Free time, Travels

the excitement of planning your next break!

Today’s post will be on planning a Break.

Yes, I’ve always been of the opinion that having good, quality time off work/studies increase your capability of retaining more information, boosting not only your mood but your creativity as well. And we all know that creativity is key in every single area. And, I can add, if you have breaks now and then, you will be much more sociable and understanding to others. I also believe that most discussions and upsetting situations are born from people being tired. And being tired is not always evident. You might be sleeping 9 hours a day and still be tired.

Planning a trip is exciting. The thrill of preparing and booking places to visit, to eat or to sleep is unique. And then, when you get to experience everything you put together, learning with the less positive and enjoying the great chances you allowed yourself, is just a blast!

I have the distinct idea people believe that planning a trip might be too expensive. It will all come down to what are you up for?

I can give you some tips of how I do my planning and some rules I tend to preserve while I hope you too are willing to share yours; improving our skills as travellers is always worthwhile.

1. Decide where you want to go and with who; 

Believe it or not, this is crucial. You might be BFF with someone, but in the end, you don’t share the same way of travelling. If you are travelling with people that are going for clubbing and you want to do sightseeing and a cultural programme you might have a problem! Either you adjust to each other and plan how both are going to make  good company for each other, or in the end, neither will be happy. Or enjoy as much as you can.  Choosing the location where you want to go should depend more on your interests and curiosity. But, if you just want to explore Europe or the wildlife, then you can jump to step 2.

2. Book your flights and accommodation previously;

I have a rule concerning planning my breaks. I always divide the month expenses. What do I mean? Well, if I’m going to Italy in March, I will try to pay my hotel in February and my flights in January. I know that planning too ahead is complicated, and obviously not always you can book flights months prior to your break. And plus, I’m referring to breaks, during work/classes. Holidays can follow some of these tips, but if you want to go to Australia, managing that should follow other timings. So, if you feel you can manage travel expenses (museum and other attraction tickets; food; transportation) plus accommodation, then you should only worry first about the flight tickets. Because I love to find deals, I tend to book my rooms in advance. You can find good bargains.

FLIGHT SEARCH: You probably know this one already: Skyscanner. This search engine really gives you the best deals. But, obviously, the best user you are, the most of it, you will get. For instance, sometimes you might struggle with flight’s timetable. If you are departing from Portsmouth, the closest you get from one of London’s airports is Gatwick. You can also find good deals from the Southhampton one. But, departing from Gatwick Airport you need to think when is the earliest train that can take you there and the last one, on the return. This will already limit your flight search. Usually its less expensive to book the flights combined, because of booking fees, but don’t be strained by it.

Because a break usually is short, you can also combine your options. For instance, you can combine London airports, and then you might find more interesting flights. In March, I’m planning an escape to Lisbon and because usually the more economic return flight is at 6.30am, I selected the return to Heathrow and then I was able to pick an equal-priced flight at 10.30am. This will make my return flight management easier.

ACCOMMODATION SEARCH: I am, without any doubt, a Booking.com user. I think that making an account is quite easy and it is worth it. With time, you will become a .genius member, and some promotions will be available only to you. For instance, I booked a hotel room in a fancy place in Portugal for 35 euros, when, for someone else, would cost 40 euros. You need to be patient and not rush for the first option. I usually tend to use the map to explore accommodation options in respect to the city. The map will appear in the left sidebar after you’ve put your search details. But you have other options. I’ve used Tripadvisor as well, but only once. My experience was great. I think it is more limited, with fewer options. But, you might find different ones. So, just check with the same search details. For the past two years, I have also used Airbnb. I do like this website, because not only is its structure very secure, but you can also find apartment/house deals. This is interesting if you are planning a more cozy escape, with friends or boyfriend, and you want to cook and spend some indoors time. This will decrease your food costs and probably it will be a cheaper alternative to accommodation as well.  You have rooms as well, so you can have fun exploring it. The downside of this one is that you need to pay right away whilst with Booking.com you might find some options where you can just make the reservation and pay once you get there. Plan ahead your intentions so your search can be more effective.

