gone one day...

Lupin the cat is fine (in case you were wondering).

Last week, I was in London for the Médecins sans Frontiers* scientific days, as an invited attendee. I didn't contribute content. It was a fantastic one day conference, better than many I had been to previously. The talks were pertinent, passionate and relevant, covering many aspects of humanitarian medicine, from bringing the right medicines to the right people at the right time to the importance of understanding causes of mortality in areas of conflict and disaster. What I learned is maybe not directly relevant to my own teaching but it is important to be informed broadly, and I enjoy learning. 

I was gone less than a day when James texted me to say he had lice and he needed money to get lice treatment from the chemist. I thought it was a bit weird that he didn't talk to Richard who was at home. It turned out he had but he texted me just in case. Never mind that the absent parent was at a conference and busy. James did of course not need money because we can get a pharmacy prescription for minor ailments. He then went on to wash everything, including clothes that have not seen the light of day in six months. Missing socks have reappeared, which is a bonus. The battle against the humble head louse continues. 

The whole week was busy actually. I also went to Edinburgh for an external examiner meeting, then spent an entire day on my last leader training programme segment. This training programme has been by far the best I have attended in a long time. I may yet develop into a competent leader figure. 

I returned on Friday for a late night podcast recording, only to learn that I was to lead the discussion because two of the hosts were not able to make it and the third rarely does his homework. I don't mind leading a discussion but I do like to be prepared for it... I think it went ok but I didn't sleep well after because I kept thinking of questions for our guest that I could have articulated better and wondering what unkind feedback will come my way. The trouble with being a "public" figure even in a tiny niche corner of the scientific internet is that there is always someone being mean. 

It is summery warm, I am loving it. Although I was mentally exhausted from a busy working week, I went volunteering on Saturday. The annual Himalayan balsam removal began, very satisfying... We are tackling the invasives in our local woods this year as there was a complaint from the neighbouring estate that invasives from the council owned woodland area was spreading to the private estate. We need more volunteers, the woodlands is covered in balsam after years of funding related neglect. I clear a small area every time I go for a walk because I am weird like that. Everybody should do this, this would really help. My body was aching from the effort but it got a well deserved rest on Sunday. I halfheartedly pulled some weeds in the garden but it is impossible to keep up and I gave up. I need some volunteers in the garden, too. 

Lupin the cat has been patiently sitting for some photographs. She is cute and feisty.

On the whole, the mothership is operating within normal parameters, all is good. I am listening to some proper hard science fiction for entertainment and the Great British Sewing Bee will be on a again this week. 

Thank you for visiting 😊

* Doctors without Borders



  1. Yes, mine would always ring me for help rather than ask someone ten feet away :) Well done on the leader training and also the Himalayan balsam removal. It must be very satisfying, even if there is still lots to do. I think a team of friends to work on gardens all together would be good. Loads would get done and there would be company to chat to as well. Lovely shots of Lupin, such a pretty cat. CJ xx

  2. In my work life I recall a few "performative" leader situations too, but when I learned about my leadership style (service leadership), it helped me with the inevitable imposter syndrome all good leaders experience.

  3. With your heading followed by the cat pics, I had a bad feeling. But then you made it go away.

    1. Me too, I was holding my breath! Things get manic but all we can do is truly know we are doing out best and you are one of life's good 'uns. Jo x

  4. I am always in awe at what you accomplish every week. You are a real life superhero.
    Fingers crossed you have seen the last of the lice. Xx

  5. You have had a busy week, Christina, both professionally and otherwise. Hope that the affliction will be conquered soon and the battle won, the plus being that James did his laundry 😉 Glad that all is well in the world of Lupin.

  6. Gosh Christine - you have been busy. And you still find time to squeeze in a blog post. Lovely cat photos. X Doris

  7. Beautiful cat, she's very photogenic. I hope all is well with the critics. Sadly I never knew about the Himalayan Balsam plant, thanks for letting me know x

  8. Lupin is such a beautiful cat! I'm sorry to hear James had lice, but hopefully it's all cleared up now. You had a very busy, productive week indeed. I hope you have a relaxing weekend with some summery weather to enjoy.

  9. A busy week for you then Christina with the added joy! of James' lice story. I hope they are all gone now.
    I know what you mean about the satisfaction of clearing a small area of ground of thuggy weeds but a little extra help in the garden would be very welcome .
    Lovely to see Lupin. She is a pretty cat.


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