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.

Exploring Ladakh - Day 5

Saturday 26th July 2014

Breakfast is cardamom bread and local apricot jam, followed by trying to organise everyone and everything into a variety of trucks. First job personal kit – is everyone’s kit packed and in the right pile? Second organise who is going in which van/bus? THIRD - change of plan when the buses that arrive are not what we expected. Finally everything is packed away onto the bus (a.k.a. precariously perched on the roof racks). Everyone is on board (sitting on very uncomfortable plastic covered seats) and we are away. Waving goodbye to the last civilised beds for the month.

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Exploring Ladakh - Day 4

Friday 25th July 2014

I’m woken, not by a beeping watch alarm, but by the beeping of my room-mates watch as she fiddles with it! (Half an hour before alarm time!) But soon it’s time to get up anyway and investigate breakfast. Today we have a big thick chapatti with a boiled egg. I also try the sweet local tea – cha – but it just tastes like sugary dirty water (as opposed to clean dirty water, which is what I think most tea tastes of!)

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Exploring Ladakh - Day 3

Thursday 24th July 2014

My body no longer has any idea what time it is when watches start beeping at the ridiculous time of 02.10. Into clothes, pack bag, downstairs, bags on bus, people on bus, off to airport. It’s still too hot at this time of night and although there is less traffic, there are still people and stray dogs wandering around. Apart from a few horn honks it is a peaceful journey to the airport before we unload, find bags, security, check-in, more security, a stop in W.H. Smiths (where we clear out all their change). The gate notification suddenly changes from ‘gate open’ to ‘final call’ and we rush across the airport and fill up the plane. Then it’s up and away, not much of a view of Delhi unfortunately as there is a thick layer of mist.

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Exploring Ladakh - Day 2

Wednesday 23rd July 2014

Well, without interruption until breakfast, which is only a few hours later. There’s time for a further short nap, before we bump down onto the tarmac.

Out of the plane, collect bags, headcount, load everything onto a coach, and then out of clean tidy Indira Gandhi Airport into India. Armed guards watch us leave; the infamous Indian traffic begins, stray dogs wander round, ladies in beautiful saris, holy men walking barefoot in the dust. We pass worksites where everything is being done by hand, markets with piles of vegetables, tuk-tuks and temples. AND NOISE. Heat and noise and people everywhere!

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Exploring Ladakh - Day 1

Tuesday 22nd July 2014

Four years ago I stood in the stern of an Arctic ferry watching the glaciers that had been my home for the past month, disappear into the distance. On that day I told myself I would return. And now, I’m off on another adventure, not quite the Arctic this time, we’re expecting 38°C when we get off the plane, but an adventure none the less. (Possibly more so, because I have never been anywhere near my new destination before!)

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The British Exploring Society in Ladakh

I mentioned in a few previous posts that this summer I was going to be heading off on an expedition to Ladakh, India with the British Exploring Society (Be).
Well I did, and I wrote a diary while I was there.
Over the next month I’m going to post it here, I hope you enjoy!
(and at some point when I sort through the thousands of photos, I’ll post some of those too!)

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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