What a productive day! It started with making lemon & coriander couscous for lunch for us both to take to work and then got busy…
I did a H&S talk in the plaster room for a small group of first years (the first of three this week), followed by a plaster mixing and lathing workshop. They can now cottle up a lathe chuck, mix & pour the plaster at the optimum time, put it on the lathe, center it and finally shape it. Mould-making will come later on.
I was going to go to the gym at lunchtime but the workshop had run over and my bra was full of plaster from the lathe! Not good to shower the changing room with plaster when getting changed and definitely not good running with bits of plaster everywhere…
So, I ate lunch and surfed the net before talking to and showing round a group of prospective students and their parents. This took 2 hours and I was quite hoarse by the end of it.
Anyway, I finished that and needed to lathe off the chuck for tomorrow’s group and tidy up. Rather than waste what was left, I made three shallow plate/bowl-shaped models to mould and turn into glass slumping moulds (to be slipcast).
By the time I’d finished it was hometime (woop!), so I walked home, made pasta & veg, put ingredients into the breadmaker, put some washing on, did the dishwasher, went swimming - 40 lengths in 23 minutes - came home, washed my hair, made a pavlova base for tomorrow’s dessert at a friend’s house, put some more washing on, boiled some eggs for tomorrow’s egg mayo sarnies, took the bread out of the breadmaker and finally I’m off to dry my hair and go to bed!!
Well, I made it to work before the wind and rain got too bad but my left knee was twinging all the way. I was going to run this lunchtime but I think I’ll give it a miss as I need to be good for tomorrow’s fitness test. I’m participating in some smart clothing research by exercising at different heats and humidities (I think!) for different lengths of time. Tomorrow they get to find out my base fitness level by running my ragged!!
Today I’ve been reading a book called Total Immersion by Terry Laughlin. It’s about improving swimming technique in order to improve speed through the water. I’m finding it really interesting as I’ve always loved swimming but have never been amazingly fast. I’d always assumed that the more work I put in, the faster I’d go. Apparently this is not exactly the case so I’m excited to try out these different techniques.
This afternoon, I will mainly spend reclaiming clay. This involves taking clay that hasn’t been fired but has dried out and placing it into a bin of water. The clay then breaks down into a sloppy mud-like consistency. I can then scoop it out onto plaster ‘bats’ (big slabs) in order to dry out to a firmer consistency. Once it’s done that (overnight to two days) I can then put it through a pug mill (a machine with an internal corkscrew which mixes the clay to a consistent texture). I complain a lot about having to pug clay but actually it’s the final part, bagging the clay, that I get more narked with - it’s just so time-consuming to find the bags, turn them out, break the clay into manageable pieces to fill the bags and then tie them off. Then I get to carry them to the clay store. I suppose this is good weight training as each bag weighs around 12-15kgs. The clay then gets used by the students and thus the cycle continues! Joy!!
It’s Thursday today, so takeout night tonight. Don’t know what we’re having but I really fancy a curry. We’ll see. :o)