Warming Camomile & PhD 3rd Year Retrospective

In which I talk about my approaching final year and try a warming tea...

So in a few days I should be officially into my fourth and final year of my PhD.  That means I'm hopefully one year away from wearing these crazy robes:

How has my 3rd year treated me then?

3rd Year


So not long into October I went and started a placement at AstraZeneca - the industrial partner in my Industrial CASE PhD.

I enjoyed my time there and I was very productive. It was a nice to change to have a regular working day and everyone there was very helpful with my project. I managed to get some good results even if they took a little longer than planned.

It also helped me think a lot about whether I want to stay in research or go into industry. A topic I'm still not decided on.


I had my work laptop stolen off of me in a mugging around Easter time. It set me back a few weeks as my back-up drive was taken as well.* I don't think at the time I fully appreciated how it had affected me and I think my work suffered a bit in the following month or so when I was working from home and struggled to find motivation. I got out of that slump but it took me a while and I should've taken less time to do so. I probably needed my friends more than I told them and I did put a lot of things off :S

In general, it has just made me that little bit more wary when out and about. I definitely don't cart my laptop around unless it is absolutely necessary.

*Luckily I also backed up at home.

The Long Summer

This summer has been long and drawn out. If I'm honest I could have done more work this summer and it has shown in the quality of some of my work. After discussing everything with my supervisors though I am happy about what I need to do work wise. It can be summed up in one word: lots.

I'd known for a while that final year would be a hard slog but know I'm aware of what is required I think it is a bit less daunting.

It's been a year of ups and downs but overall I've enjoyed myself but may have taken things a bit easy. I'm still looking forward to my final year though - even if it will be busy and hard.

Final Year

So I have a few more experiments to look forward to and then Thesis writing which I've heard no-one enjoys. On the plus side I have . I'm just going to have to be more measured in what I commit my time to and make sure to take time to relax every now and then :)

Socialising & Societies

I'm going to have to put less time into going to societies. Hopefully I won't miss out on the best socials. I'll just have to enjoy the time I do get to socialise as a precious resource!


This blog is likely to stay sporadic as it has been over these summer months. On the plus side I have some new projects I'll be working on:

  • Would You Like 2 Know More? - I'm going to do my best to keep to my weekly schedule but work will be taking precedence. Hopefully you'll get a proper insight into my final year :)
  • Company of the Dragon - One of the things I do in my spare time is DnD and I'm planning on chronicling the tales of the new campaign I'm involved in with a group of friends (the site is currently work in progress).
  • tawilkinson.com - Watch this space - exciting things coming soon!
  • Project 0 - This isn't forgotten! There will be progress soon on my Halloween costume!

Warming Camomile and Spiced Apple Tea


I think this needs a longer brew than the suggested 2-3 minutes to really bring out the flavours. Like with many herbal teas I find the normal brewing time leads to a weak taste that is a little better than hot water. Once it is thoroughly brewed, however, this tea is a relaxing gem!

The apple flavouring isn't too strong so this doesn't taste like a seasonal winter drink. It definitely didn't seem out of place in my warm office. The camomile flavour is strongest first and then the spiced apple lingers on the tongue. It definitely made me feel better about how busy I am with work.

Tom Out!

P.S. Tea: http://twinings.co.uk/featured-teas/twinings-warming-camomile-and-spiced-apple-20-teabags