Even though…

January 17, 2010

… I love maths, I can still procrastinate for hours rather than do any (eg. with pointless blog posts.)

… I love cheese, I am vegan.

… I have listened to Ani Difranco at least 764 times (those are just the plays that last.fm has recorded), I am not even a little bit sick of her.

… I have quite a few pairs of heels, I never wear them.

… I am English, I don’t feel very at home here.

… I’m a terrible singer, I love singing, especially when I’m driving.


My year in hair

January 7, 2010

2009 was the year I grew my hair. So here it is, my year in hair:

January 2009: nice and short.

March/April? The really awful growing out stage.

July: finally a recognisable style.

August: so much cuter than March!

December 2009: I officially have long hair, for the first time in 5 years!

Iranian scarf protest

December 22, 2009

After last week’s arrest of an anti-government protester Majid Tavakoli, the Iranian government published a supposedly humiliating picture of him in a women’s chador. Of course as well as being an attack on anti-government protesters this action only makes sense in a context of misogyny and trans/homophobia but, inspiringly, Iranian men all over the world have created a wonderfully subversive response by publishing photos of themselves also wearing headscarves (CNN news article.)

I just love the multiple significances of this response- it is an act of political protest against the Iranian government’s treatment of their opposition but also a revolutionary feminist action. I found the  statement Hamid Dabashi wrote to accompany his photo on facebook particularly moving:

A Christmas tree for one!

December 7, 2009

My flatmate has suddenly quit her job and decided to go to India for 6 weeks, so I’ll be the only one in the apartment in the run up to Christmas. Even so, I think it is quite neccessary that I have decorations and a tree.

There is a stall selling trees at the Christmas market across the road from my building, so I went by on the way home from uni and bought one, thinking I could easily carry it home by myself. It is a living one with roots, so also came with a large pot of soil… It weighed an absolute ton. I managed to carry it about 100 yards down the road in about 10 minutes, at which point my arms were shaking and I was covered in soil, so I gave up and got a taxi the rest of the way (which google maps tells me is an embarrassing 600 metres). Once I had got it set up in apartment (with a little help from the concierge!) and cleaned up all the soil from the floor, I realised my arms and face were covered in a painful red rash! Not sure if this was just from the scratchy needles, or whether I am actually allergic to pine trees.

But I have a tree! And it’s such a cute little fat one. Now I am in the process of making my decorations out of bits and pieces in my crafty bit box. Pictures to follow 🙂

Maths meets Halloween

November 11, 2009

For the maths department Halloween party (in what may be one of my geekiest moments yet!) I dressed up as dead mathematician Evariste Galois. He was killed in a duel aged 20, hence the bullet wound; my expression is so serious because I thought it made me look more masculine!


Some things I have done in Manchester

November 5, 2009

Some things other than maths that I have done in the last two months:

  • had a free vegan lunch
  • done yoga with maths professors
  • been to a performance poetry evening
  • been given a pair of walking boots
  • eaten in at least 3 vegetarian/vegan restaurants
  • been to a collaborative art project in a squat
  • taught a jewellery making workshop in a squat
  • had a party

“This, of course, is obvious.”

October 30, 2009

The other day in Oxfam I found a tattered paperback copy of “The Psychology of Learning Mathematics”, by the late Professor Richard Skemp (who, incidentally, did his degree at Oxford and his Phd at  Manchester, just like me!). It includes the following, which I liked so much I thought I’d share it:

There is an anecdote about a well-known professor of mathematics which, if it is not true, deserves to be. It relates that while addressing a learned audience, he wrote a mathematical statement on the board, saying “This, of course, is obvious”. Looking at it again, he said “At least I think it is obvious”. Growing more doubtful, he said “Excuse me,” and taking pencil and paper, was absent from the room for about twenty minutes. He returned beaming, and said triumphantly “Yes gentlemen, it is obvious.”