Entomology, chemical ecology, evidence-based environmentalism and science in general. I like big bugs and I cannot lie.

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Now resuming normal service

Sorry about that folks, every blog needs one morosely self-indulgent post and that was mine. I'm going to leave it up though, firstly because writing it made me feel better and secondly because there aren't enough pictures of weebles on the internet. Anyway, I have an excuse; according to the Oxford Handbook of Expedition and Wilderness Medicine, which has been my bedtime reading of late, I'm depressed. Apparently the symptoms are low mood and energy in the mornings, which I don't think anyone who has every encountered me in my blundering zombie-like pre-caffeine state could deny that I suffer from. Of course according to this definition I've been depressed for the past 27 years without noticing it. I had to stop reading the book before I diagnosed myself with sixteen tropical diseases I'd never been exposed to and prostate cancer, which made me wonder why doctors don't collapse into a quivering heap of hypochondria on their second day. Oh wait, yes they do. I've met Lou.

Thanks for your concern everyone, I was just feeling quite exhausted after a particularly difficult week and my second cholera vaccine, which really knocks the stuffing out of you. Umm, quite literally actually. I made a couple of really stupid mistakes but am now able to appreciate the funny side; the sample I contaminated the machine with was actually my own snot which I'd forgotten to filter. So now everyone is running around telling each other not to touch the machine because it's got my bogeys in, because scientists are grown up like that.

I am feeling nervous about my ability to get as many useful results as I want in The Gambia, but am looking forward to the trip and certain that I'll come away with at least something useful. I am also reassured by the number of people who've said that no one ever feels completely prepared for fieldwork, and in any case the best way to feel more confident is to do more preparatory work, which'd probably be a more productive use of my time than blogging about my jitters. So I'd probably better go and do that now then...

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