hard to get everyone motivated so instead we did a bike tour through Maastricht. And as lame as it may sound, it was actually rather fun and surprising since although most of us studied in Maastricht for at least a few years we were taken to places we had never been before. Kinda goes to show how we lived our lives (uni, pub and home).   After all the biking it was BEER time, the weather was great and it was nice to sit outside and enjoy it.  We had dinner at a lovely restaurant where we were joined by Fleur’s little sister and her BF. After dinner it was back to dancing and visiting the pubs we had frequented 8 years ago. Nothing much had changed of course, except that the beers had literally become even smaller (o.18 in stead of 0.2 cl)…Sunday we all left for our respective homes which for me meant back to France.

Things here are still SUCKY and while I am trying to not let it bother me it really does. At the moment I either work from home or at the other lab since being in my office is too uncomfortable.  I am not sure if in this instance the saying that time heals everything really works… In this case it seems that one day it seems OK and the next it is back to subzero temperatures and I have no idea why and the weird thing is that the day I decide to have another chat it all seems well so I don’t and then it goes sour once again. ARGH to say I am frustrated is putting it lightly.

My boss has officially offered me  money to stay until the end of the year which is good news, at least I have more time to find another job. At the moment I am applying for a job in Swiss land (no idea what it will be like but I need to at least apply since it is the field of memory research) AND together with an Australian friend I have applied for a fellowship to work there. This will mean that said friend will actually become my boss, but I am sure that if we are successful it will all work out.  I am also working on yet another fellowship application for London, different topic this time, no idea what will happen but thought it would be worth another shot!

Last Friday I went to a petite festival in Amboise  a town near Tours.  It was held on this field in the middle of the river and was one of the most relaxed festivals I have ever been too. Maybe the Reggae festival in Holland was a little more relaxed but that was only because everyone was stoned.   Here there was an awesome mix of young (16) to old (60+) people just chilling and listening to cool French bands. I have forgotten every single one but it was SUPER AWESOME.  In between the bands they would have drummers come out and play music on the field since there was only one stage. The other great thing was the toilets. Yes port-a-loos but these ones were the dry version, so after you did your business you had to scoop up sawdust and chuck into the toilet. I don’t think I ever had so much fun going to the toilet as I did there. And even better the things got emptied very regularly. ( I have a thing for toilets in general, maybe because I go so often).

The rest of the weekend I was in the lab, which was actually pretty rewarding since I got heaps done.  My new student just has one more day of immuno and then we have finished the first step of our experiment.  He  (and I) will need to do heaps of counting but I think it will all work out.

Now I am preparing once again to go back to Holland this time for Fleur’s wedding. And I am very excited.  She is getting married in the North of Holland so I get to stay in Groningen for the first time ever.  And then if Holland manages to win tonight, Sunday will be the grand FINALE of the world cup! Very very exciting, but they first have to win tonight.   I am going to the pub to see if there are other Dutchies here in this place, you never know do you!