Wednesday, March 05, 2008

The reality of playing withneutrons

Did I happen to mention knitting and slack time in my last post? Here is an idea of how the last 7 days have been for me.
WEDS 27th Feb - Start work at 7.15am, work through until 5pm without taking a lunch break. Rushed home grabbed some food and rushed to get the 6.50pm train back into town. At 7.05pm the train is cancelled and I have to coach trampolining at 7.30pm. I can't be late as I had a go at everyone at the previous session for poor timekeeping. I ran the 3 miles to the sports centre in 27 minutes. Then coached trampoling until 10pm. One of my pupils failed to rotate a tuck back somersault correctly and I had to turn her over so that she (thankfully) didn't land on her head. Went home had a shower and straight to bed.
THURS 28th Feb - Get up 6.30am. Leave the house at 7.00am. Drive to pick up H and my boss Prof J. Drive to the Rutherford lab near Oxford (8 hours including 2 stops for the toilet and lunch). Arrive, unpack the car, fill out paperwork etc. 6pm have dinner yummy pasta bake. 7pm til midnight work in lab preparing samples and cleaning sample holders for the next day. 1am to bed.
FRI 29th Feb - Get up at 6am. Go over some papers and experimental plan. 7.30am breakfast. 8am into lab. Begin to stress at the amount of work to be done. Work like crazy. 1pm lunch vegetarian option pasta bake. 1.45pm back to lab work like crazy. 4pm panic as beam goes off (this happens periodically and means that all experiments stop). 5pm beam back on. 6pm dinner once again pasta bake this time there is some thyme sprinkled on top to make it different from lunch. 7pm back into lab. Huge panic (including some tears on my part as I felt someone had been a little unreasonablr in their expectations). Midnight - put the ovenight run on. Then had to prepare samples for Saturday morning run as each sample took 1 hour to prepare but only ran for 25mins on the instrument. Finally finished at 2.30am.
Sat 1st March - Went to be 2.50am. Got up at 5.30am, in lab for 5.50 am. Begin sample preparation and writing some things down before I forgot them. 6.50am took 5 mins to admire a beautiful sunrise. I missed breakfast but H kindly brought me a food and tea rescue package. Everyone was feeling tired at this point and there were some fraught moments and some more tears on my part (I was really embarrassed as I don't make a habit of this especially at work) but I couldn't find the words to tell someone thay were being very unreasonable. 1pm lunch pasta bake this time with some added Quorn. Worked through preparing more samples for our evening run. 6pm dinner once again pasta bake again with Quorn, this time very dried out as it seemed to be reheated from lunchtime. After dinner I was involved in changing some of our sample racks which was fine except it meant aligning a laser beam through a 7mm hole with no tolerance and only being able to do it from a squint angle. I had been wearing my contact lenses for a ridiculous number of hours and was seeing big halos round everything so this task was impossible. Eventually we had to call in some assistance. Then the beam went off. Midnight the beam was still off, it sounded like something was seriously faulty. 1am beam still off took lense out and put on my glasses that I never wear in public. 2am, 3am, 4am beam still off (went and changed into my pjama's) . No sign of bed yet or when beam will be up and running. Finally at 4.30am ish it came back on.
Sun 2nd March - 5am bed. get up. Back in lab at 6.30am to change the computer code as the run was going to overrun by 6 hours which we didn't have. 8.55am breakfast. 11.30am all runs finished. At this point I couldn't string words together to make a sentence or walk without drifting to the left. 12.30 lunch feta and olive quiche ... Hooray!!!!! Spent the afternoon analysing some of the data. 6.15pm dinner pasta bake (yawn). 7.30pm relax, played a game of pool with H which must have looked like we were drunk as neither of us could take a shot without staggering about. 8.30pm Suddenly feel on a complete high, I realised how everything had worked out better than expected (probably some of this euphoria was due to the excess caffeine and sugar that had kept me going these past few days) 9pm knitting ... it took me over 1 hour to cast off 60 stitches. 10pm bed
Mon 3rd March - 6.50am get up, shower. 7.30am breakfast. 8.15am leave and begin long drive back to Glasgow. 3.30pm arrive back at work, drop off H, Prof J and the equipment. Met DH for a coffee, the 6pm more trampoline coaching, again someone managed to hurt themselves but not badly and it couldn't have been prevented (rotator cuff injury while in mid air). 8.30pm arrive home, sit down with cup of tea. 9pm get changed and leave the house to join DH and his pub quiz team. 11pm win the quiz. 11.30pm bed.
Tues 4th March - Wake up at 6.30am panicking about missing samples. Never mind. Get up, fall asleep on floor. Get up get a glass of water. Fall asleep again. 1pm go for walk in sunshine. Fall asleep on park bench for 2 hours. Slowly walk home. Fall asleep again.
Weds 5th March - Wake up 6.30am. Get up and start analysing data 7.15am. Decide to work from home as still feeling tired. And now I'm heading off to coach some more trampolining.
I'm volunteering at a knitting show that's on at the SECC this weekend on friday and sunday. I can't wait to sit and knit properly it feels like its been ages ...

1 comment:

The Knitted Squirrel said...

OMG, I think you should take a day off to catch up on your sleep/life/knitting! You should only work THAT hard if you are knitting! LOL
That blog entry was exhausting to read, I can't imagine actually doing it and I thought MY life was busy...Jen, you win!
Get some rest.