TIP: take your time searching. You don’t need to book right away, just because you’ve started. Do it now and then, so maybe you can find the best deal. Finding flight bargains is much like gambling, you never know.

3. Visit the tourism websites and read blogs beforehand;

Having set up the time you have got for your break and the real time you have to visit your destination, then you should focus on a realistic plan. Don’t start putting all the attractions in your plan. This is a rookie mistake, I’m afraid. Depending on the distances and the time it takes to visit whatever you want, sometimes you can go to 1 to 2 attractions in the morning and the same amount in the afternoon. Obviously, this will depend on the time you need to see what you want. That’s why blogs are an effective way to help your planning. Others usually have good tips and they are willingly sharing their know-how. It is better to see less, but better. Just rushing all the way and only having a grasp of what you are visiting is not the proper way of getting to know your surroundings. If you want to taste food during your break then you should allow yourself a good two-hour lunch or dinner.

I do like starting from the tourism websites, because not only usually  do they have an English version, but they are very well organised. It is easy to get a good idea of what you can visit. And they are more up to date than Google is. You can easily get information on the attractions timetable and any last-minute news. Put everything into your tablet or, as me, an old-fashioned gal, write it on paper. This will be your route guide.  You can save it later with postcards you might buy. Memories can last, but some items usually help them crawl out of our head.

 4. Be responsible with money;

I don’t like that feeling of counting my money to make sure I can get back home. And not being able to enjoy where I am! That’s not a good way of ending your escape journey. Therefore, and though it might seem silly, I do like the idea of putting money in an envelope. So, if I want to go somewhere next month, I will put £40/50 (depending on what I want to do) there. This is like the life-jacket. I might use it or not. But is good to have a backup plan. If you can’t do it, then just make a Plan B during your stay, so you can still enjoy but not go overdrawn.

This weekend I had my Break. I went back home and I had a really enjoyable time though the weather was quite depressing. It was raining cats and dogs and the winds were crazy. We were in a red warning zone. Nonetheless, I planned on doing indoor activities that could fill our time and, unfortunately, we had to forget about most of the outdoor ones. We went to Sintra, one of my favourite places in the world, and we managed to visit two Palaces, one in each afternoon, do Geocaching (not as much as we wanted!) and just doing some sightseeing in the end.  Overall I spent more £30 than I was expecting, which for a 3-night accommodation and everything else included I thought was okay.

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The weather conditions made this visit even more mystical – welcome to the Pena Palace

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The fog and the cold made us think how living in the Palace in the old days could have been harsh

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The king that bought the Palace was of the romantic type

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And he was very inspired by Asian culture

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Because we were in the route of palaces – welcome to the National Queluz Palace

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This is called the music room, with an extension to the next one; imagine the balls…

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and the delight of musicians, playing for kings, princes and nobles of that time

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This palace is very well known because of its gardens

 

I feel like travelling connects me more with different cultures and situations, which makes me feel more alive and human.

Hope you find my tips useful and do let us know if you are planning a break.

Ciao

Inês

 

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Free time

Pancake Day?!

“What happens on Tuesday?”

Tuesday is Carnival… oh no! My bad. In the UK we celebrate the Pancake Day instead.

Last Wednesday, during my Academic English Course, the lecturer pointed out that in this Tuesday we would be celebrating something. I immediately though “Carnival!” But then, so simply, she said “Pancake Day”.

I can’t say I was upset at all. I LOVE pancakes. Now and then I make pancakes for me and my housemate or she does it for us. Nonetheless, it made me think about the why pancakes are celebrated in such a recognizable way.

After some digging, I found out some interesting facts:

1) It is a Christian celebration, per say, as apparently this should be the last day people could eat something fancier, before the Ash Wednesday (the first day of Lent, in celebration of Easter).

