Madly off in all directions

The Fringe is upon us… George Square Gardens has now been transformed into a venue complete with the famous Underbelly tent, food trucks, bars and the infamous astroturf!

Lab work
The last month has been hectic in terms of lab work. It is always the case right before going on holiday. I have tried to do as many experiments as possible in the last few weeks, especially since I dedicated a lot of the month of June to writing my 8-month report. I have been cloning vectors, imaging, transfecting, PCRing, mini prepping and sequencing like mad in the hopes that when I get back in 3 weeks, everything will have fallen into place so I can start some new experiments. In the last week alone, I have imaged 49 coverslips! I think that that may be a new personal best, especially considering the 30 mini preps that I also did were time-consuming.

It is a fine balancing act to get everything done in an efficient manner. I tend to be pretty good at cramming things in during incubation times, it is a skill that you develop when you have worked in labs for 9 years!  For instance, making an agarose DNA gel and while it is cooling, setting up a transfection and during the transfection incubation time, start running the gel. I usually make myself very detailed schedules that I need to follow with extreme precision. Having this skill, and daily rigorous schedule means that I don’t have to stay in the lab until midnight every night to get everything done and I can go do my yoga! I really enjoy making lists and schedules because it is so satisfying to actually cross things off at the end of the day or when a task is completed. All this being said, I am looking forward to my holiday when I do not have to plan every day down to the last minute. I am also looking forward to giving my eyes a rest from picking out transfected cells to image!

In a week, the city will be abuzz with performers and tourists. According to the Fringe Festival’s Twitter page, it is the largest arts festival in the world. I personally prefer to leave the capital during this time. I did move to Edinburgh in the middle of the Fringe in 2013 and I think that I experienced sensory overload that has lasted until today! That being said, it looks like the Fringe has some very interesting shows this year (based solely on all the posters plastered up across George Square and The Meadows). I do like the fact that the Fringe brightens up August which tends to be a colder rainy “summer” month (note: I am not sure that summer exists as a season here, I’d say it lasts 2 weeks a year, one in April and one in July). With the posters and performers and tourists and with there being literally thousands of things to do and see, it is easy for one to ignore the dreariness of August. I will actually be back in Edinburgh at the end of August and may actually be able to catch a few shows, though, knowing me, I will probably prefer to go on and continue my Fringe-less summer tradition). However for all those who like shows and stand up acts and plays that are a little bit out there, on the fringe, I would recommend it, meanwhile, I will be back in Montreal enjoying the sunshine and hot weather!