The Curious Magpie

Curiosity killed the cat! Or in this case the magpie...

...the point of this page is for me to post up all the shiny things I make or do or see...

All posts on here are originally mine unless stated otherwise.

When I grow up and have all the money to build my own house, it will include the following:

A big open kitchen
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With lots of space to fill with all the food
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And all the baking
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And some sort of secret passageway/cellar
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The bedrooms will include a combination of four poster beds
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Bunk beds
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And permanent blanket forts
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I will have a walk in wardrobe
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A room to fill with all my craft thingsimage

A room/shed/garage to fill with all my outdoors kit and bikes
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My own photography studio
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And last but by definitely no means least, the library
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That must include a grand piano, so I can float around in long dresses and sing sitting on top of it
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A corner for curling up and reading
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A spiral staircase (because there will be more than one floor of books)
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And of course a secret bookcase door!
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Who wants to live with me?

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Going to California - Day 17

Sunday 16th June

Sunday starts at some indeterminable time in the air, probably while I’m trying to get comfortable in one of the rather hard edged seats. As we descend into JFK I have to take out my headphones and want to entertain myself looking out the window, but the one at the end of my aisle is shuttered. On the ground I disembark and start my search for the next gate I have to go to. It’s an incredibly short adventure as it turns out to be directly opposite. I decide to stretch out my legs in the airport and walk up and down the entire length available (which is not much, and nothing is open).

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Going to California - Day 16

Saturday 15th June.

My last day in San Fran dawns and after a quick breakfast and packing everything up I drop my big bag off at the motel reception and walk off into Union Square where a festival of the Phillipines is being set up! Another sparkly jewellery shop catches my eye, but the coveted leopard bracelet there is even more expensive than the previous shops - looks like no leopard for me!

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Going to California - Day 15

Friday 14th June

My last morning of hiking up the hill arrives and when I get to the hotel I track down the lady who presented me with the prize on Wednesday and ask for an official photo to send to my supervisor. The lady who tries taking the photo first is pretty useless so I grab one of the technicians who takes a much better one. The final talks of the week finish and I escape back to my hotel, dump all my conference things, change into shorts and tshirt, grab some lemonade and head out to China Town.

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Going to California - Day 14

Thursday 13th June

The same morning routine takes me up to the hotel where I hide my poster tube in a corner before grabbing fruit in a cup and settling in for the first lectures. At the coffee break the lady from IEEE (who sponsored my prize) captures me and makes me sign up. Well at least it’s free membership for 6 months and then I can decide to pay. Back to the talks, and there’s an amazingly crazy one from some Canadians who appear to be trying to get fusion to work by blowing up sheds… I’m sure it’s more complicated, but that’s mostly what I got out of it.

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Going to California - Day 13

Wednesday 12th June

I get up, shower, breakfast and climb the hill once more. The fruit buffet is laid out again and as per yesterday I fill a cup to take inside. Several other people spot this, realise it’s a good idea and copy me! I spend the first set of talks running around with the microphone again, there’s a break for cake then more talks. Finally one of them is on materials and I can understand something! Today is the day of our trip out to visit NIF and after the last talk there is a brief message saying we’ll be provided with packed lunch, but no explanation of when or where. I wait around and eventually go outside to where I hope the buses will be. It’s chaos.

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Going to California - Day 12

Tuesday 11th June

I wake up early, go back to sleep, wake up again, dress, eat and set off up the hill to the conference. I start seeing logo emblazoned bags and tags trailing up the hill along with me. Once in the hotel I complete the NIF check in I couldn’t do last night, go and load my presentation into the system and prepare myself for the first lectures of the day. There’s a buffet of fruit and muffins where several academics are trying to balance everything on a plate without things sliding off. I fill a cup with fruit and go find a seat without any risk of spillage!

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Going to California - Day 11

Monday 10th June

My phone starts buzzing, I grab it to turn off the alarm and then realise it’s 4am and some unknown UK number is trying to call me. I cancel it and go back to sleep until 7am when my actual alarm goes off and I get up to shower, dress, breakfast and gather my things. Out the hotel and up the hill. Once inside the grand entranceway there’s nothing to indicate where I’m going. The porter points me in one direction. Inside, the reception desk points me in another. A bit of wandering around later I find where I’m going and sign in.

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Going to California - Day 10

Sunday 9th June

I wake before my alarm get up and check my emails in the corridor. I leave and head up the hill intent on calculating the time it takes to get to the conference hotel via breakfast. Nowhere entices me to go and eat and I get to the hotel in ten minutes. There’s a huge cathedral opposite that looks like Notre Dame. Inside its been decorated with thousands of coloured ribbons hanging from the ceiling so you walk underneath a rainbow. There are modern paintings and stained glass and it’s light and airy enough to remind me of Guildford Cathedral. A labyrinth is picked out in stone on the floor and I start to follow it. After a while I notice I’ve started a trend and there are several people tracing out the stones now as the choir warms up to practice for their next service.

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Going to California - Day 9

Saturday 8th June

After a lie in I get up, pull on my running kit and head out of the house. It’s blazingly hot, but the run is worth it to see some of the huge amazing houses sprawling across their manicured gardens. I pass a couple of other runners while I’m out, but most people are sensibly inside their air conditioned houses and cars. There are some cyclists too and I spot a racing tandem - perhaps it’s the one I saw earlier in the week, it’s certainly unusual. The unforgiving heat means lots of stops for me, but eventually I complete a three block loop and get back into the cool flat and the shower!

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Going to California - Day 8

Friday 7th June

My phone goes off at 4.15am… I’m so dozy I hit answer not cancel… yay, now I have an American phone bill. Four hours later I get up, catch up on the internet, shower and walk into Caltech for my final day of work. I hunt down the campus shop and am pleased to find a much bigger selection of things than I’d seen on their website. I find a t-shirt and a patch for my blanket then go out to sit in the sun.

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