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Kaytu Esofohr's Journal

Friday, October 16, 2015

3:26PM - Is this wasting time? Catharthis? Removing a blockage or none of the above?

Things I've learned recently about people.

Brought to you by not going to Oktoberfest in HK cos I feel rubbish and also very annoyed that I feel rubbish.

1. Speaking the local language is essential to integration. This sucks if the local language has 7 tones and more characters than The Sopranos, making it unfeasible unless you invest significant time, effort and resources. You basically have to commit to a life-long move there. Yes, I'm talking about the fascinating land of HK and the parts that I know are shut off to me. When I was a PhD student, I worked with a Chinese PhD student from mainland China, who socialised outside the local Chinese community. She got flack from the community for doing so she told me, but she could do it because language wasn't a barrier, although the barrier for her was cultural. We suffer less from the cultural barrier I think, i.e. many of us would willingly integrate if we could but we lack the language training. She ended up marrying a German guy and is now an academic based in London after a research position in Germany!

2. When people were crap to me, I believed, however subtly I believed it, that it was because I wasn't fun/interesting/engaging/entertaining enough to warrant proper treatment. It's one thing to tell yourself that this isn't so and a totally different world to actually realising people are sometimes rubbish to each other for various reasons that have nothing to do with the person being badly treated. Sometimes its their own stuff that you don't know about; hard times; sometimes they're more self-centered than average and can't see beyond their own concerns; often it comes down to how close you are to someone and how much shared history you have together as well as how they view friendship. There are times to call it and times to let it slide and make decisions. A recent example: I was relatively but not very close to someone I was going to travel with last year. She kept moving which country she was going to be in (she has the background and language to skip around Asia in a way I really admire), she centered eventually on Bali for us getting together but wasn't pleased when I took more than 12 hours to reply on whether or not I could go to Bali. In the end Bali wasn't do able for me from HK but our relationship hasn't been the same since. I thought she was flakey for changing the goal posts so often, she thought I was indecisive I guess. I asked her recently for 5 mins help with something (literally) and she was too busy to bother. That's not friendship but it's not the first occasion I've had that feeling with her. I didnt call it, I let it slide. The small amount of help I asked for was indeed small. If she isn't willing to help with that...

3. Really being yourself doesn't happen that easily for all. I guess some manage it in their 20's (I am assuming, I don't know), it's taken me til now to really be comfortable in my own skin. In my late 30's. I think there comes a time of authenticity when you know you've worked hard, you've tried hard and you've seen how other people deal with stuff too. There is a level of knowledge there that is the basis for decisions that a 20-something would have to be very wise or perhaps arrogant to have.

4. I feel emotionally more free, more competent, more alive, more soaring and able to cut through daily life than I ever have but also more cynical and I don't want to be more judgmental than I currently am. I went to a talk by Dame Jocelyn Bell on women in STEM. She is a brilliant scientist and a spell binding narrator. I could have listened to her for hours. She started off by saying, we believe in our teens that feminism is a fight already won then as we get older, evidence racks and stacks and we see women don't get the positions they should. She suffered abuse during her undergrad days from fellow students but she didn't blame them, she blamed staff for allowing that culture to exist. She moved around with her architect husband (who left her when their son was 18), taking whatever research jobs in astronomy she could get, building a research base where she could. Eventually she worked her way up the system. On the topic of appearance she felt like many of that time: look like a man, it makes life easier. She actually said that.


Monday, January 7, 2013

12:08PM - The new year

Having went up at least one, and closer to two, dress sizes over the last 3 years, I now have to get my arse in gear and lose weight. I gave this a go before Xmas, but I was so tired that having another task on my to-do list just wasn't going to work anyway. My basic diet is ok, but I got into a habit of picking at crackers and peanut butter (bad move...200 calories before you know it) and drinking wine (shock, horror, that's a new habit!). So now that very little in my wardrobe actually fits plus I've got more energy after the Xmas break, I'm giving it a proper go. It's not much fun :-(

Monday, December 31, 2012


So that was 2012, that was. Here is the obligatory look back, at what was, one awesome year.

