Sorry for missing my last blog post! Sometimes you need to take a breath and have a break; enjoy what’s around you. I had a wonderful mini-holiday hiking and exploring NZ’s South Island.

The deep blues of the South Island of New Zealand has no cares for our words and woes.

Unfortunately, this means I haven’t written much new material. Instead, I have been focussing on editing/proofreading  When the Rain Falls (again). But this time, the Grammarly plug-in on Mircosoft Word is my editing weapon, and I’ve developed a strong love/hate relationship with it.

On the one hand, it is excellent at finding missing words, misspelled words, and incorrectly used words. It is incredible how many I still come across even after both Sarah and I have meticulously combed through it several times. Last time I checked, there were over eighty of these spelling issues to fix.

On the other hand, it is an adventure when it comes to commas, and I have a bone to pick with it over the dreaded ‘wordy’, ‘monotonous’ and ‘repetitive’ sentences it tells me to ‘considering rewriting’. I will not. They are for effect!

Don’t even get me started on its passive-aggressive ‘looks like you’ve been practicing’ retort when I decide to make a minor change. Or its weekly email that ranks your most egregious grammar shortcomings and spelling adversaries.

I can see the value of adding software like Grammarly to your writing toolbox, but as with everything, it has its limits. And it is not a cure-all for our punctuation woes.

Do you have any preferred proofreading software? Or feel like venting about your experience with Grammarly (or the even worse inbuilt Word proofreader)? Leave a comment below.



I may not have said this enough times on this blog yet, but lab work is frustrating! And this week perfectly exemplifies the typical week for a research scientist: I started off determined to make some headway, and ended the week in, arguably, a worse state than when I started.

The week began with lofty goals of actually making some sort of tangible progress. By the end of the first day, those hopes were already dashed by unexpected (but expected) experimental failure. Experiments always fail; I should know this by now.

The second day brought more subdued aspirations; end the week in a better position than it started. This sentiment was gone by lunchtime, and the rest of the week was spent trying to at least break even.

Inevitably, by the time Friday rolled around, I was already thinking about the following week, and how to pretend the past week never happened.

It’s not all bad, though. The varied work, not having to be stuck at a desk all day, and the endless problem solving make up for the frustration.

Here’s to an atypical week this week.