Thursday, 20 September 2012


I've been home for over a week now. My thoughts have definitely gone back to the 'aargh thesis' dark side. My trip feels like it was so long ago that I can't remember it that well anymore. I will say though that the people I met at the course were nice (I guess it pays not to be antisocial sometimes), and I was able to cross another 30 before 30 item off my list - visit another castle. Oh, and we went to a Ceilidh, which was a big dinner in a hall with folk dancing afterwards. It was awkward dancing with a bunch of people I'd just met, but quite amusing. Except for the giant bruise that appeared on my ankle from one overly exuberant dancer accidentally kicking me twice.

As for the course, I'm very glad I went. All the brain dissection parts were very interesting, but in a slightly surreal and abstract way. By that I mean, it was sometimes difficult to reconcile that what I was holding used to contain the thoughts of someone. We also had case conferences, where patients with brain disorders actually came in so we could talk to them. These were great for bringing all the concepts back to reality, but it also made me very sad about how these people's lives have been permanently changed. It also made me want to wear a helmet permanently to avoid injury, along with aiming to get brain scans often - as you can see this course did not help my mild hypochondriasis. At the same time though it's amazing how much the brain does try to adjust and recover with injuries, and the way the patients dealt with their problems and got on with life was truly inspiring. One girl had to teach herself to walk and talk again after a car accident, and she ended up running with the Paralympic torch for part of its' journey to the London games. 

Anyway, before I head back to marking assignments (hey at least they make my thesis look like an attractive work option again) I will post a couple of pictures of my trip below.

Bodnant Garden, Conwy, Wales
Conwy Castle
The town of Conwy is still walled and you can get up on the walls and look around. The view is pretty impressive.

P.S. Brain research is super important so that progress can be made in preventing and treating injuries and diseases. It might be a bit morbid to think about, but please consider donating your brain to science. I plan to. 

**UPDATE: There is an awesome TV show called Battle Castle, and one of the episodes is about Conwy. Hooray!


  1. I've only been to Wales once, but it was lovely. Quite jealous you got to go there. And welcome back! Sounds like a lovely and educational trip. :)

  2. It's cool that you got to visit Conwy Castle! I've only ever seen it from the outside, but as I have friends living up there I hope I will be able to see it properly soon.

    Ceilidhs are great fun but exhausting. I went to one a couple of years ago with a really scary caller who got angry whenever we didn't do the moves right, whoops! Was still a good laugh though ;)

    Glad you had such a great trip!

  3. I'll definitely be donating to Science - oh and welcome back!!! I always feel so excited and happy for my friends as they cross off items on their lists. It's such a great feeling! So what are the plans for the rest of the year? You're submitting in November? (No? Have I mixed it up? lol)

    1. Well... the original plan was November, but now the plan is December. Hopefully this one sticks! :P

  4. What an interesting trip, I can't even imagine seeing a castle like that in real life. Sounds like you had a blast, and wow I can't imagine holding someones brain.


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