The year sort of started with the torchlight procession on the 30th Dec 2011. Mandy came down from sheep shaggers central and we went to the parade with extra tickets so we were handing out extra torches, like good torch giving fairies to passers by. The parade was wonderful, fire festivals are what Edinburgh does best and then we had dinner with Malcolm, Veronica, Jackie and M and V's visiting American buddies before drinking a shade more than we should have (bad Mandy and Veronica! ;-) ). All sorts of hilarity followed while electric six played in the background. Next morning we were seriously ill. Eventually got myself together and headed off to a NYE party with M and V then home. I remember standing watching the fireworks thinking 2012 was going to be a hell of a year. January started with the roof leaking and me having a really bad cold, one of the worst I'd had for years. Despite that and the feeling of being fed up dealing with shit on my own (you know that feeling of just wanting someone there who'll bring you tea in bed and sort out the roofers?) I felt really positive about the year ahead.

Started slowly, not much happening in January/February except that I started to feel more comfortable about life in general and less edgy. Bought a car, the first car I've had for 10 years and realised how much easier getting from A to B is, especially when carting around a laptop and an A1 art folder plus paints!. Went to Lanzarote with Mandy and Pippa for a few days rest, toured the Island, ate, drank and really enjoyed the time off. I met Ian in March, there was a couple of months of passion and my first relationship for years, so it was good to break the habit. I had an awesome birthday weekend in April with William who flew over from Limerick and took me out to fancy restaurants and cocktail bars. Ian and I went to Barcelona for a few days to meet some friends of his, tapas, Gaudi, sangria and sun. In May I went to my first Archaeometry conference in Leuven, Belgium. Had a great laugh with the RHX team, ate, drank and paid some attention to the talks too. In June I went to Oxford then Paris with Ian, he took part in a marathon in Oxford and then a few days in Paris. Not such a good trip, a bit rushed, but Paris was beautiful. It was roughly then that things started falling apart with Ian. In July I went to Florence to meet up with Vanessa, an old friend from field archaeology days 10 years ago, who was doing a tour of Italy. She's Aussie and been back in Australia for the last 10 years so we hadn't seen each other in all that time. She was travelling with Cleo, a mate of hers in Perth, NW Aus. They met because they were both dating guys in jail, yeah, complicated! I met them in Florence, went to see David, went to the Uffizi (best art gallery in Europe), went to a small restaurant in Fiesoli, sitting outside on a terrace overlooking the Tuscan hills, drinking Chianti and eating homemade pasta. Pasta in a good restaurant in Italy is honestly completely unlike fresh pasta I've ever had here. We met a guy from Africa and ended up in a salsa bar, full of european students, Italians, various African guys and us. It was awesome, I danced all night and drank too much and had a lovely time bonding again with Nessa. Next morning we were all hungover and had to get a car and get to Montepulciano and ended up in Perugia, staying at the lakeside (Castigliano Del Lago). I stayed overnight then headed back to Florence to get my flight back. My only regret is that I didn't stay longer and that I hadn't been more organised. I'd left getting flights til the last minute so Nessa was stressed about accommodation, which I should have paid attention to sooner but lesson learned. Sometimes I wander through life in a daze, it's never intentional and I'm usually totally unaware of it. Got back, things ended with Ian, which was actually for the best but I felt miserable for a month. Went to various shows in the festival, particularly like Aussie duo, Sugar and Vice and the Midnight Kabaret. Went to CrysPom conference in Portugal in September, first conference I *really* enjoyed, laughed, drank too much and went for a walk along the beach at night and got thrown in the water by Leo. Spent the last night in Lisbon before heading to Madrid to spend a few days with Miguel (friend and Geologist). On the day I arrived, his mother dropped dead so for the next few days he was in a daze of shock and I was recovering from some events in Portugal. Not the best visit but we had fun together, despite the circumstances. Started another stained glass course at ECA after the summer school course I did last year. October and November were work months plus lots of salsa dancing. Met Andrew, Aussie economist, who I'm currently seeing but I don't think it's going anywhere. I didn't go anywhere other than meetings in Manchester/Bradford/London. I got a permanent position, moving to a Senior Lectureship in Civil Eng at Strathclyde (still living in Edinburgh!) and finished off with a few days in Lanzarote with Mandy, getting some sun, reading my student's PhD thesis and doing as little as possible.

