The Scamp Goes on An Adventure

For the first time since 2018, I actually went on holiday that wasn’t California and wasn’t in the UK! I’ve been trying to get away since Nov 2021, but lockdowns and Covid mean having to be flexible. Instead of a Thanksgiving holiday, I snuck away to celebrate my last week of being 34.

I’ve been really struggling since 2018. The end of the PhD, the horrible viva and rewrites, and then the pandemic have really done a lot to corrode my already tenuous mental health. That coupled with isolation, no travel and a stressful work environment have left me pretty burnt out. I haven’t been writing for fun, haven’t been writing for work, and haven’t done a whole lot to help myself become an adult.

To sort myself out, I decided to head to Vienna for a week. I’ve never been to Austria, and there are a lot of great places to visit that are only an hour by train or bus….and I just needed out of the UK.

I booked a stay at the Student House Vienna. This is a hotel/student dorm. It was fantastic. The people were friendly, I couldn’t hear the people living above me or next to me, and it was right next to the metro, so it was easy to get to city centre.

The first thing I did was buy a week’s pass for the U-Bahn so that I did not have to walk if I did not want to. My first stop was the Museum of Modern Art. According to the museum’s website:

With its collections based on Pop Art and Photorealism, Fluxus and Nouveau Réalisme as well as Viennese Actionism, the mumok combines highlights of societal and reality-related art as well as performance art of the 20th century. The collection comprises around 9,000 works: paintings, sculptures, installations, drawings, graphics, photos, videos, films, architectural models and furniture.

The museum did not disappoint. Pop art is the type of art I enjoy the most, and the gallery had so many floors to wander about. I actually wandered the museum without a murder podcast playing in my ears and it was nice to have a bit of silence.

The next place that I went was the Natural History Museum. According to their website:

The Natural History Museum preserves, expands, researches and presents its extensive biological, geological, anthropological and archaeological collections in a building designed as a total work of art. It conveys the diversity of nature, the evolution of planet earth and life as well as the associated cultural development of humans and offers an inspiring meeting place where dialogue and exchange between science and society take place.

It is a stunning museum, the building is amazing and everything is presented so well. It is also like a maze. There are so many rooms and corridors that at one point, I was glad that I had a granola bar in my purse.

Naturhistorisches Museum
Dino pals
Mineral collection

There was something really nice about wandering the city, not being sat on my couch all day, and not emotionally eating because I am sad and feeling stuck. Even the GPS gods smiled on me and kept me right the entire time. Vienna is really easy to navigate and I have the directional sense of a bee in a paper bag, so being outside, walking, and not once getting lost made me really happy. I even navigated the metro like I knew what I was doing, and I love any time that I can feel a bit less like a tourist. I ended the day with my favourite thing: cake. There was a market in the metro station, so I was able to get nibbles and eat in the dorm at the end of the day. I was not 100% keen on eating out alone, so being able to get a salad and water and amazing bread. It was a great start to the vacation.

The Scamp’s Cooking Corner

I am behind on the list of things that I’ve cooked each week. The last one that I posted was a complete disaster, so I thought it would be smart to ditch the baking and go back to trying to cook simple recipes.

And shocker, it worked! I made a simplified version of a Pad Thai, and it was delicious.

Easy Shrimp Pad Thai

The recipe came from They have been my go-to for simple recipes and fun meals to ease me into the cooking life. The recipe can be found here:, but in case it ever gets pulled down:



250 g wide rice noodles

2 tbsp. lime juice

2 tbsp. brown sugar

1 tbsp. fish sauce

1 tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce

1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

2 tbsp. vegetable oil

1 pepper, thinly sliced

2 cloves garlic, crushed

2 eggs, lightly whisked

450 g prawns, peeled and deveined

Freshly ground black pepper

2 spring onions, thinly sliced

30 g roasted peanuts, chopped


  1. In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook noodles until al dente. Drain.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together lime juice, brown sugar, fish sauce, soy sauce, and cayenne pepper. Set aside.
  3. In a large nonstick pan over medium-high heat, heat oil. Add bell pepper and cook until tender, about 4 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute more. Add the prawns and season with salt and pepper. Cook until pink, about 2 minutes per side.
  4. Push the prawns and vegetables to one side of the pan and pour in the egg. Scramble until just set then mix with the prawn mixture. Add the cooked noodles and toss until combined. Pour in the lime juice mixture and toss until the noodles are coated.
  5. Garnish with spring onions and roasted peanuts before serving.