2) Eggs, fat, and butter are forbidden during Lent! That is the why people want to eat them just before they can’t anymore.

3) Initially, this was a smart way of not wasting eggs and butter, since 6 weeks (given or take) separate Shrove Tuesday from Easter.

4) Quoting other sources, apparently on this day, the egg consumption in the UK increases more than the double! I guess that’s not the original intention. Go, go consumerism!

I understand now that there are competitions around the country on pancake flipping races. That is a blast! And this leads to another interesting fact:

3) The record on flipping a pancake is on 349 flips in 2 minutes. That is talent!

Apparently, the first race dates from 1445… that is definitely an old tradition! It took place on Olney.

In Portsmouth, in case you want to participate or have a look, you’ll find celebration at the Portsmouth Cathedral on Tuesday 9, from 10 am to 4 pm. If you know more events, please leave a comment. Let our readers be aware.

 

In Portugal and several other countries, this Tuesday is celebrated in a different way. From Friday until Tuesday, people go on to the streets, dancing and exhibiting incredible costumes and pompous, colorful structures.

The most known is the Brazilian one, because of its grandeur. The Italian one, in Venice, is also very posh. But I will focus a little bit on the tradition in Portugal, just because it might not be very well known.

The celebrations in my country are very diverse. But you would be surprised to know, that the Brazilian carnival comes from Portugal, more specifically from the Madeira Island (there was great emigration from Madeira to Brazil in the past).

In Madeira, traditionally, there are two main Carnival parades: the allegoric parade, organized and structured during Saturday, whilst the second, called ‘trapalhão’ parade, is more disperse, and is up to the common people, during Tuesday.

There are more genuine traditions, as the Lazarim and Podence (Macedo de Cavaleiros), both making use of what we called the “Caretos”, lovely but frightening masks, with a slightly pagan origin.

The Podence Caretos has roots in the Roman times, in celebration of the Old Gods, especially Saturn, so the crops could be of good quality during the year. That way, the men from the villages dress up as mysterious creatures and they shake their hips, wearing belts with rattles, to bring good fortune.

 

During the Good Tuesday, usually, we also burn a doll, called “entrudo”.

 

The Lazarim Caretos are made of wood though originally it might not have been like that. The tradition here is intricate and with several takes: girls and boys read poems to each other.

 

There are hundreds of celebrations, but the one I have gone more often is closer to my parent’s home, in Torres Vedras. This Carnival is usually known as more the most authentic in Portugal. Though this might not be exactly true, it is, nonetheless, one of the oldest organized allegoric parades in Portugal ever since 1922. In some editions, some political content has been expressed, mocking and protesting against the government.

 

I am not going to extend myself and I hope this has been enlightening to you. I will appreciate my pancakes this year.

Any good recipe you want to share? Do try on adding some blueberries… it is delicious!

 

Ciao,

Inês

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Course, Graduation, Other University Factors, Uni services, Year Abroad

Options and other concerns; the final year

Howdy,

It’s funny how a new year has just begun, but important and endless things are worrying so many minds: the final year.

I see how students are rushing with their projects/dissertations, trying their best to make a good impression, to be recognised by their efforts and getting the so valuable diploma. Nonetheless, their worries do not end there. Nor mine did.

As a student, especially as an undergrad student, most of the times we can live for a while without being concerned about the future. We are just enjoying life, discovering all the possibilities and thinking about the subjects we are being taught. But as the graduation reaches its end, other concerns start popping out of our minds “what’s next?”, “what should I do now?”, “Is this really what I want to do?”

Fascinating questions, I must say, but so terribly uncomfortable, most of the time, to answer. For some, following to the next level of education seems unavoidable: but exactly which one? For others, business or industry lie on the table: but am I ready? Do I have the right curriculum for that position?

