Friday, February 25, 2005

Portuguese landscape

Today, in the north of Portugal

For those who know it, there's no doubt that Portuguese landscape is beautiful. But I was talking with one of my housemates about what are the defining characteristics of Portugal and the Portuguese. I have selected what I believe to be the true statements from the last list to circulate on the Internet. Do British people exchange lists as well on what it is to be British?

' To be Portuguese is to:

- Take chicken with rice to the beach for lunch

- Have had the last great military victory in 1385

- Drive like a maniac knowing that nobody cares

- Leading the most relaxed lifestyle in Europe although being the last in all economic lists

- Be able to buy cigarettes and alcohol at ridiculous prices

- Blink the headlights to warn other drivers if there are police cars ahead

- Have the rest of the world thinking your country is a province of Spain

- Go every weekend to the village to visit your grandparents

- Have the children baptized and sending them to Sunday School but never go to church

- Not be racist at all (except with the gypsies)

- Have a moustache and be short

- Always drive on the fast lane

- Super-bock (beer) and tremocos (a kind of beans that are eaten like olives)

- Break the law three times in every 5 seconds you drive

- Go to the beach in August'

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Mood of the day

Can't explain much about yesterday and today's mood of the day - suffice to say that I'm trying to organize something on the sly (hence the 'what's up doc' mood of yesterday) but things are not going to plan at all (hence the 'it's so unfair!' mood of today).

I could also get on a lengthy comment about group dynamics, but will save it (and you)!

Wednesday, February 23, 2005


Mood of the day
Went to see Constantine in Portugal - first showing in Europe so good opportunity for a review!
Recommended, definitely! Not because of special effects, story or Keanu Reeves, as these are all standard so only if you're a fan. But the script and dialogues are brilliant and a nice little sarcastic comment on the bible and Catholic religion. The premise being: what if all the things in the bible about heaven and hell and who goes to which were true?
Rachel Weisz is good, Tilda Swinton as a confused and crazy archangel Gabriel is brilliant. Plus the guy who plays Lucifer is also quite good. A feel good movie as well because the clever guy wins.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Mood of the day

Election day in Portugal and so I flew over to vote, as after hearing the horror stories about the Portuguese embassy in London decided it wasn't worth it to try and register there.

Predictably, after buying the ticket, invitations for things in London this weekend started showering in. Last count, I had three parties to go to on Saturday (at least I got out of deciding which one to go to - but then they were all close to each other..damn), a possible dim-sum lunch on Sunday and an advertising class on Monday (more about this little bit of news some other time).

But my sense of civic duty soon reasserted itself after getting the whole Portuguese experience, namely:

-brilliant sunny day and a night that wasn't cold ( when I left London it was snowing)

-meeting a friend by chance on the street and getting breakfast and an invite to the first night of Fantasporto as consequence

-portuguese toast

-travel on a punctual, clean, airy train that only cost 1.80€

- etc, etc.

However... have to get back to my PhD!!!! And to all those London parties...

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Mood of the day

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Mood of the day

Monday, February 14, 2005

Mood of the day

Tuesday, February 08, 2005


Che Mourinho T-Shirt

More T-shirts at

And for the girls (it always pays for the guys to continue believing we are stupid):

Saturday, February 05, 2005


Read this the other day, liked it, decided to share it!

'There are two types of people: those who are hiding and those who are seeking. At a deeper level, everyone who is hiding is hoping to be found and everyone who is seeking is looking for a place to hide. The secret to happiness must surely be for both hiders and seekers to stand in a well-lit room and talk to each other. '

Guy Browning
The Guardian, Saturday January 29, 2005

Friday, February 04, 2005

Nelson Mandela's speech

Sometimes a girl's got to do what a girl's got to do...
So I went to hear Mandela's speech in Trafalgar Square as part of the Make Poverty History campaign.

Big thumb's up for all the speeches (4 people talked) having definite measures that governments and world leaders should take to reduce poverty, i.e. stop one child dying due to poverty every 3 seconds. Ok, they were big measures and only doable by whole governments, but they still were definite things and not just pretty words. Here's my summary (you can read Mandela's whole speech on

1 - Change trade rules so that third-world farmers don't face unfair competition from first-world farmers. At the moment in Uganda it's cheaper to buy a European chicken than a Ugandan one.

2 - Reduce or cancel the debt of third-world countries to first-world countries.

3 - Untie aid - at the moment most of the aid supplied by first-world governments comes with lots of conditions, preferred traid agreements, etc.

I also liked Bob Geldof saying that he was sick of charity concerts and all that crap.
I didn't see the point of Jamelia singing or the choice of the presenter (a young people's TV show presenter).

These ideas are going to be presented by Nelson Mandela to the G7 leaders, and pressure will be applied for them to actually do some of this at the G7 summit in Scotland.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

What to do after I finish my PhD..

If I ever do, of course..


a) Deadline for submission and end of studentship is October - so I will have to start earning money somewhere else

b) I am nowhere near close to deciding what to do

c) You don't post any comments

So... you help me decide what to do! Ideally I would have a voting section as created by Chainsaw Joe ( But C.J is too busy to help me at the moment, so you will just have to post your opinion on the comments section!

So here are the options:

The change of career

I don't properly have a career at the moment of course. But this would be where I would leave science and go on to something completely different. I had thought maybe career advising (ha!ha!), events management, teaching and more wild and unsuitable stuff for which I'm obviously NOT trained. Suggestions for other things to do welcome! This would also mean that I would probably stay on in London.

Return to the roots

This would mean that I would try as hard as I could to get a job in Portugal. Highly unlikely that I could, but if managed I would finally be able to go back to having a nice lifestyle and eating decent food.

The cushy career

Where I would try to get a post-doc in Brazil. There is actually a lab there that works in my field. I think the pros and cons are obvious here.

The high-profile career

Where I would try to get a post-doc in a good European lab that produces lots of papers (the measure of academic success at the moment), and where wveryone works in the weekends. Places considered - Paris, Dublin...

So... Let me know what you think! No need to identify yourselves, but if you do I will be less likely to disregard your advice..