Pad Thai was not something that I tried until I was 18. There was an amazing place in Merced and the owners loved the uni students and always took care of us. When I moved back to Edinburgh, the flat I settled in was tucked in behind a Chinese food place that also made amazing Pad Thai. I used to order it a lot when I was working on my PhD. Unfortunately, they were a casualty of the pandemic, which is why I wanted to learn a simple version that I could make on my own. I am going to add this one to the list of things I will make again.

The Scamp’s Cooking Corner

While I have stuck to trying out new recipes each week, I have not been great about posting the results each week. The last one was a disaster, looked like cat food. Unfortunately, the week after that was not a winner either. I thought I’d try my hand at baking. I used to be a good baker, award-winning even. I probably am still a good baker, but I got way too ambitious with the recipe. I’m going to share it though in case anyone wants to try it. This comes from Shalean LaBerge on Instagram (

Funfetti Cookie & Cake Batter Blondies 🍰

1 pack Funfetti cookie dough
1 box Funfetti cake mix
1 egg beaten
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup chopped white chocolate
1/4 cup rainbow sprinkles
9-12 golden Oreos

Preheat oven to 350F and grease the bottom of a 9×9 glass pan (or line with parchment paper). Spread the Funfetti cookie dough mix to the bottom of the pan then top with 9-12 golden Oreos and set aside. In a mixing bowl, combine Funfetti cake mix with the vegetable oil and milk. Add in the white chocolate and sprinkles. Pour the beaten egg into the batter and mix until just incorporated. Pour the batter into the pan on top of the golden Oreo layer. Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes on the center rack. Remove the foil, turn the pan around and lower the oven to 325F. Continue to bake for an additional 25 minutes. At this point, the edges should be golden brown and the center slightly lighter in color. Cover only the edges of the pan with foil and bake for 10 more minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool COMPLETELY in the pan before slicing (2-3 hours).

Tip: after the total bake time, a toothpick entered into the center should come out almost clean (not wet but not completely clean) because it will finish baking outside the oven while cooling in the pan)

I had to make my own funfetti icing, but I found unicorn sprinkles and all kinds of colourful bits and bobs to use with vanilla frosting. Mine did not look anywhere near as pretty as the video shared on Instagram, but it didn’t taste too bad. I had fun making it though, and might go back to the baking that I was good at as a kid, cookies. They are a lot easier to make then a cookie, cake, brownie mix.

The Scamp’s Cooking Corner

This one should actually be called the failed cooking corner. The big huge it looked like cat vomit instead of sauce fail.

I somehow ended up with a bag full of shallots when I did my last grocery order, and for the life of me, I can’t remember if I’ve ever cooked with a shallot. I did what any good researcher would do and took to the internet to try and find a good recipe that would allow me to use some of my shallots.

You’ll never guess what I found… entire recipe dedicated to the use of shallots. I picked one that seemed easy: Caramelised shallot pasta. Seemed easy enough, and the shopping list was simple.


60ml olive oil

8 round shallots, sliced very thinly

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

Salt and pepper, to taste

1 tsp chilli flakes

25g anchovy fillets (about 6 anchovies), drained but not rinsed

100g finely chopped sundried tomatoes

12 green olives, sliced

500g bucatini (or another type of pasta)

40g Parmesan

Small bunch of fresh parsley, finely chopped


Heat the olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium high heat. Add the shallots and thinly sliced garlic, season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the shallots have become totally softened and caramelized with golden-brown fried edges, a solid 15 to 20 minutes.

Add chilli flakes, anchovies, sundried tomatoes and olives. Stir well and cook for a further 4 minutes.

Meanwhile, fill another large pot with salted water and bring to a boil. Add the bucatini and cook according to the package instructions. Save about 2 ladles of pasta water when draining.

Add the cooked pasta to the pan of sauce. Slowly begin to pour in the remaining pasta water and toss to combine with the sauce. Continue adding a little bit of the water at a time to help loosen up the sauce and coat all of the pasta.

Plate the pasta and top with Parmesan and fresh parsley.

