Well, week one of the palaeopath short course is over. It's pretty brutal being a student again, honestly. We have 8- and sometimes 10-hour days of lecture, lab, and more lecture, broken up with coffee/tea breaks and the ineviteable samosa/chicken tikka lunch (and, of course, a curry dinner). Most of the lectures have been quite good - we've heard from the likes of palaeopath superstars like Charlotte Roberts and Don Orter, but also from the up-and-comers. I've introduced myself to some cool people who seem interested in my work. Despite the fact that I find histology hideously boring and tried so hard to keep awake that day, for the most part I am learning a lot. Lab practicals are good too - after lectures about leprosy, TB, syphilis, dental disease, etc., we get to look at the same stuff in lab, playing with the bone, turning it over, taking pictures of it, which is so much more useful than looking at 2D pictures in textbooks. The lab staff also go through the trouble of putting out the whole skeleton where available, so that you can see the distribution of lesions rather than just isolated bones.
By the end of each day, I'm pretty well exhausted. So it's curry and then bed, sometimes with a bit of editing thrown in (to fund my European clothes buying habit). Today was a lot nicer than I thought it would be - 65 and mostly sunny. I headed to Leeds and shopped until I was exhausted (5 hours - I have no stamina anymore). The city was quiet and clean, and there really were far more shops in the city center (mostly on the pedestrian quarter) than I could go into.
Random things I saw today:
- Tiny cart selling jacket potatoes (baked potatoes) on the side of the road. Who eats take-away baked potatoes?
- Tiny cobbler's cart. You could get your shoes fixed, in the middle of the piazza. Or whatever they're called here.
- A Chinese place called "Yuk Buffet." Couldn't whip out the camera fast enough.
- A carwash whose mascot was Spongebob. Bet that's not licensed!
- Cinder toffee. Even with a recipe, I still have no idea what it is. The nice girl at the sweet shop told me it was made with sugar, baking soda, and vinegar.