Approximately a billion years ago, I went to Barcelona. A billion plus one years ago, I was talking to my darling friend Jenny about how I hadn’t traveled anywhere. I’d been to Cardiff, and Edinburgh was in the cards, but I hadn’t been out of the UK. Let’s go to Barcelona! Jenny declared. And soon enough, she was looking up flights and plotting plots. I like when things actually happen! So yes, we went to Barcelona.
Oh hi there, blog! Yes, I remember you. I knew I’d be terrible at this. Much has happened since I last wrote here, whenever the hell that was. Well, maybe not that much, but a few things! Most importantly, probably, is the fact that the first year of my MA is done. That feels a bit weird. We went to the symposium for the second year students, where they all presented their final projects, and I got a little sad about how quick everything’s going and about having to leave. But I still have a lot of time! So I need to stop freaking out and just enjoy it.
Here is a picture I shamelessly stole from my friend Kim, of our MA group. They’re pretty great.
I had a pretty terrible end of year tutorial wherein my course leader basically thought I was grumpy, sad, and lonely. Yet somehow still enjoying London? I am occasionally grumpy, for sure, but I am not sad or lonely, and I have many of these people to thank for that. I had a lot of warm mushy feelings for everyone recently! I recall being sort of miserable back in October, not really sure what I’d gotten myself into. Sort of struggling to find my footing in London while still trying to make the most of my time here. But things have gotten much better! And I’ve met a lot of really great people–the ones above and others!–and had a lot of fun. This has included many hours spent drinking, pub quizzes, parties, museuming, etc. I feel pretty good about things. So I was a bit sad to leave London. Leave London? Why yes, I am now up in Scotland, in Aberdeen, for the month of July. I’m here for my work placement, but there’ll be more on that later, promise.
One thing that probably needs mentioning is my latest hobby, velodrome cycling. I say it is a hobby, but really it is a thing I for some reason agreed to do and am still sort of petrified of, but is fun? I have a friend here who is really into cycling. Well, I know a few people here who are really into cycling, but this one guy is REALLYYYY into it. So he races and things. And goes to the velodrome. You know, that bicycle track you saw on the Olympics where they’re riding up steep banking? And the bikes have no brakes and your feet are strapped into the pedals? Yeah, that. There’s a velodrome in Herne Hill, which is not too far from where I live, from the 1948 Olympics. It is now open to the public, and they have induction sessions on the weekend. Sunday evenings, there is a women’s-only session, which is much less crowded and stressful than their Saturday open to all session. I went one week with Kim, and while I did manage to topple over and scrape myself up pretty good, I still had fun with it, so agreed to go again a couple weeks later with two more of our friends in tow. I don’t think this is something I’ll ever be good at, and I definitely won’t be competitive in it, but…there’s something fun about it for sure. I think I like cycling, but am too scared to really ride on the streets, so having an open track to just ride along on is nice. And hey, it’s got a fun twist. As long as you don’t panic and topple over. I don’t recommend that.
Another thing I’ll mention for funsies is that I went on a boat in Hyde Park! I’ve seen people paddling around in the Serpentine, and for years had seen people in Central Park doing the same, but I never did it myself. Just before I left London, I spent part of a Saturday at the V&A with my friend Maddy. After we looked at what we wanted to see, we went for a bit of a wander, and ended up at the map shop where our friend Charlie works. She showed us around the place a bit, and then it was time for her to leave, so we ended up wandering with her and her boyfriend (also Charlie) over to Hyde Park. Someone decided we should go on a boat, and it was GREAT. I did no rowing, because I am lazy/wimpy, but it was still nice just being out on the water, especially when we got far enough away from the other amateur boaters. I feel like I can make fun of other people’s boating abilities because Charlie used to row and was very good at instructing.
So anyway, now I’m up in Scotland and it’s a bit chilly. Which is fine, I hate summer heat, but I just wish I knew quite how chilly it was going to be. Never trust a Scottish person about the weather, folks. I’m trying to avoid spending money I don’t have to buy warmer things, but we’ll see how that goes. I’ve made it one week and not been tooooo too cold. I just wish I brought a warmer jacket. All I’ve got is my rain jacket–which was a good packing choice, for sure. I feel like my suitcase was so heavy but there was nothing in it. Packing for 4 weeks is rough…
Until next time, blog! Which I swear won’t be as long as last time.