I went to the big Tesco near my house and picked up everything that I didn’t already have in my pantry. It has now become a bit of a fun ritual for me: finding the recipes, going to the shop, listening to a podcast as I browse the aisles. This time it was Sweet Bobby (which is a story for another day, because damn, that is one ridiculous story). I came home and washed everything that needed to be washed and prepped everything according to the instructions.

Except I made one crucial mistake when I was ear deep in a crazy 10 year catfish saga: I bought sardines instead of anchovies. Even worse, I didn’t notice I’d made this error until after I added it to everything else. Instead of a sauce, I got cat vomit city.

Cat vomit disguised as part of the caramelised shallot pasta.

Let’s just say, you can’t mistake sardines and anchovies.

Me, learning after making the fatal mistake

The only good part of this was that I hadn’t mixed the pasta in yet, so dinner wasn’t totally wasted. Butter, garlic powder, mixed herbs and the fresh parm saved the day. I sent the photos to the family group chat, had a good laugh and crossed this recipe off the list of the success stories. I guess when I had the idea to try a recipe a week, I thought they would all be a success story. The first couple worked out so well. I got cocky. I started to believe that maybe I wasn’t hopeless at cooking.

There is one thing I can say with confidence though: I still do not know how to cook a shallot.

The Scamp’s Cooking Corner

I still have yet to make a list of the 22 things I’d like to do in 2022, but I think cooking one new recipe a week is going to be there. I’ll then use it as a cooking corner here so that people can see my progress. I used to be a good cook and really enjoyed trying new recipes. Then the PhD and the slow cooker disaster of 2018 happened and I got lazy.

and fat.

The second week of the year I made fish tacos. They were amazing. They can be seen in the previous post. Last week I decided to make a soup. It was a kale, pasta and cannellini bean soup (the recipe can be found here: The process of making the soup was fun, but it didn’t really taste as great as I was hoping. I didn’t use enough broth and had too much pasta, so it ended up more like a pasta salad type creation. I’m not sure that I would make it again. Just in case the link disappears one day, here is the full recipe:

kale, pasta and cannellini bean soup


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 red onions, diced
  • 2 carrots, scrubbed and diced
  • 6 garlic cloves, half roughly chopped, half thinly sliced
  • 500g carton passata
  • 100g kale
  • 400g tin cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 10g fresh rosemary, leaves picked and roughly chopped
  • 1 vegetable stock cube, made up to 750ml
  • 150g margheritine soup pasta
  • 10g fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 lemon, cut into 4 wedges


  1. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onions, carrots and chopped garlic and cook for 15 mins until soft and caramelised.
  2. Stir in the passata, kale, beans (mash a few first if you prefer a thicker soup), rosemary and stock. Simmer for 10 mins; season. Add the pasta and simmer for 10 mins more.
  3. Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp oil in a small saucepan over a low heat. Add the sliced garlic and cook for 3-4 mins until lightly browned and crispy, then tip into a small bowl.
  4. Divide the soup between bowls and top with the parsley and crispy garlic. Serve with lemon wedges to squeeze over.

Tip: Make it vegan by using a stock pot instead of a cube.

On Saturday I decided to make my own salsa. I miss Mexican food a lot, and one of the hardest things to get here is a good salsa. The upside is, I can find all of the ingredients of a good salsa and I own a blender, so in less than ten minutes, I was able to create enough salsa to last me five days.

Salsa Prep

The recipe can be found here:, but in case the link ever goes away, the recipe is:


  • ▢1 (14.5 oz can) diced tomatoes, OR 1 pound fresh tomatoes
  • ▢1 (10 oz can) diced tomatoes with green chiles
  • ▢3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • ▢½ onion, roughly chopped
  • ▢1 jalapeno , deseeded and membranes removed
  • ▢½ tbsp honey
  • ▢½ cup cilantro
  • ▢¼ tsp salt
  • ▢Juice from 1/2 lime



  • Prepare Ingredients: Add the onion, jalapeno, and garlic to the food processor and pulse until chopped up.
  • Pulse: Add in the tomatoes and continue to pulse until the tomatoes break down and release juices.
  • Season: Add in honey, salt, 1/2 cup cilantro leaves, and juice of 1/2 lime (start slow with the lime as it can overpower, you can taste and add more if desired)
  • Blend: Pulse in the processor to desired consistency. Chunky or smooth. Taste and adjust salt, honey, or lime juice as needed.



