In at the deep end

So after a slow start to practical life this week has been much busier. Had quite a few new practicals to deal with but after an initial panic all seem to have gone well so far including the dreaded potometer! Different to the ones I am used to but with help from one of the experienced techs I managed to get it right on my 3rd try. I also managed to set up a mass potometer in a measuring cylinder for a member of staff so that she could measure water loss as well as the mass.

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With a quiet start last week I was able to spend time going through cupboards, drawers and boxes to get an idea of where things are kept. This also enabled me to have the obligatory new technician sort out and move things round. After a couple of days I was able to clear a nice bit of bench space to start preparing some of my practicals.

Of course it’s not all work, work, work over here and last Friday we had a fantastic staff BBQ with loads of different meats and sides to try out (Belgian sausages are lovely by the way). If that wasn’t enough there were at least 10 different desserts to choose from afterwards! A few of us then proceeded for a quiet drink at the local bar that used to be a tram stop and includes some old trams in the grounds.

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A busy weekend continued with a street party around the corner from where I am staying. All the neighbours get together to share food and drink and introduce themselves. They even get permission to close off the roads and have a bar. It was fantastic to see a community pull together from the initial setting up to bringing their own food dishes to share as well as another BBQ cooked by local butchers. In fact there where over a 100 people of all ages and nationalities laughing and joking together which is something you don’t see often enough in the UK. Again I got to try some very interesting savoury dishes but again the best was saved for last with some incredible desserts. My favourite had to be Pumpkin and Coconut cake which was so tasty.

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Then on Sunday I managed to chill out for a bit in the morning before attending yet another BBQ back at school for all the new students and parents! After a quick burger it was then off to my Head of Departments house for a welcome to the new term cheese and wine evening. I managed to try some very interesting cheeses and charcuterie and have a good chat to my new department. After that yes you guessed it, there were even more different desserts to try including pears poached in a red wine sauce made by our host.  Feeling extremely stuffed I accepted a lift home off my fellow techs for a good nights sleep to recover from a weekend of eating 🙂 I actually thought by coming to Belgium I might lose some weight because I wouldn’t enjoy the food!



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