Space, pancakes, and murder

Having had various people complaining about lack of recent blog post I felt that I simply had no choice but to write one. The silence has not been because of lack of inspiration or lack of stuff going on, quite to the contrary.  There have been posts half finished, or totally finished but for pictures, sat and waiting to be published but I’ve not published them because of worries about flooding the inboxes of those people who email subscribe… and because I have a bit of an obsession with uploading things in the right order… This post is the only one that is going to be cross posted onto facebook and there’ll be a list of ‘other posts’ at the bottom, complete with links. For now, however, lets have a little overview of the past week, with subheadings because of the sheer length 😉

Visiting the zoo… and deep space

The only bright side about my science course, so far, seems to be the fact that it includes various trips. I may struggle to understand how one goes about calculating the mass of a black hole but I am quite happy to visit a planetarium and take a trip through space. This was how I spent my Tuesday morning, at Artis Zoo’s planetarium. It’s not the best planetarium ever, and I believe that it only holds show in Dutch, but there’s still something magical about being able to ‘see’ the universe, even just the night sky, in such clarity.
Serious university students, don’t you know?!
To get into the planetarium one has to have a zoo ticket and, as the university had paid for the planetarium trip we found ourselves, at 10am, with a ‘free’ zoo ticket and no further classes. It seemed only natural to explore a little. Now, I’m a little conflicted about zoos at the best of times… I think that anything that works towards the preservation of species and conservation of our wildlife is a wonderful thing. But all the same, I struggle a little with the sight of animals in such small areas and, if I’m honest, compared to the other zoos I’ve been to recently, mainly with schools and colleges, the areas did seem a lot smaller. I’d be interested to know if it’s a difference in my perception or a difference between countries.
I’d never been to a zoo with dinosaurs before!!!
That said, there were a lot of baby animals which was simply lovely – it shows that the conservation aspect is going well I suppose. Yes, there was a baby zebra. You can see why I was happy! Also, the aquarium was quite impressive and the butterfly house was absolutely fantastic… genuinely glorious. I plan to return simply to take photos in the butterfly house which is a huge expanse of botanical wonders, a little stream with some frogs, and a load of butterflies of all kinds of species flying in groups, alone, eating… it felt like walking through a fairytale. In that regard, I think we were lucky that it was such a gloomy cold morning – we were pretty much alone most of the time.

Pancakes!

Of course, Tuesday was something else special and that is pancake day. Okay, technically it’s Shrove

Tuesday but in my family we’ve observed the eating of pancakes as a tradition rather than a religious thing therefore the day has a rather secular significance but a significance nevertheless. The idea behind the eating of pancakes was to use up all the luxury items before the start of Lent but, as I said, it’s become a more secular day although always, for me at least, a family affair.

Every year my parents and I, and my grandparents when they were still around, would celebrate together. We even managed to celebrate the day when we were homeless after the flooding… didn’t have a kitchen but still had pancakes!! Each year we’d make pancakes and the batter would always be lumpy (because my dad would get impatient) and the first ones wouldn’t be properly cooked through (because my dad would get impatient) and more pancake would end up on the floor than on the plate (because it’s not  pancake day unless someone’s managed to flip one and get it stuck to the ceiling). My grandma would always tell the story of how everyone got out of school early and how she went to fetch oranges for on the pancakes one day when she was a child. Coming home she saw the school on fire and it was the happiest pancake day. In short, it’s a day with a lot of family-time significance and I was kinda dreading it.
My plans were to make and eat alone because I just didn’t feel like spending it with my friends. I love them all dearly but it’s hard to truly communicate the above when explaining the day. However, having spoken to Leonoor and Laura at the zoo earlier that day I ended up inviting Leonoor round to cook with me… she didn’t feel like cooking for herself and I think I knew deep down that the company would be a good thing.
And, we had a really, really good evening!
Only half a pancake got dropped on the floor. I managed to flip successfully four times… and got a carpet burn in the process. Hey, it’s a serious sport this thing! I told the story about my grandmother’s school which, as the thing my grandmother feared most when she was close to dying was that she’d be forgotten… well, I think it’s pretty clear she’ll never be forgotten.
We spent the evening, Leonoor and I that is, eating, drinking tea, watching inane but amusing television shows and just chilling. It was a relief from the stress of university and it was a really lovely evening that could so easily have just been me moping.

And a little bit or murder

And then Thursday night saw the rearranged murder mystery party with a rather large group (I think there were eleven of us) set at a film awards party. Considering I’m not the best at circulating at parties at the best of times, I’m more the wallflower type unless I’m firmly part of a group, I don’t think I made the best sleuth ever. That said, no-one guessed that Ryan was the one who murdered the poor victim. He had us all trusting him and now we know how good a liar he is… well, I doubt we’ll forget that in a hurry 😉
That, ladies and gents, is the smile of betrayal!
All joking aside, it was a really good fun night which got a mixed group together and, again, it was a welcome distraction from the sheer amount of work I have on at the moment.
On that note, I probably should get back to studying. Yuck!!

Previous posts

These are the posts that I would have intended to post to facebook but that have been sitting in my drafts folder for too long. Other posts may exist but they’re more likely to be in rant form.

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