  • Tomatoes: recipe can be made with fresh or canned tomatoes, or use a mixture of the two. The 1 pound of fresh tomatoes will replace using both the cans of diced tomatoes. 
  • Chile: this recipe is made using jalapeno, removing the seeds and membranes makes for a nice mild salsa. If you personally want more heat add in extra jalapeno or even a Serrano pepper.
  • Honey: adding this cuts through the acidity of the tomatoes and gives a smooth flavoring.
  • Salt: taste and adjust as needed in this recipe. 
  • Storage: Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. 
  • Salsa too thin? Simply strain out some of the liquid.


serving: 11/3 cup, calories: 25kcal, carbohydrates: 6g, protein: 1g, fat: 1g, saturated fat: 1g, polyunsaturated fat: 1g, monounsaturated fat: 1g, sodium: 197mg, potassium: 67mg, fiber: 1g, sugar: 4g, vitamin a: 232iu, vitamin c: 9mg, calcium: 13mg, iron: 1mg

finished product

I used a blender rather than a food processer and added some hotter peppers because I like spicy salsa, and I was not disappointed. It is so good. I’ve made nachos, quesadillas, spicy breakfast burritos with scrambled eggs. I am a happy happy girl.

Now that I have been able to master some easy recipes from Tesco, I think it is time to try something else, something with a different protein, like chicken, or fish that aren’t in fish stick form and see what I can do. Eventually, I will try to cook something in the slow cooker, but I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself. That chicken disaster still haunts me.

The Scamp Cooks

With the start of the new semester, and going back to work after a Christmas break of poor sleeping habits, I am finding it difficult to get back into the swing of being an adult. I’ve still yet to complete my list of 22 things I would like to do in 2022, and I have not really been committed to much of anything personal health or hobby related.

One thing that will be on my list, and has been on my list since 2019/2020 is to cook and prepare healthy meals that will help me not only have a more well-balanced diet, but will also give me something fun to do if I ever become social again (dinner party at the Davis Hovel anyone?). One of the things I like about being able to order my groceries online from Tesco is that they have suggested recipes. When you scroll through them, if you find one that you like, you can add all the ingredients to your cart automatically. I’ve found three recipes so far, and tried the first one out last week.

Prep work for homemade salsa

And what do you know? It was a success! Turns out I can follow a recipe and make a very simple meal of fish finger tacos.

Fish finger tacos

Now some of you who know me as more than words on the page know that I love making tacos, but rarely do more than cook the meat and make my own guac. Usually it is more about opening jars and grating cheese, heating things on the stove (and sometimes microwaving instant rice), rather than making things from scratch. I can actually cook and bake a lot of things, but lately have been living off meal deals and microwave meals.

Because of this, I was proper chuffed with myself for making these super delicious tacos, including my own tartare sauce to enjoy for a few days. If you want to recreate this meal, never fear, I have the recipe for your enjoyment.


  • 12 frozen fish fingers
  • 2 large tomatoes, finely chopped
  • ½ red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 50g pickled sliced jalapeños, finely chopped (optional)
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 150g pack crunchy taco shells
  • 1 Little Gem lettuce, shredded

For the tartare sauce

  • 3 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped gherkins
  • 2 tsp capers, finely chopped
  • 15g flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped


  1. Cook the fish fingers to pack instructions.
  2. Meanwhile, mix the tomatoes, onion, garlic, jalapeños (if using), half the lemon juice and the oil in a bowl and season.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, gherkins, capers, parsley and remaining lemon juice.
  4. Fill each taco shell with some shredded lettuce and 1 tbsp of the tomato salsa. Top with a fish finger and a little tartare sauce to serve.

The only thing I skipped was the gherkins.

My next adventure will be a veggie soup, and if I make this again, I will probably skip the fish fingers and try breading and cooking my own fish….you know, just to be fancy.

The Scamp and the Writing Challenge: January 5th

Call Me Ishmael
Take the first sentence from your favourite book and make it the first sentence of your post.

I was going to use my all-time favourite book, but ‘When he was nearly thirteen, my brother Jem got his arm badly broken at the elbow‘ doesn’t leave me with a lot to go on since I do not tend to post the fiction that I write here. I went to my second favourite book, but ‘Crouched in the closet, he waited for the sounds of her arrival’ wasn’t much better. Third time lucky though.

