Fry ups, belonging, chemistry sets and transcription

Chris and I treated ourselves to a fry up this morning. It was awesome. And it looked like this:

It made me think of this place I used to go in Cardiff – Ramon’s – that was spitting distance (an appropriate phrase) from my halls on Senghennydd Road in the first year and from my ex boyfriend’s student house in the second year. It was the kind of place that sold £2.50 “Gutbusting Breakfasts” that even I couldn’t finish, with a mug of milky tea that you’d be lucky not to have fag ash spilt in. And I ate there every Saturday after a morning’s work at Admiral. (It was opposite this great second hand bookshop called the Land of Green Ginger – one of the best second hand bookshops I’ve ever been to, excluding the legendary one in Southampton, which is so legendary, I can’t remember its name. Alana, can you help please? It’s the one that was on loads of different levels and was all higgledy piggledy and ended up as a hairdressers, I think.) Anyway, Ramon’s was a typical greasy spoon but you went down the side alley and, out the back, they had transformed the back courtyard into a kind of Zen garden, with bamboo water features and statues of Buddha. It was completely incongruent with the greasy, cigarette smoke-filled caff indoors but eating their artery-clogging breakfasts at two o’clock in the afternoon in that little tranquil space in the middle of the city was one of my favourite things to do.

I miss Cardiff a lot, although I’m starting to feel at home in Worcester for the very first time. I’m almost starting to like it. I was walking through town yesterday (well, through the back of it, really), from the Butts, past the Paul Pry, under the railway arches and past the old Infirmary on my left and my new office (when I start my new job – hurrah!) on my right and I felt a kind of, well…a fondness for the place that I haven’t felt before.

I have been reminiscing a lot this week. I was telling Chris about the chemistry set I had when I was a kid which I hated because my dad made me write up all my experiments in a Black & Red pad, with the date and title underlined. I’d have to set out my hypothesis, my method and equipment, my findings and conclusions. But I really only wanted to make stuff fizz. And then my brother bought me an electronics set when he went to university (where he studied Electronic Engineering because he is a geek) but he ended up playing with it more than me because, although it was very basic, I had absolutely no idea what I was supposed to be doing. I have no comprehension of resistors, capacitors or transistors. I am surprised I even know those words.

And thus I am not a scientist.

But I must get on. Today I have been transcribing two of the interviews I conducted this week for my dissertation. I’m lucky that I can touch type or I think it would be a total nightmare. But I can just about keep up with the discussion, which is great. Although I want one of those pedals that secretaries have to stop and start the tape. That would be cool.

Anyway, transcription is a strange thing to do because you realise that people don’t actually talk the way that they write. There’s a whole six line sentence that I say on the tape I was transcribing today that, written down, makes very little sense and which has no semblance of a structure at all. But my interviewee and I both knew what I was trying to say. So strange.

I’m going to turn off my PC and go and watch Strictly…



I love the radio. Mostly for reminding me this morning how much I love the song “Major Leagues” by Pavement. I swear I haven’t heard it since I was about 16 but I still sang every single word of the song when it was played on 6Music today. It reminds me of Fair Oak and friends and GCSE coursework, watching Dawson’s Creek at Luce’s house and bus journeys with my beloved walkman.

That is all for now. I haven’t written for ages but I’ve been ill and pretty grumpy and I really have to knuckle down with my dissertation or admit that it won’t get done for the November deadline. But I’ve written a quarter of it. How cool is that? Quite a milestone. Next week, I start my interviews with planning officers (I am genuinely scared – why?) and then have two months to write up the rest of it…