Monthly Archives: November 2014

PhDs, fitness club and a sparrow

Whenever people talk about PhDs, they make it seem all doom, gloom and back-breaking work. Now, I’m not trying to dispute that a PhD is tough and if you’re researching a topic like mine, you should anticipate being tucked away in a chilly lab on quiet evenings when the undergrads have all left for the day. Studying for a PhD is not easy and you will have to make sacrifices, whether to your bank account, social life or sleep.

On the other hand, if you plan your time well enough, you may be able to slot in a couple university societies. I’m taking advantage of my current, relatively clear schedule and joined the Fitness Club, which conducts group workouts several times a week in the evenings. I get to exercise and socialise; also I believe that working out in a group makes it much more palatable (and therefore effective) than working out alone.  I suppose it does help that I live on campus but I’ll take every chance I can to avoid being a hermit while I can, because I’m sure that time will come eventually.

So I’m going to enjoy every day as it comes, work my hardest to get my work done and not worry. This post actually came about when I looked out the window in my office and saw a sparrow grooming itself. Continue reading PhDs, fitness club and a sparrow

Advertisements

It’s been a long time…

…since I last posted anything.

I guess I’ve been pretty busy – I’ve done a lot since I last wrote, including teaching English at an international school, moving countries and starting a PhD. I’m actually sitting in the PhD office right now, looking out the window at chirpy undergrads heading to their lectures. It’s a nice campus, with nice people and I think I’ll be alright. So far, I’ve managed to break through the shy/can’t-be-bothered wall that usually stops me from being sociable and I have to say, I’ve met a nice bunch of people that way.

So, I thought I’d share the recipe for a Chinese/Japanese fruit cream cake that I’ve made a few times. Growing up as a child in a very Asian environment, this cake automatically screams birthday to me. It’s made up of a light sponge, with chopped fruit and cream sandwiched between two layers. Then the entire cake is covered in a light, creamy icing and topped with more chopped fruit; as you’ll see in my pictures, sometimes the sides get a bit more decoration by way of sliced or chopped nuts. There are many variations out there, using different fruit and sometimes flavoured creams, but what I’ve made can probably be regarded as the classic version.

Continue reading It’s been a long time…