I feel sometimes, I’ve lived THREE lives. That’s not true….it is probably more like four. There was the first 26 years of my life. That was the Kim who thought she was going to be a lawyer, then a writer then spent over 10 years working in libraries. She had a lot of friends, two significant romantic relationships and was diagnosed with Lupus at the age of 22.

Then there was Scotland Part 1 Kim. She had a wonderful adventure, got accepted to one of the best universities in the world, and got to live out her dream of living overseas. She was happy, she was loved, and she never wanted to go home. This is the Kim who started this blog.

Then there was the transition back to the US Kim. She was depressed, suffering reverse culture shock, and trying to plan a new life that did not include the person she thought she was going to marry. She ended up in a horrible EdD programme and found herself not only being bullied but being kicked out of the university for something so outrageous that it is now hilarious.

Finally, there was Scotland Part 2 Kim. She earned a PhD, made some friends, lost some friends, and although the pandemic is making her hate life a bit, she is doing a job she is good at, has been all over the world, and has a much better understanding of how to use a hair straightener.

I don’t know if this will be my last life, or if I will be like a cat and have 9 of them. Maybe in my next life I will own a rescue farm where I take in all of the animals and let them live out their days in the Scottish countryside. I’m still two years away from being able to get permanent settlement in the UK, and I’m still crossing my fingers that maybe one day it will be Scottish citizenship rather than British citizenship. Maybe I’ll be able to live somewhere warm in the winter months, somewhere with a beach. Maybe I will actually pass the UK driving test….I mean, a girl can dream, right?

The first line is from To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.

The second line is from Savage Art by Danielle Girard.

The line I ultimately went with is the start of Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain

The Scamp Starts Again


Or, 2020 part 2. It feels like forever ago since I was explaining Post Malone and BTS to my dad as we waited for the ball to drop on 2019 and start 2020. That was the first New Years I’d spent in California since I was 27. Little did I know that would be the last bit of normal that I would have for 2+ years. The pandemic kicked my butt so hard that I stopped writing for fun. I literally shelved the blog for the most part because there was no travelling and no fun in my life.

and there are only so many ways you can say you are depressed and that you hate life. I made a list of the 20 things I wanted to do in 2020, which became the 21 things I wanted to do in 2021, which is now going to become the 22 things I want to in 2022. I’m also bringing back the daily writing prompts as I think being told what to write will help me on the days that I just can’t get my creative juices flowing. I’m still putting together a list of things that I can actually do and not ignore for the year, so while I think about that, I will go with the daily prompt for today.

Although, I am not sure it is really something I wanted to have on the internet, but here goes:

Where were you last night when 2020 turned into 2021? Is that where you’d wanted to be?

I spent last night at home, alone. I watched bad movies and generally just moped about being alone. Everyone I would want to spend the night with are either in another country, isolating, or had to work and didn’t celebrate. If I had my way, I’d be in another country on an adventure. I booked a trip in November to Austria, Czechia and Slovakia, but they went back into lockdown the day before I was due to leave. I’d have loved to be able to do that trip over Christmas/New Years, but alas, the furthest I’ve travelled in two months is the airport to get to the vaccination centre.

If I couldn’t be on an adventure with my travel bestie, then being able to be out in the city centre surrounded by people, judging the bad outfits, drinking all of the rum would be perfect. The last time I did that was 2018. It was fun, I was with people I love and we did a lot of fun. That is what I miss. Having fun. Being around people. The pandemic is lonely. My life before the pandemic was lonely. PhD life is not for the faint of heart.

Now that a new year has started and I am dedicated to trying to be less of a sad sack. The new list will be made, and I tried online dating during the pandemic, so there will forthcoming stories about the disastrous dates that I went on. Hopefully the year has started off as well as can be for everyone and maybe, just maybe, 2022 won’t be part of a horrible Covid trilogy.

The Scamp Celebrates the Return of Spring

I officially survived the winter of my discontent. It no longer gets dark at 3pm, I don’t need to have a heater on 24/7 and this weekend I wore a sundress with no tights (apologies for everyone who was blinded by the glare coming off my very white legs). I enjoyed every minute of the real Mexican food (thanks Taco Libre) and the crime beers (sorry not sorry).

The thing about Spring in Scotland though, is that it usually only lasts a day. It was a good Saturday in this case. Today I ran three miles in the rain and I am pretty sure the rest of the week has rain in the forecast. Only in Scotland.

