May 15, 2008 by superlative
Yesterday we went on one of our ‘staff development/team building outings’, which basically means we went on a jolly in work time. We went on a guided tour of Brighton’s back passages and alleyways that was about two hours of walking down lots of cool and picturesque passages that you’d never know were there, and then we had lunch in the Pavilion Gardens before getting the bus back to work. All in all we were out for about four hours, so clearly it wasn’t worth doing any work once I got back…
I had thought the walk might be a bit boring and take us down some of the narrow bits of the Lanes that I’ve been through hundreds of times, but it wasn’t and I actually really enjoyed it. There are some amazing tiny little houses with cottage gardens tucked away in the centre of Brighton, some of which you can only get to on foot, and the tour guide had lots of stories and anecdotes about each place. God I must be getting old actually if I’m starting to enjoy guided walks… I’ll be painting watercolours and becoming a member of the National Trust next.
It’s really good actually that we go and do things like this at work. They don’t have to arrange things like this, but they do and it makes you feel a bit more valued (and like you’ve got a way dossy job). We have previously been on a wine tasting, to the cinema, and are currently looking into arranging a boat trip from the Marina.
For Shosh’s benefit, as she hasn’t heard of a Venus Fly Trap before, here is a picture of Magenta:
She is currently eating three flies, and you can see that the traps at the top and on the left are sealed shut as she dissolves them with her special enzymes. I still find her fascinating and terrifying.
Category Uncategorized | Tags: back passages,magenta,work jolly | No Comments
May 8, 2008 by superlative
Yesterday was an unusual day, as I was only at work until about 12 and then we all got evacuated because of a bomb scare. It was terribly exciting… A caretaker man came round and said in a quiet voice “we all need to leave the building immediately, we’re not setting the fire alarm off because we don’t want to cause panic”. So clearly we were all much more panicked by that than we would have been by the alarm, the fire alarm goes off all the time. So anyway, because he was verbally asking everyone to leave it took about 15 minutes to get everyone out, and none of us knew what was going on.
After a while we found out that the builders on campus had dug up a suspected incendiary device. I was quite disappointed to learn it was something from World War II, that seemed much less exciting than if we had been attacked by misguided terrorists who for some reason thought a couple of buildings in a field were a high-profile target. And seeing as the closest bomb squad lived an hour away in Portsmouth and we’d already been stood around for an hour, they said we should all go home. I think some students got chucked out of a final exam because of it, and lots more had to leave the students residences so God knows where they were meant to go… We were allowed a 10-minute window to go back into the building and get our stuff, which I also thought was a bit odd – if it’s unsafe it’s unsafe isn’t it? They don’t normally say “yes go back inside but make it quick”. Explosions are pretty quick themselves, so if you were standing next to one the fact that you were only going to be there for a couple of minutes would be small consolation as your head flew one way and your body another.
Fortunately, no-one got exploded, and a couple of hours later they decided it was a spent artillery shell that had no chance of exploding and not a bomb after all. Of course, by that time it wasn’t worth coming back to work so I had a nice afternoon in the sun instead, and very smugly thought “I’m getting paid to get a tan at the moment”.
How annoying would it have been if it had been pouring with rain though?? You weren’t allowed to shelter anywhere, so we would have had to stand there and be miserable. So yay for sunshine, yay for dodgy German workmanship in making bombs that don’t actually explode, and yay for artillery shells that masquerade successfully as bombs without actually endangering anyone.
In other news, Magenta is currently eating a fly that I stunned with a rolled up newspaper. She hasn’t caught anything on her own yet, so I thought I’d help her out. It should take her 5 days fully to eat the fly, providing she doesn’t spit it out like last time. Honestly, who would have thought a fly trap would be so fussy…
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May 6, 2008 by superlative
I almost forgot to say that one of my birthday presents was a Venus Fly Trap which I have named Magenta after the woman from Rocky Horror. I LOVE it, but am completely terrified of it. I’ve always wanted one, and they are massively cool, but I’m sorry a plant should not be able to move like that. If you tickle the little sensory hairs inside one of the traps, it goes ‘schnip’ and flicks closed. It’s not like a snapping motion, it’s not that fast, but it moves really quickly and the fact that it detects you and responds makes it seem strangely and disturbingly aware. Like it’s watching you and would try to bite your finger if you give it half a chance. I assume it’s not that strong and the spikes aren’t that sharp, but I’m still not taking any chances…
I have so far fed her a dead spider, which she didn’t seem to like, and a live moth which was unfortunately too small and escaped out of a gap at the side of the trap. You don’t have to feed them apparently, they can just live off the soil, and you’re not supposed to trick them into closing their traps all the time for your amusement because it uses up too much energy, but I think I will try to feed her small morsels of things when I can just because it’s so fascinating. So I’m now going to be on the lookout for recently deceased insects or ones I can trap and fling into her waiting jaws. Once she gets big enough she can probably move onto cats and small dogs, and eventually toddlers. I’ll try to put a picture of her up when I get a chance to illustrate just how amazing she is.
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