Work wise, it's been an amazing year.

Got a senior lectureship!
Published again in Proc Roy Soc A
Invited lecture series in Architecture in Hong Kong (2013)
Invited chapter Oxford Handbook for Archaeological Science
Invited lecture in Prague (2013) on water movement through buildings
Invited lecture in Paris (2013) on poro-mechanics
Leading Engineering Science research in Artist Rooms project
Being returned in REF
Got funding to hire a PDRA
Had visiting students from Czech republic
Supervised an MSc student in Archaeological Science, jointly with Univ. Bradford.

Won a lava lamp at a party!

I knew 2012 was going to be exciting. My worry is that 2013 is just going to be hard work with little respite.

Friday, October 1, 2010

9:24AM - Calling all techies

I have a movie recorded with a high speed camera (.avi file) and I'm playing it using VLC media player. I want to capture a frame as a photo to put into a presentation, any ideas? It's not obvious before someone suggests copying and pasting! :-)

Thursday, October 2, 2008

12:37PM - Tailoring in Edinburgh

I'm looking for a good (efficient, reasonably priced) tailoring service in Edinburgh. I have a lot of garments that need taken in (1 coat, 3 pairs of trousers, 4 dresses...) and am keen to find somewhere that will do this quite cheaply and possibly offer a discount for more than 1 item, that kind of thing. Any suggestions?

Thursday, May 25, 2006

12:52PM - survey - meme

"Here's how this one works: You answer these questions in an anonymous comment, and then I figure out who you are. Then, as it always works,you do the same thing so I can confuse you too. (If you want to be really confusing, don't post the answers and the questions on the same day. It would kinda give it away).

1. What's your favourite candy?
2. What's your favourite holiday?
3. World peace is...
4. I'd like to buy the world...
5. I'll kill you if you dress me...
6. What music would drive you insane if it was played continuously over a long car trip?
7. What music would *not* drive you insane if it was played continuously over a long car trip?
8. Don't tell anyone, but...
9. The world is about to end and you CAN'T have sex. What are you doing?
10. Same sex couples are...
11. Guns are...
12. And the winner for sexiest person in the world is...
13. And the winner for sexiest person you know personally is...
14. What would you be doing if you weren't on livejournal?
42. Is the truth out there?
16. What do you think of Disney?
17. You can't stamp a huge lion "Property of the zoo!"
18. What happens when they molt?
19. Which has happened more recently: You played a video game or you watched a show from a boxed set?
20. How much did it bug you that the number before the fifteenth question was forty-two?

Tuesday, May 3, 2005

11:09AM - 16th day

cutCollapse )

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

10:32PM - Friends list trim

Trimming my friends list a little of journals I don't read in some cases and of others who don't read mine. For the most part it's nothing personal.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

7:18PM - Code

Find out who has a crush on you!
Check out the
LJ Secret Crush Database
brought to you by

Saturday, June 5, 2004

8:51PM - slightly amusing

ophelia_complex's LJ stalker is wyrdo!
wyrdo is stalking you because a little birdie told them you talked behind their back. They are also slowly poisoning you!

LiveJournal Username:

LJ Stalker Finder
From Go-Quiz.com

The poisoning is the wrong way round ;-)

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

1:06PM - From ishkhara

I want anyone and EVERYONE who reads this to post in here something they would like to do with me someday.

Then post this in your journal to find out what I want to do with you.

I'm even making this post PUBLIC, for the first time ever!