Spring is supposed to be a time of awakening; a time of rebirth. This Spring is more a zombie crawl to a mound of fresh cut grass. After a year in lockdown, and almost a year and a half since I was able to travel, I’m feeling tired. I want to escape the UK for a warm beach more than I want to pay off my student loans, more than I want to lose the 20 lbs that are still plaguing me and almost more than I want a puppy or a kitty. I saw a news article that Malta will pay people to visit this summer, and if it already wasn’t my favourite countries, it is now. I’m hoping that the UK lists it as one of the countries that you will not need to quarantine for upon return because I have my entire annual leave allotment for the year and a growing disinterest in my job and being nice to people.

I know that I am not the only person who feels like this. Everyone that I know (especially in academia which already had a sucky work/life balance) is feeling tired. Today I was in a meeting at 11 am and a member of staff fell asleep. Camera and mic on in small discussion, straight up pushed their chair back, stretched out their legs and closed their eyes. I started off really annoyed and angry that I was wasting my time in a workshop that people clearly were not interested in, but having had some time to sit with it, I have a feeling that the person is simply just burned out. Everyday academics spend hours in pointless meetings, or teaching, or staring at their computer screens while they mark assignments. We are being told that we need to bend over backwards to meet all of the demands of our students and to create resources that will make life at the university easier. We are doing all of that without anyone doing the same for us. Most of us are also doing it on shitty equipment provided by the Uni, or, as in my case most days, using our own personal equipment. When my tablet dies, the Uni will not be replacing it. They also do not pay my electric or internet bills, and yet both of those cost me a lot each month.

I feel selfish complaining since a lot of people are out of jobs, the economy sucks, and many of the people graduating now will not be as fortunate on the job hunt as I was…..but I find it very hard to be grateful when I am over-worked, underpaid, and sometimes underappreciated.

So, I am hoping that the old adage of April showers bring May flowers is true and that better days are on the horizon. I also hopes it means I have less meetings with Napademics who would rather snooze than listen to all the brilliant things I have to say about assessment and feedback.

The Scamp’s Last Day of her 33rd Year

In two hours I will officially start my 34th year. This is the first quarantine birthday, and to be honest, I am not all that excited about it. Last year I was able to celebrate just before the whole world shutdown. This year I will be lucky to see a couple of friends and be out of my house for a few hours.

I shouldn’t complain though. On the 5th of March I received my first dose of the Covid19 vaccine. I feel like this is a promising start to end of a very difficult year. I got the Oxford AstraZenica dose, and I have to say, I am really disappointed that mine did not contain a Bill Gates’ microchip. I was really hoping that I was about to get a whole lot smarter. By 2am though, I thought that maybe I had been bitten by a radioactive spider and my life was about to change. I developed a fever, chills, a crazy headache and my whole body hurt. My arm is swollen and tender, but now, at 10 pm, the headache, chills and fever are gone, but my body still aches. I’m not sure if all of this is due to the vaccine, or if some of it is because I had to go off my pain meds to be able to get the jab. The achy body could be from that. All in all though, I am glad I was able to get vaccinated, and I am just hoping that the next dose is also on a Friday so I have the weekend to stay in bed and binge watch drag queens.

I’m not really sure why I am not more excited for my birthday. 33 had some good moments. I got my PhD. I got adopted. I got published as a first author, I paid down a nice chunk of my student loan, I reconnected with some old friends and made a few new ones. Those first two were really important to me. Finally being done with the PhD and not having that stress hanging over me has been nice. Having that PhD published as Davis and not Wilder is the ultimate cherry on top of that sundae. I finally got to ditch that name and the horrible people that I am unfortunately related to by blood.

I hope that this year means I finally get a chance to travel, to hug people, to do all the things I thought I was going to be able to do in my 33rd year. Whilst I am not super excited about tomorrow, I am hoping that there will be some good things to come. I have a lot of professional things in the works, some publications, professional development events, and some university wide trainings, and I am hoping that there will be some good personal things happening as well. This is the first time in almost 10 years that I haven’t gotten a tattoo for my birthday, but I remain hopeful that tattoo shops will be opened again and that the waitlist won’t a full year for my favorite artist. I also plan to visit at least three new countries. I will probably have to sneak in like some little gypsy souled ninja, but I am going to make it happen.

and maybe, just maybe, I’ll finally get my UK driving license.