In brief...

I'm a Nature-lover, aspiring conservationist, and wannabe traveller in search of outdoor adventure.
My interests vary from conservation to education to heritage to Nature (biodiversity & wildlife) to outdoor activities to life in general.
They occupy most of my waking moment.
Do read my blogs, follow me on Twitter (@jocelynesze) and friend me on Facebook (subject to my discretion). Visit my Nature blog, Nature Rambles, at

UPDATE 2 Apr 2017 - This site is no longer maintained, please visit if you're interested in more recent writing.

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Shrove Tuesday, or the start of Lent.

Today was a really good day. Woke up early, had a supervision at 9am, geology practical at 10am (which I actually kinda understood at the end of the practical, breakthrough), another supervision at 12pm, and then a breather in which I actually looked over some of my notes instead of wasting time on Youtube/BBC iPlayer (though that's not really wasting). Then an awesome talk on the Origin, Evolution and Extinction of Dinosaurs by Dr Steve Brusatte, the Banff Mountain Film Festival screening and my night ended with a discussion on climate skeptics. Kind of just about everything I like and am interested in.

It's the day before Ash Wednesday, which marks the start of Lent (for us Catholics anyway), and is known as Shrove Tuesday here in the UK. According to Wikipedia, "The expression "Shrove Tuesday" comes from the word shrive, meaning "confess"." It's more commonly known as Pancake Day, and I recall that last year, I had pancakes for breakfast, lunch and dinner. A bit of an overkill if I may say so myself. This year though, I haven't had any pancakes at all. Pancakes were so you could use up all the leftover milk and eggs in the house in preparation for the fast and abstinence (from meat and eggs) in Lent. Not really complaining though, I'm sorry to say this but American pancakes are way nicer than British pancakes.

American pancakes. Image from:

British pancakes. Image from:
At Fisher House, the university Catholic chaplaincy, our chaplain Msr Mark gives a weekly lunchtime series titled Catholicism for the Curious, and he covers various topics every week. I've learnt so much about the Church and my faith from these weekly sessions, way more than the 10 years of Sunday catechism back home (which I honestly still think was an utter waste of my time), and this is one of many reasons why Fisher House might possibly be the thing I'll miss the most once my time here in Cambridge comes to an end. The Monday just past, he touched on Lent, bringing together the history and the meaning and purpose behind the Lenten season.

Anyway, Lent is a time of prayer, fasting and alms-giving.
"Lent is a fitting time for self-denial; we would do well to ask ourselves what we can give up in order to help and enrich others by our own poverty. Let us not forget that real poverty hurts: no self-denial is real without this dimension of penance. I distrust a charity that costs nothing and does not hurt." - Pope Francis (read full text here)

And I pray that I may have the discipline to do what I need to do, to do what I should do.
Lord God, by your word, fill me with a spirit of repentance and forgiveness, a spirit of hope and trust, a spirit of gratitude and thanksgiving, a spirit of love and servanthood, a spirit of discipleship and commitment, a spirit of obedience and humility. Image taken from:

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