Category Archives: Gardening

In which I head into the wind

Sometimes joy and sadness are hard to tease apart ā€“ there should be a word for the heavy lightness, or light heaviness, of springtime. This time of year always carries ambivalence: a scrum of flowers unfurl, scenting the air, but … Continue reading

Posted in Careers, Gardening, Research, The profession of science | 1 Comment

In which I capture the present, but forget why

I have always been a compulsive chronicler, ever since I was a small child starting off my first journal. I still write an entry nearly every day, taking a few months to fill in all the pages with my increasingly … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Art, Domestic bliss, Gardening, Music, Nostalgia, The ageing process, Work/life balance, Writing | 3 Comments

In which my lab is a garden

It’s a grey afternoon, the light already fading. R. and I have just done a circuit of the back garden ā€“ ‘inspecting the troops’, we call it. The entire space is dishevelled, as it always is this time of year: … Continue reading

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In which we fall

Fireworks crackle in the darkness: yesterday’s Bonfire Night stretching to fill the entire weekend. The torrential rains have given way to an almost full moon, glowing cold-silver in the eastern sky. November is always a positive month, with the cosiness … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Domestic bliss, Gardening, Joshua, Research, Staring into the abyss, Students, Teaching, The profession of science, Work/life balance | 2 Comments

In which I see the light

I’m happy, and I don’t know why. Usually I dread this time of year, the period between demobbing the Christmas tree and the daffodil-studded benevolence of mid-March. It stretches on endlessly, the dreary coldness, the frosts interspersed with rain that … Continue reading

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In which we near end-game

January and February are always my least favorite months, but I can’t remember a winter when I longed for spring as desperately as this one. It’s the pandemic, of course, which has sucked the world dry of what little joy … Continue reading

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In which winter sets in

Although winter has not yet formally begun, this is the time of year when the darkness stretches ahead into infinity. In the face of this, the prospect of brighter days, of snowdrops and crocuses pushing up from the bare earth, … Continue reading

Posted in Domestic bliss, Epidemics, Gardening | 7 Comments

In which we face the rain

How quickly strangeness becomes familiarity. As autumn hunkers down, and the COVID infection rates continue to rise (nearly 13,000 cases reported yesterday in the UK), I see things around me that I never could have imagined before 2020. A trip … Continue reading

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In which business is not quite as usual: the post-first-wave lab resumes

Business as usual is the sort of mentality that’s probably only certain in retrospect. At the moment, the jury is still very much out. My lab reopened its doors a few weeks ago. This is, of course, a wonderful thing. … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Careers, Domestic bliss, Epidemics, Gardening, Joshua, Staring into the abyss, The profession of science, Work/life balance | Comments Off on In which business is not quite as usual: the post-first-wave lab resumes

In which we lock down

There is nothing I can write about life on lockdown that has not already been written. Doing so risks the scorn of the likes of Times journalist Matthew Parris, who on Saturday opined: Iā€™m encountering what for me is an … Continue reading

Posted in Domestic bliss, Gardening, Staring into the abyss, The profession of science, Work/life balance | 6 Comments