Friday, 17 January 2014

Simply a Moment: January 2014 'If the clothes don't fit ...'

Hello there.

 For a moment [no pun intended] there, after I'd remembered to pause to document a fleeting moment of time ... after I'd scribbled down some notes ... and after I'd typed up some more coherent lines ...I realised I hadn't asked if Alexa at Trimming the Sails was going to be continuing the Simply A Moment meme into the New Year.

But fortunately she is  ... so here's mine ...

[To learn more you can read
Alexa's tips on how to record your own moments and if you do join in, there's a link box on her first moment of 2014 for you to add yours.]

'If the clothes don't fit ...'

Date: Wednesday 15th January 2014
Time: 10am
Location: 1st floor chemical engineering laboratory

I'm wearing a lab coat.

Which is unusual for me.

I mean, that's generally the kind of outfit I like to keep for special occasions; like Christmas, birthdays and new episodes of Sherlock. Oh and ... when I also have to attend a science lab with the latest student I'm supporting.

According to the blue marker pen letter, written inside the collar, this coat's an 'M'. On a 'man-sized' scale too I reckon.

Only I'm not.

The sleeves are so long that I've had to fold them back several times ... so I'm pretty sure that I'm looking as casually-chic as a model in a GAP advert.

Either that or like a toddler playing dress-up as a scientist.


Slightly self conscious about hovering around my student while she works I focus my gaze on the experiment being demonstrated and sink my hands into the coat pocket.

There's a  pen in there and my fingertips detect the rough texture and irregular surface of a lid that's been chewed.

And it's not my pen.

I quickly let go and make a note-to-self to keep my hand out of that pocket for the rest of the morning.

Last week, when on my first visit to this lab the tutor asked: "So, what's your background?" my immediate and only reply was: "Not this".

And I wasn't exaggerating.

I look around and realise that, bar my student's plum-coloured nail varnish and a bag of sugar over there on the scales ... almost everything else in this environment is foreign to me.
  • All the need for accuracy is alien to me -- I use my ruler as a straight-edge ... hardly ever to actually do something as boring as 'measuring'.
  • And the machines look so complex I can't even make a guess (educated or otherwise) as to what you'd use them for --  my ATG gun and Big-Shot are the only machines I need to use for work! [Although, to be fair, have you ever tried putting in an ATG tape refill? That's been know to take up 2 whole minutes of my crafting time!]
  • And there isn't a dusty old book nor an opportunity to roll a well crafted phrase around your brain in sight -- like I say, my experience is definitely 'not this'.
In light of all this ...

... it seems rather appropriate that this lab coat simply doesn't fit me.


Well, that's my moment for January. Don't forget to visit Alexa's to catch-up on some more moments from around Blogworld.

I'll see you soon.

Julie :-)


  1. You have me smiling here, with your wonderful combination of wit and honesty, and ability to just tell-it-how-it-is (that could be a whole blog series in itself!). Understand completely about the pockets thing - yuck! Do you get to keep the coat all term or do you just have to pick one off a peg? Thank-you so much for venturing into familiar territory to link up, and it is always a pleasure to be here :).

  2. I can sense your discomfort in all senses Julie, hope it gets more familiar if you are to be a regular visitor to the lab. The white coat might start to fit then ;)

  3. No, it wouldn't have fitted me either - but you knew that :) A very Sherlock post, I think. I like it!

  4. Made me chuckle! Will you have to go there much now? Thanks for a lovely story:)

  5. Well told, I could see you in the coat and giggled and immediately cringed and said a mental "yuck" when you touched the pen lid! I am very out of place in the science and math world so I married a man with a masters in chemistry. It helped balance us as parents lol

  6. But that's the way lab coats always fit - me at least. Makes a handy Halloween costume when you need one. :)

  7. Loving this post. As an English teacher I like to think its a creative subject and am always shocked when my a-level students do English and a science. What a strange combo? Especially physics. Also on the ATG gum my tape breaks all time and so it is now in storage. Sigh. I had such high hopes for it...

  8. That has reminded me of when my daughter worked at Salford Uni at the school of Engineering this was fine until they combined several departments and then made an acronym out of the initial letters, combined in order of seniority of department, so the staff of the School of Aeronautical, Civil and Mechanical Engineering answered the phone with "Hello SAC ME" then they usually dissolved into laughter which those in charge couldn't understand until it was explained slowly

  9. What a brilliant moment, beautifully written as always Julie.

  10. Love the hand in pocket moment!

  11. Welcome to my world! Even the little Year 7s look better in a lab coat than I would! Thank goodness you didn't actually go to do a bit of pen chewing of your own ...

  12. Just perfect to read - I was in the lab (in the lab coat!) with you :)

  13. What a great moment - Princess loves wearing a labcoat (all buttoned up), gloves and safety glasses... I'm happy to leave that to her :)

  14. Great moment - enjoyed reading this :-)

  15. How clever to link the ill-fitting lab coat to your unfamiliarity with the lab. You had me wondering from the beginning where you were going with your tale. Thanks for a the chuckle your story prompted.

  16. What a wonderful little story you've woven around that ill-fitted lab coat! Still, I'll bet you looked every bit the professional! I would have been impressed---well, except for that chewed pen---wondering who that belonged to....

  17. sweet story and thanks for the link to alexa's blog


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