Fortunately, our University offers great support in terms of careers advice and business startup. If you are starting to struggle with these questions, have a quick look on the Purple Door website. Even if you want to add some work experience, volunteering or find a part-time job, you’ll find plenty of information over there.

Nonetheless, my experience says you must be proactive when it comes to finding other options after your undergrad. Not all of us have the same expectation about the future. Some are keen on experiencing the job market, to experience some hands-on work and contribute with what they have learned. If you are one of those, you should seek some guidance from supervisors from each school in order to ask for some useful information. For instance, in the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences a group of students applied for the Society of Economic Geology Student Chapter, which is a wider organisation, and now and then they invite people from the industry to come and have a say of what it is needed from young geologists or how the market has been for the past years. Following these initiatives, they organized a trip to the Imperial College of London for a General Meeting of the SEG. Loads of things were discussed over there, as the UK and EU strategy concerning vital metals and ore exploration, scholarships and jobs opportunities related with the H2020. Several employers from different companies came to have a say about their experience and how they got there. It was a good “wake-up call” for those students wanting to pursue a mining career but still had some doubts and concerns of ‘where’ and ‘what to do’.

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Since the Natural History Museum is so close to the Imperial College, we went there for a quick peek – Dodo, picturing as the extinct bird endemic from Madagascar.

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Not a Spacesuit.. no. This is a high-temperature enduring suit, made for surveillance and research on volcanoes

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The itinerary for our Students into Mining sessions

I’m positive several other initiatives like this one are and will happen around the UK and most certainly at the University as well. If not, do encourage your lecturers to do so.

As for those of you thinking on masters/PhD degree, the University of Portsmouth has a good range of courses, each year is improving its offer, and several students, after it, have been employed. You have MA/MSc and MRes, usually the first takes 2 years to complete while the later is a full-year only researching. You can book a place to be part of the open day, where clarifications of this sort and much thoroughly are given – Open Day Masters.

As my personal view, I do think going abroad should be on your to-consider-list.

It does look good on your CV, it is much more than just living by yourself (you might have already done that yet), and it is not only partying (if that passed through your mind!). Going abroad can also be less expensive. Considering the living costs of the UK and the fees of a postgraduate course, considering living in an EU country is not completely nuts. Even if the rank of the University is not as high as the University of Portsmouth or other institution in the UK, having a diploma from a different country (though do check its eligibility outside the country) means lots of things that the person who is checking your CV will perceive: means learning a new language, adapting and adjusting to a foreign culture, practising much more social and communication skills, enduring hard situations, experiencing different views and ways of work. You can have a quick look on the top European Universities here. You can search by country or by ranking.

You can still have this experience and be in a UK University. Just check the ERASMUS+ website and do a little research on the requirements and choices you may have. You can also apply to a fund, that can help you out during your ERASMUS.

With a quick search, you can have an idea of which countries in Europe have more attractive living costs, accessing Numbeo.  I would recommend (obviously!) Portugal, Spain or France as possible destinations. These are countries that speak the most spoken languages in the world (apart from English and Mandarin), with welcoming people (increasing towards the SW) and depending upon the subjects with recognized education systems and research. Just be aware that they don’t always have information written in English. That’s easily overcome by sending an email to one or more lecturers of the School you fancy. They can give you all the tips you need.

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In case you need some “motivation” to go abroad… (SW of Portugal)

Times are getting harder for everyone. The economy is not so good, the Market’s trust is not as good and therefore, job opportunities and vacancies in Academia are getting reduced. Of course, now and then, mostly due to EU funding, there is still some places and scholarships. If you don’t mind internationalization, some countries are developing and would appreciate young brilliant minds working for them. But don’t be surprised if you don’t find the perfect job right away or if it doesn’t match your expectations, seldom they don’t. With time, patience and dedication you will get there.

Ciao

Inês

 

 

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Christmas, Free time

The beginning of a new year…

Hey! It is already 2016!

