Last week was very trying in work. I felt like I was running a kindergarten instead of a university lab……it’s become increasingly that way over the past 18 months or so, and drives me insane. In the middle of the week I also had to attend a 3 hour poster presentation meeting. It was useless to me – not even CE-worthy – and I had bucket-loads of work piling up in my office. But it’s an annual thing that my boss always wants me to attend so that I can stand at our division’s poster that advertises our services. This is the 4th year that I’ve attended. And the 4th year that nobody has shown any interest in our poster. It’s completely out of place because it’s not a research presentation per se – it’s worth having it there amongst the rest of our research posters so that people know how to contact us if they need our services, but it’s not worth having me stand there for 3 hours when I could be getting work done. But it’s what the boss wants, so I just grit my teeth and get on with it. I choose my battles.
I did, however, come across some cool DNA Lego on display while I was there! So I had a bit of fun at least……
But all in all, Friday evening couldn’t come quickly enough. I celebrated at the gym, and followed that up with a beer on the couch, but by about 9pm I was ready for bed! Must be getting old…..
Yesterday was just beautiful here though. Bright sunny skies and temperatures over 70 degrees. So I took a day trip to my favorite location, Newport, RI. No surprise there. I’m predictable if nothing else.
I’d decided to head to the Middletown region for much of the day. Just in case you’re interested, Newport is on Aquidneck Island in RI. Being a coastal state, RI comprises a bunch of islands on Narragansett Bay. Aquidneck is one of them in the south, is about 44 square miles, and is made up of Newport, Middletown, and Portsmouth. Newport is inevitably the region where most tourists flock to, but the other 2 towns also have much to offer.
So yesterday I visited a couple of places in Middletown for the first time.
I started off at Prescott Farm. It’s situated right off a main road, but once you get in there, it’s very hard to believe you’re on a main highway!
It’s a historic preservation of a colonial farm – founded back in the 18th century, and occupied by British General Richard Prescott before the Battle of Rhode Island. Some colonists kidnapped him from the farm on July 9th, 1777 and took him to Providence, and he was later exchanged for US General Charles Lee.
Back to current day, and the land was eventually bought by the Newport Restoration Foundation and opened to the public.
It’s so beautiful there, and I just love their windmill.
It’s the Robert Sherman Windmill – first built back in 1812 and used in Warren, RI where it was connected to a distillery. It’s been relocated a bunch of times over the years, and eventually went into a state of disrepair, so was bought and restored by the NRF and now lives here in all its glory.
I also visited Aquidneck island’s other surviving windmill! It’s amazing to find a bunch of these things kicking around down there, I love them. There’s one in nearby Jamestown too, although that’s not on Aquidneck. Anyway this next one was at Paradise Valley Park. This is a little gem of a place – tucked away on a quiet road. It would be a happy accident if you just randomly came upon this place, and it’s so easy to just drive by without even seeing the place.
It was amazingly quiet here – I saw a couple of folk walking dogs while I was there, but otherwise, it was like having the place to myself. I visited around sunset since I wanted to see what the lighting was like at that time. I think I’d also like to head there for sunrise some day too, since the sun should rise from behind the mill, so that might be a nice project one day when I’ve stayed overnight in the area – I’m an hour and a half drive away, so otherwise it would be a very early start to get photos!
This is Boyd’s Wind Grist Mill anyway – built in 1810 in nearby Portsmouth. Middletown Historial Society eventually acquired it as a donation and restored it here in the park.
It was very peaceful just sitting there watching the light change as the sun went down for the evening.
A lovely end to a lovely day!