… and Emma’s big day has just happened!

25 04 2018

Congrats to Emma and John, and welcome to Eve, born a few days ago!


Miranda’s big day is coming up

25 04 2018

Miranda’s thesis, not yet bedecked with the traditional gazillion post-its, but all ready for her defence on Friday!


My favourite typo

25 04 2018

This lovely typo crops up regularly.

Or perhaps they really do mean “involving very bad curtains”?


UBC visit

23 04 2018

UBC welfare conf signI had a great trip to Vancouver (and Vancouver Island) last month. I’d been invited to speak at UBC’s Pre-veterinary and Animal Welfare Club, who were organising a symposium on lab animal welfare.

First, there was a good day with Dan, Nina and the welfare group, including a journal club on a paper I’d long meant to read (“Horses can learn to use symbols to communicate their preferences”: not convinced this is true communication, but still impressive how fast the horses learned the task). Next, the conference itself, which was was excellent. The other speakers were Joanna Makowska, Cathy Shuppli and Elisabeth Ormandy and the tiny bit of pre-planning we did made our talks fit together (almost disproportionately) perfectly.   Below, me looking vaguely Joan of Arc-like, and chatting with step-son Griffin who’d come over from his new home in Sooke.


(And I then had a two day “essence of BC” holiday next, seeing seals, bald eagles and an addict shooting up in a doorway, along with getting to fly in a seaplane). 






Birthday group meeting

19 04 2018

My pet picturesLast week for my birthday we went out as is the tradition, this time to Mijiida. The group got me presents, which honestly I don’t really encourage… well… ahem, unless they’re as totally fabulous as these ones were: amazing surprise framed prints they somehow made of Mud (Misha’s favourite of my hens), Luke, Sylvie and Mouse.

Below, left to right are: Basma, Miranda (who’s defending very soon!), Aileen, Emma, Lindsey, Aimee, Michelle, Sam and Misha (Andrea being away visiting family in Guatemala).

Birthday group meeting


World’s deadliest cat…

19 04 2018

… and maybe also the cutest.

Screenshot 2018-04-18 21.42.25

Monarchist sentiments unusually high in the Mason Lab

18 04 2018

Typically I’m about as royalist as I am religious. But with two students winning QEII awards this week (Claire Chan from UTM who plans to join the lab for her PhD, and our very own Lindsey who’s looking to start as a MSc student), it’s hard not to feel a warm glow for the old dear (especially as her last corgi died this week).