Weekend Getaway

I just came back from another weekend in London. Getting in early Friday afternoon, I immediately walked towards the river and spent an enjoyable few hours at the Tate Britain. It’s always fun to see some Henry Moore since he has exhibits both in Japan and Pasadena. One of the Tate’s featured exhibits was a recording of brass instruments which were damaged in the war. Conceptually this was interesting; however at times it was a little too loud/overwhelming.

The next day we visited the Museum of Happiness, a pop-up exhibition in Spitalfields market. I registered a few weeks earlier, as timeout.com and other event magazines promised it would explore the secrets that lead to a happy and fulfilling life through workshops and more. It was interesting, although smaller than expected. I did get to enter a raffle and do mindfulness origami though, the latter something very new! We did not stay for the laughter yoga, much to my disappointment, as it was open-air and the temperature dropped to 2 degrees Celsius. Leaving the venue after about an hour, we then went to Borough Market for some goat milk hot chocolate. Yum! With that to warm us up, we visited Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese (a really cute and historic pub), stopped in Dark Sugars Cocoa House to buy chocolates, and went home to watch “Making a Murderer” on Netflix.

On Sunday we continued the museum theme and hit up the Science, Natural History, and V&A museums. I really love how museums are considered free public spaces in the UK.  I was lucky enough be on a late bus back to Devon, so I got to see the dinosaurs and eat more good food before finally arriving back home. What a weekend!

Library 101: Cataloguing

On Wednesday I got to have a go at some cataloguing. For those of you not familiar with library-speak, cataloguing is the process by which books, journals, audio-visual materials etc, are put into a database. Every title is described in a separate record, and each record contains searchable information plus computer coding. The coding is called MARC (machine readable cataloguing), and it allows the user to search in small elements (e.g. date, format, location…).

I have to admit this is not the most riveting thing that I’ve done, although it is one of the more traditional library tasks. What I found most interesting was classification (think Dewey Decimal) and MESH terms. We use the Wessex Classification scheme, which is “a revision of the National Library of Medicine (NLM) schedules incorporating current UK medical and health practice.” I think classification is the most creative part of cataloguing, as it is up to you to determine which sub-headings/topics an item belongs to, and which terms are most commonly used when users are searching for similar items.

Field Trip

Last week I visited Plymouth’s Discovery library, one of the biggest NHS libraries in the region. Although they have twice the number of staff and more than four times the amount of physical space, we share many of the same functions. I saw students and staff reading journals, researching and completing e-learning. Something unique to Plymouth, though, is their historic collection. The library houses the Plymouth Medical Society Historic Collection, which contains Hunter’s handwritten notes and a book containing, what they believe to be, the first ever use of the word “vaccination.”

In addition, they also support the British Antarctic Survey Medical Unit, which provides medical care to British research stations and ships in the Antarctic. On our visit a librarian regaled us with stories of long-distance calls and Antarctic literature reviews. How interesting!

Winter Break 2015/16

I’m a little late with this one, but here are some pictures from the past few weeks! This includes exploring Devon and Christmas in Ilkley.



Pub Highlights: Fisherman’s pie at the Rugglestone Inn and Veggie Crumble at the Warren House Inn

Weather included: rain, hail, sun, flooding…

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Christmas (dead) Poultry Auction: I won’t leave any photos of this, but it was held in Newton Abbot and included turkeys, geese, chicken, duck, rabbits and more.

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I think it’s safe to say that Dartmouth is the prettiest town I’ve seen (so far). I can’t wait to come back in the summer and explore it some more! Hopefully I’ll be able to take a boat up the Dart.


I was in Ilkley for a little over a week to celebrate Christmas with family. Here we watched the new Star Wars movie, went to Bettys (of course!), and just generally spent a lot of time eating delicious, festive food! We also went to Malham for a half day of walking, and I managed to take some good photos. It’s always fun to see scenes from Harry Potter!

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