It seems so odd that only 3 months after starting my PhD, holidays were already on the corner. For me, it was only 2 months and a half, but still… it was odd.

Nonetheless, I can not complain too much. It was so good being back home. For instance, I had the chance to travel a little bit. I went to the south of Portugal, Algarve, which is awesome during Winter time. You should go there during December! No people around, beautiful scenery and… the most important… 20-celsius degrees! So, I stood in a very nice bungalow in a camping site and it was almost empty. I had a relaxed time, but I also managed to get to see one really book-like geological feature… a beautiful unconformity, meaning the bottom rocks are much older and deformed than the top rocks.

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southwesternmost part of Europe… Sagres

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These are the skies I tend to miss…

 

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It’s a visible geological structure in the bottom, we call it fold, overlain by quite horizontal layers of red sandstone

It was a scary trip towards the outcrops because it is an hour walking or so through the rocks and you have to pay attention to the tides or else you would be trapped on that particular beach, having to wait around 10hours to go away again. It was rough coming back, with water topping my belly, but we succeeded! (or I might not have been writing this!)

There was a considerable amount of food! And after being a couple months away, I didn’t stop myself. Now, I have to deal with extra weight for the beginning of the year… I believe it was worth it, though. Sometimes eating can be comforting.

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After Christmas with family, it was time to plan another trip. It is in the top destinations in the World and it is the second largest city of Portugal: Oporto (or Porto in Portuguese). It is almost a decadent city, with lots of old buildings. But the architecture and the ambiance bring good vibes. The city itself breathes culture and you can feel the history of the place touching your skin as you go. Plus, you have lots of entertainment. You can do boat trips, very good wine tastings, dining listening to typical Fado music… I have been there on several occasions, but this particular one I wanted to do some trekking in the coastal area and some geocaching, and enjoy the New Year’s Eve. It was great though the weather was not that great. We managed to have a nice evening listening to Pedro Abrunhosa, a Portuguese producer, musician, and songwriter, who is originally from that city.

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The last day of 2015 and yet, so much to see

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Looking at invaders! Whoever they might be. This one was taken from a small castle, named as “Cheese Castle” – nope, no cheese over there, just one surname of the person who had it done

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Proper acknowledgment to a famous writer

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‘Winter has come’, some say

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Live Concert in the Aliados Avenue – more than 150k people

I’ve been back for more than 1 week now and I’m back on track. After 3 weeks off, I was struggling a bit with schedules and the routine. These are hard times, having to adjust all over again. I’ve been back to demonstrating as well. These previous weeks students had to identify hand samples of magmatic origin. It has been a great experience, one that I was hoping to enjoy and it is paying off. I would most certainly like to help more, but sometimes not only communicating is hard but also the amount of information that they can hold on to is not that big. They are just freshers and it is quite demanding! I try to do my best to keep them on track and to highlight what it is important to know. But in the end, it is up to them!

 

How was your coming back? Did you have a good Season back at home?

Cheers,

 

Ines

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Christmas, Free time, Travels

…so this is Christmas!

Oh Oh Oh…

It is already Christmas time! All the mince pies and warm mulled wine around. Yet, I would expect to be colder in December. Not yet, though! But still, no one can deny that Christmas spirit is now set up.

All around the UK, I’m finding lots of Christmas Markets. They are just lovely! I know that originally they are a German custom, but it feels like it is part of the UK now. I loved the Winchester one. It suited the town so well, it almost seemed that it was part of it all along. And it has an ice rink!!! No doubt that Winchester is a beautiful place to visit and hang out, better if you have lots of wood sheds with Christmas lights and sweet smells floating around. It is amazing the creativity these guys have. You can find lovely things in these markets. Just beware of your finances and don’t get crazy!

