Lab life

Hello all. I have been setting up my lab hence the silence on here. I’ve also been sorting out my permanent residency. And writing a grant. So all in all January was a horrifically expensive month and I am in that period where my personal finances resemble the pictures after natural disasters have destroyed everything. My financial clean up attempt will have to wait until things normalise, in the meantime I’m eating a lot of tinned tuna and pasta as it’s cheap.

I am still able to see, which is awesome, as it means my new eye lenses haven’t been rejected (I don’t think they can do that) and I have intact retinas (stupid giant misshapen eyes). My eyes are still quite sensitive. I didn’t know how much onions sting your eyes until I was hacking one up the other night to make spaghetti bolognase (contact lenses are like eye armor so I never got onion sting-eye previously). Other eye related things – waking up in the morning is more difficult as my eyes are a bit “sticky” and sleepy first thing. Or maybe that’s the physical manifestation of the feeling of the first week back at work, overt concerns that I’ve got to get my lab functioning, general life craziness type stuff.

Setting up a lab is pretty hilarious. In the way that I’m saying “hilarious” but actually I mean about as funny as wading through knee deep mud. Everything takes about eighty times longer to get done than if I could do it myself with total financial independence / incredible physical strength / congenital inability to sleep or feel tired. Any lab setting up tips are most welcome…


I made a list of “things to do” that has become this massive flow chart with all the yes/no points that seem to lead to the same answer “talk to finance / tech staff” usually via “go get a coffee” and ending with “return to step 1”.


So far I have ordered labcoats emblazoned with “Team Reichelt” on them (I initially wanted “Property of Richardson Lab” embroidered on them but decided that my sense of humour is best kept internalised), bought a brain matrix (I’ve just always wanted one of my own), bought a new fridge freezer for samples, spent a worrying amount on antibodies (I feel like I should get one of those loyalty cards like I get for my coffee – buy 10 antibodies get the 11th free), and surgery / dissection tools that will go in my lurid pink toolbox.

I also have my teaching allocation to do, pretty light at 12 hours this year, however my lectures need to be fancied up a bit and then put in for assessment for promotion time. So all in all, as it’s Saturday and I’ve still got piles of work to do, sadly I am exhausted and just want to collapse on my sofa.



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