I had a really lovely weekend. Shabbat lunch with lavendersparkle, with tasty food and good conversation, and we met her kid who is just learning how to eat solid food, and thinks strawberries are the most amazing thing ever. And fancy dinner with ghoti and several other extremely pretty people, plus the kittens who at a couple of months old are very lively and playful.
Sunday was for recovering from the late night and the extremely tasty wine. ghoti and Judith came over for brunch (which jack cooked, cos he's wonderful), and we played Smash Up, which I'm really into at the moment. It's a little bit like Magic: the Gathering, much simpler but still varied enough to be interesting for adults as well as kids. Basically you play minions (creatures) which have a numerical power, and actions which affect the minions and other aspects of the games, and try to capture bases by making the total power of all players' minions add up to the goal number. And various interesting interactions happen when base scoring is triggered. The gimmick is that you play with a mixture of two factions (decks) with contrasting and hopefully complementary flavours. So I was ninja aliens, which didn't quite work as well as I hoped, but had a mix of surprise actions with fairly aggressive but unsubtle powers.
And I managed to join cjwatson and the boys for a couple of hours in the afternoon, which we spent playing more games, Apples to Apples and a lovely dominoes variant called Aquarius, which is very pretty and makes dominoes actually fun. It was very, very hot most of the weekend, so doing mostly unenergetic things in convivial company was a good idea.
At least I had something fun to come back to work for, namely the graduation ceremony for our most recent crop of doctors. I liked this cohort a lot when they were in first and second year, and it was really good to be there to congratulate them now they've made it. So I had fun wearing my own academic robes; as I complained here once before, having my PhD from a Scottish university means I go bareheaded on academic occasions, which makes me stick out a bit in England. I found a hair ornament at Worldcon in shades of blue similar to my academic colours, so I plaited the arrangement of bits of blue tinsel, royal blue wool and turquoise-blue feathers into my hair. I'm too tiny to see clearly, but here I am nearly at the end of the front row next to the bedel in the cheesy pic of the Congregation and the new doctors.
There were quite a few students who were really pleased to see me there, including two I'm especially fond of. One who is really brilliant and who asked me for a morale boost when applying for one of the most competitive Academic Foundation jobs a newly qualified doctor can possibly take. Which she did indeed get, so there's a good chance she's going on to great things. And one whom I defended when she was struggling academically in her early years, because it was clear to me she is one of the rare people who have a genuine vocation for medicine, and I spoke up for her when some colleagues were saying, it's a shame, but she's just not good enough academically. She's had to work hard for every exam she's passed, but she's met the standards, and she's persistently done really well at everything she's tried that doesn't involve passing an academic exam. I think she she's going to be brilliant too, probably not famous, but the kind of doctor who is sought after and loved by all her patients.
Due to being required at the medical school graduation, I missed my own brother's graduation. He was finally awarded his PhD yesterday; finishing a PhD is a really long drawn-out process, with finishing your thesis, having the viva, getting your corrections accepted, so going through the actual ceremony where they give you a title can seem like a bit of an anticlimax. Anyway my brother is now another Dr B___, and in his case actually literally a doctor of philosophy.
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