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we had some pizza and cider for lunch

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A nice place for those of you who would like to try the >60 varieties they have

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The Winchester Cathedral 

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Just right beside the Cathedral, people gathering in the Christmas Market

After Winchester, I had a small trip to Southampton. I really liked it there. And again, there was this massive Christmas Market, with loads of food and handy craft sheds. Lovely! I met a french woman selling family owls, made by her with tissue, and personalised for each customer. They were so, so cute!  But Southampton sure deserves the hour trip. With about £11 you buy a return train ticket from Portsmouth and then you can discover all the wonders the city has to offer, including the SeaCity Museum with an exhibition dedicated to Titanic’s story. It is a walled city and you can find several “bits” of it all the way through, if you allow yourself a good stroll until the sea front. There are, as well, excellent shops and even an Ikea! Handy for those of you who still need some pimping up their bedrooms/flat.

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The original gate to Southampton

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During the World Wars, much of the city was destroyed

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parts of the wall that you can still see

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Santa’s sleigh making the wonders in another Christmas Market

I’m off now, heading to Portugal again, to meet my family, friends and boyfriend. It seems forever now that I had them just in front of me, and I’m missing them being around. I guess, even for those who don’t believe in the Christmas tradition, that it is kind of inevitable not to be filled with love feelings during this season. So I hope you have the opportunity to be with your loved ones. If not, try to be surrounded by friends, and allow yourself extra time to do some skyping with family.

Now that classes are over, it seems a long time until examinations and assessments during January. But beware! Time flies away when you are enjoying yourself, and sooner than later you will be returning to your routine, with the extra need to refocus quickly. This is dangerous and it is not a good feeling to be rushed back to study after a long pause. While I was an undergrad I always tried to study a couple days just before and after Christmas, so I wouldn’t leave everything to do after New Year’s Eve. It is complicated, yes! It doesn’t feel like it, yes! There are a bunch of better things to do, yes! But no one else is going to make you succeed in your upcoming tasks and it would be a bummer if you failed after so much effort. I advise you to keep up with your studies and don’t be amazed by the free time you have during this season.

 

Enjoy your sweets and your holidays, and see you soon,

 

Inês

 

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Student, Study, Uni Life

I would like to know more about…

Not all students that undergo and complete a BSc will either work directly on the area or dedicate themselves to research. The purpose of completing a higher degree is partly to improve and overcome our own expectations, to know more about the world that is beyond us and to grow ourselves as more educated and conscientious as people.

So, in a way, having this opportunity is a blessing. A true gift! I can still recall the thrill of being for the first time at the university. All the new perspectives, the feeling we had the world in our own hands; a world full of possibilities! Every university has its own agenda. So, as students, we should embrace what each university can provide us.

As a fresh student at the University of Portsmouth I am still learning my ways, but one really amazing thing, especially when you are a student, is the possibility of listening from different researchers or professionals in the area we like the most and understand the range of possibilities we could be headed to or even just to have a better idea of the hot topics going on. An easy way to achieve that is by attending seminars, and it is a great pleasure to understand that our University makes a great effort to provide us with several different ones. You can have a quick look here.

I, as a geology student, attend the SEES seminars, weekly on Thursdays, at 6 pm. I try to go to as many as I can since you never know what cool ideas you could get out of the work that another researcher is producing. Of course, the topic is not always clearly related with my interests or my specific research. However, and especially if you are still an undergraduate student, you never know what you will be working on in a few years, and it might be useful later. And for the time being, it broadens your horizons.

Depending on the School, you might even have an “after party”, a social gathering where people can discuss some ideas and socialize. This will surely happen after a SEES seminar, and at around 7 pm both staff and students will be headed to the Brewhouse and Kitchen, down the Guildhall Walk. It is particularly useful if you want to discuss ideas and ask some questions, either to staff or even the invited lecturer if you are shy or you don’t like to speak out in public. Nonetheless, the purpose for these seminars is to provide a place where people can talk to each other and even make some brainstorming.

