Brain fuel – week 54

We did not order any coffee to come in the shopping this week which was a slight mistake. I am writing this with a brain that is awake but very cloudy. Concentration and logical thought are a bit of a struggle. From experience, without coffee, it will take around a month to reset my coffee addiction.

So, the dilemma is whether or not I want to lose optimal performance for the sake of weaning myself off of coffee. On the plus side, I will spend less money. On the negative side, I will lose a ritual that I enjoy – the first coffee of the day whilst reading a book.

I quit coffee for around three months last year, and it was not fun for the first month. After that it became normal, and everything was okay again. My energy was evenly spread throughout the day when I was a non-coffee drinker. Whereas, when I drank coffee, I got to choose when I was most alert.

Choosing when you are most alert is quite the ability if you stop and think about it. I guess this is only the case if you have a relatively low tolerance of caffeine otherwise you would have to consume coffee constantly just to feel ‘normal’. I don’t think addiction is quite the right word as cars aren’t addicted to fuel they just can’t perform without it. Dependence is probably better.

And there it is, the preamble ramble…

If I wasn’t quite explicit enough with my explanation that I am not feeling myself, maybe the length of the preamble could be used to diagnose the fact that I am not quite on top form.


There were a couple of interesting things that happened this week. Firstly, one of my fellow students has been told they cannot continue. This has come as a massive shock to me as I thought she was a good student. She did not get on well with the supervisor, and this is probably the main reason for her dismissal.

She is far more qualified than I am for the job. She had two masters degrees and had already had a years experience of being a PhD student for one year prior to joining our group. I am a masterless wonder, wondering how it is not me that is leaving. There is still time.

I was told this news by the lab gossip and don’t actually know this.

The second interesting thing that happened was that we went out for a meal with everyone in our lab group – minus one. It was at a restaurant most of us had already been to and enjoyed. However, our table was situated next to a party of very drunk middle-aged men. Singing. Loudly. The entire of the restaurant were sick of this group, and after a good twenty-minutes of everyone trying to be nice, the tension was cut.

A brave group of women sitting adjacent to the group asked for them to politely shut-up. They said okay and then carried on anyway. Then a group of similar looking ‘adult’ males started swearing and trying to persuade them to stop.

At first, it all seemed like bravado, until both groups stood up simultaneously, and the waiting staff jumped in between. Having not been involved I wasn’t scared of injury, I was scared of all the lovely Indian food getting pushed off of our table in the brawl!

A long few minutes of squaring-off occurred until there was classic ending as far as macho posturing is concerned.

It turns out one of the people from the offending group went to school with one of the other group, and they spent the rest of the night hugging and reminiscing, which was only slightly less annoying than the original singing.

Whether or not you were hoping for a bloody ending or a happy ending to that story, will be largely subjective, and perhaps a reflection on you.

This was just from one day this week! The rest of the stuff I did seems dull in comparison.