Summer part 2 + uni starts!

In early August, my family and I went to Scotland 😀 Edinburgh was first, and we stayed in a nice hotel right next to a train station which went to the centre of Edinburgh so we got on that and made our way into the centre. The castle was in the background, I took a lot of pictures, my sister said I went a bit crazy and got into tourist mode…

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This was an arch-thing near the train station.

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We spent one day in the Cairngorns, near Inverness where we went up the Funicular railway almost to the summit of the mountain. We were going to get the train up and walk down but my mum didn’t want to chance it, she was worried we’d fall down or something like that. On the way back down, we met the same family we had seen on the way up, which was coincidental. We also went to a lake nearby and had a walk around, I would have really liked to go windsurfing/canoeing/sailing but we didn’t have time or wetsuits but in the future I’m definitely going! The sky didn’t look very promising though and we just missed the rain.

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ImageThis is a photo of the castle (I think it’s a castle) in Inverness. One picture I took of my parents looks like I green-screened it…which is weird…

When we were driving back to Edinburgh, we stopped off at Dundee and St. Andrews briefly. We had some really nice ice cream in St. Andrews, it had been mentioned in the Times newspaper so when we went there was a massive queue. Fortunately it was worth the wait and it was really creamy 🙂 The golf was on too, so that probably had an effect on how many people were there. It was really small though, I’m not so used to that kind of place but my sister liked it. She jokingly said she would apply to university there, to which my mum said no. Dundee was much bigger and more like what I’m used to, although the new roads/traffic signals totally confused us when we were trying to leave, almost as if Dundee didn’t want us to leave!

We then spent two days in London with my cousin and his fiancee. They took us to a nice Thai restaurant which was on top of a car park. Not under. On top. Which was really strange as we had to go up this slightly dodgy looking stairway to get there but the actual restaurant was very nice. We went to Bluewater which wasn’t too far from their house, and it is massive. It had an American-mall type of feeling, with tons of light coming in and a couple of outlet stores here and there. The frozen yoghurt was nice though and I bought a nice dress for my friend’s birthday party (her party was awesome too, on a side note).

And the rest of summer was spent watching movies with my friends/eating…I think I’ve been to far too many restaurants in a short space of time :/ How I still have money is beyond me.

Anyway, two weeks ago I was working for International Orientation at University which was awesome! I was in halls so I just helped them take their stuff to their room, but our main job was to get students from the shuttle bus that came from the airport. The bus manager is supposed to ring us and we sprint out (they say 5 minutes but they mean 2…although one says 5 minutes and she means 10 :/) to collect them. One bus manager was pretty useless though, she didn’t know how many students we were collecting and which hall they were going to, she didn’t even get off the bus to help with the luggage and check we had the right students! That was slightly worrying but fortunately one of the students helped with the luggage, they were all so nice! Thursday was our busiest day, we had 19 students from one bus and I took 3 to a different hall a long, long way from where the bus dropped them off. Fortunately they didn’t have too much luggage, and most of the suitcases have wheels so we can just drag them along. I have a hoodie too, which says ‘ask me’ and so people asked me all sorts of questions about university and mostly directions, even when I wasn’t working, they just came up to me because of the hoodie. I’ve had to take students to all sorts of places because of this, but I don’t mind, I enjoy helping them; they’re also so thankful which is great 😀 And I even met someone who is on one of my courses this year, which was funny and a triumph, the first mathematician I’ve met! (He hasn’t forgotten who I am either, we had our first lecture today :P)

So the university semester is in full swing, sort of, tutorials don’t start until next week but we are all in ‘work’ mode now, no more lazing around at home XD Hopefully this year will be better than the last! 😀

Summer!

So this post is a bit delayed, well, severely delayed. Many weekends ago (19th-21st July) I went to Deershed Festival, held in North Yorkshire because a society at uni was asked to help out at the machines tent. I had never been camping before and so had no idea what to pack, but somehow we found a sleeping bag in my house so I didn’t need to borrow one. I eventually managed to squish all of my stuff into a sports bag, one of my friends took a mini suitcase because it was easier for her to pack everything in and it was really cute. It only took about an hour and a half and they even organised a minivan to come and pick us up and take us to the park. When we got there they gave us wristbands which were our tickets, and a special pass so we could get backstage (we had the second highest level, only the organisers could go to more places than we could) and to our tents which they had put up for us already! They were really cute and supposed to fit 2 people but they gave us enough tents for one each so we didn’t have to sort out any problems with space. We even got meal vouchers for food too, it was really cool.

The next part was setting up our area in the tent, we had a small area in the corner where we set up the robots and laptops. We had 5 tables, 3 with laptops on so the kids could program the robots and 2 for demonstration robots. We had a snake that would leap up at you when you hovered over the ultrasonic sensors, the kids really, really loved that. Even if they didn’t understand how it worked, they almost always went to that robot first. They also really liked the dogsled robot, they seemed to get really excited when it would move across the table, which was very surprising. Some of them were really good at programming too, especially considering they were between 4-11, one little girl who couldn’t have been older than 3 managed to program a robot too! She was soo happy, it made it all worthwhile.

The guys on the stall next to use were using the exact same robots as us, but designed differently and hooked up to an xbox controller so it was like a remote controlled car. They were really nice, despite us having similar things to show the kids and lent us batteries and helped us when we had problems with our monkey robot. Yep, a monkey robot. We had two robotic puppies too that the kids loved, they are really cool though. My friend made a a rabbit too, which alot of the girls went for because it looked cute. It didn’t do much though, it just ‘hopped’ around the table.

When we weren’t at our stall, we got to look around the festival and see the music. The band on Friday wasn’t that good, but on Saturday the band (Darwin Deezer) wasn’t too bad. They danced every now and then and had some crazy lyrics, such as ‘life is a greenhouse gas’ and ‘I’m running out of DNA’ and they involved a lot of love and heartbreak. Some girls had come up to them asking about the band and when we finally googled who they were, my friends realised they had been sat next to them during lunch! Two of my friends went to them after they’d finished playing and got them to sign a plate (a paper plate) for us, if they ever become famous or anything like that.

On Sunday it got hectic after the festival had closed as we had to pack everything up and make sure we had everything. One of the organisers came to talk to us and he said ‘do you want a tent?’ and we were like ‘yeah, sure’ and he said ‘take them, we won’t be using them’ so a group of us had to rush back to the campsite and take all of the tents down. It wasn’t that easy, as they’re popup tents so we had to fold them a certain way to squish them into the bag. We finally got that done and by the time we did, our ride back home had arrived and we piled all of our stuff into the minivan and began the journey home.

It was definitely a great weekend, and I’m not sure if I’ll go camping in the future, but I’ve had my camping experience now!

I’ll post another post about the rest of summer, I feel like I haven’t done a lot and yet it seems to span two posts…hmmm :/