In almost two months of Portsmouth, I already had the chance of meeting two different researchers that presented really interesting talks on subjects related with my thesis and afterwards we had the chance to discuss ideas for a long while, which is really great (I feel benefited from it!), enjoying nice beers.

On Wednesdays, for a broader community, we also have the Dynamic Planet Seminars, in Richmond Building at 1 pm and my latest experience was awesome! Even though it was more about hydrology and geography, a kick ass presentation about Antarctica Ice sheet was held and 3D models were presented, so we actually used 3D glasses and we had Antarctica in our room for a few moments!

I still remember how I enjoyed attending Seminars like these in my previous University, but, unfortunately, they were not on a regular basis and the speakers were not often from different parts of the world. Even so, I felt at the time that it was amazing, even though several times, about 80% I couldn’t completely understand and probably 40% I forgot with time.

Have a go, organize your schedule and try to go to as many seminars as possible. ‘Knowledge is never too much’, they say. And you never know what the future is holding.

Have you had a good experience while attending Seminars? Do you find it difficult to keep up? Have a say.

Cheers,

Ines

 

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fitness, Free time, Portsmouth, Sport

Weekend Running

How often do you wake up in the morning and feel like you wish to be more fit? Sometimes not only to feel better with your body, but as well as a matter of health?

There are several reasons why one should choose running out of other ways to keep fit. First, is a very affordable way to practice some sport. You just have to find really good sneakers to endure your practice over time, so that your feet won’t get hurt by the continuous training. Everything else comes with time. Sure it is also important to think on sports clothing, but just to start, you just need something comfortable.

Doctors and psychologists believe that running improves several different areas of body development, since not only is it good for your heart, as it might increase your life span and decreases the probability of contracting some diseases, but also it can be an activity working for your self-esteem, social skills and to run the stress away. And you can run wherever you wish and enjoy the sights as you go. And if you do run, maybe you can join next year’s Great South Run.

Last Sunday Portsmouth was invaded by its usual (Morrisons) Great South Run and several athletes (and non-athletes as well) endorsed by a rather voluminous crowd that took over Portsmouth streets – more than 25 000 participants were seen on the run.

First edition of this Great South Run took place in 1990 and since then it turned out to be one of the Europe’s most crowded races – we all had a good look how crowded it can be, last Sunday!

The race is not categorized as a semi-marathon and it is not a 10 000 m race. It goes for a distance of 10 miles (about 16 000 m). Therefore, it is not a recognized distance by the International Association of Athletics Federations. That being so, many argue that most of the elite athletes were absent this year since they could not get results for their admission for the Olympics in 2016, Brazil.

Nonetheless, one of the most notorious athletes of nowadays showed up to take the winning prize for the woman’s elite – the Kenyan Vivian Cheruiyot. After only 51 minutes and 17 seconds she cruised home and we must remember that this athlete has won on several occasions, recently on the 10 000 meters run on the IAAF World Championships, Beijing, this year. It was a great pleasure to see this top athlete in Portsmouth!

As for the elite men, victory smiled upon Uganda’s Moses Kipsiro, 46 minutes, though closely followed by the Kenyans Kipsang (46 minutes, 08 seconds) and Bett (46 minutes and 11 seconds).

Several athletes and supporters appeared on the morning race, though the majority were running for charities. A good purpose to run for. More details about these charities and how to join for next year’s run click here.

If you are interested to get a detailed view on the course of the race, just click here.

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To participate you have to keep up and endure this race (it is not a short one) and to be able to enjoy while you compete with yourself, one should practice a while. There are different starters groups. Colored orange went first, followed by the white and then green athletes upon their personal results/time.

There are some groups running at weekends and you will surely find many people running near the seafront. It can be busy sometimes. Southsea parkrun is advertised in several social networks (in the University of Portsmouth facebook page at least) and it seems a good way to join people who are into running, Saturdays at 9am.

Hope this was interesting and if you missed the chance to cheer for the Great South Run athletes, don’t forget there is more next year 😉

Ines

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