A Fun Weekend

Last weekend was excellent if I can be completely honest.  For starters there was no 10 mile walk (see previous post for details). Friday evening consisted of me meeting up with several of my second cousins (and one first cousin once removed if you’re keen on genealogical pedantry) who all live near/in SW London, along with their various partners.  It was a hugely enjoyable evening, and great to catch up with them all again.

Saturday I had a work social with some of my colleagues.  This involved going on a steam train that had two real ale breweries on board, selling various beers that they’d made.  Let’s be honest, it’s a pretty golden combination.  Steam trains and beer?  Hard to go wrong.

Sunday concluded the weekend with a visit to my parents and grandparents back on the other side of Surrey (where I originate from).  A delicious Sunday roast lamb kicked off proceedings, followed by various other goodies.

All in all, pretty successful!

The End of the Year

It’s been a very long time, and I can only apologise.  Life and a Master’s degree have caught up with me, and I’ve been rather busy since my last post to say the least.  Add in a broken laptop, and you can see it’s been a less than ideal situation for writing this blog!

Anyway, I thought I’d write a brief “end of the year” entry.

So, what’s been happening since I last wrote?  All in all, I’ve just been doing what I usually do, namely procrastinating and spending time in the pub, with a bit of scientific research done on the side.  Luckily my project is nearly over, but unluckily, I need to write the damned thing up.  Don’t get me wrong though, I’ve really enjoyed doing the work, I just hate writing stuff up!  There’s the option of continuing with it for a Ph.D, and while the title of Dr is very appealing, I feel that my time at Cambridge ought to come to an end.  Graduation awaits in six months, and I should quit while I still can.  I’ll certainly miss that great city and university, but the real world beckons, and all good things must come to an end.

I’ve not just been working though.  Earlier in the holiday, I (along with JW and JM) went to visit old AJ.  He’s doing very well for himself, and it was splendid to catch up with the old rascal (and I know he’ll read this and enjoy that rather apt description of himself).  I’ve recently got interested in photography, and so he and I went around London taking some photos of the city, with a large healthy dose of geekiness thrown in for good measure.

Last week, I went down to one of the Part II’s house for his Christmas party.  From what I remember of it, it was an excellent do, but the trouble is that when students mix with free alcohol, there’s a tendency to enjoy oneself.  In quantitative terms, the 70 or so guests got through 200 bottles of wine that night.

Christmas Day was spent with my maternal family at my home, which as usual was lovely.  Boxing Day involved me meeting up with my old friend JL.  SJ unfortunately was busy, so I wasn’t able to see him this time.  He’s now working in Germany, so it’s a little more difficult to meet alas!

Today and tomorrow, I’m down visiting my father’s family in Poole.  My cousins and uncle (who live on Jersey) are arriving in the morning, and it’ll be lovely to see them, as it’s been ages!  After I get home, I’ll have to put my nose to the grindstone and get my project done. There is something to look forward to however, as the annual Sedgwick Pub weekend of fun and booze geology field trip is in the middle of January (we leave a couple of hours after the project’s handed in), so that should be excellent.

All that remains is for me to wish you all a thoroughly Happy New Year!

One More Day

The final whole day in the UK has come and gone (although I spent most of it in bed).  I got up, and ran some errands in town, before popping off for my last lesson with Hobbit.  It was a hot day today, and there were lots of horseflies bothering him, so I did feel quite sorry for him.  I had to deal with large numbers of the blighters whilst up in Scotland for 7 weeks last summer, so I was very sympathetic.  It was pretty sunny, and I ended up being aggressively sunburned (looking good for the next few months in the desert then)!

I sorted out packing my hand luggage, and had a lovely supper with the family outside in the garden.  After the sun set, we stayed outside for a while, watching the bats fly around eating all the insects as night fell.

TKC

I’m seldom the sentimental type, but today was indeed a sad day, for it marked the departure of my best friend TKC from Britain for the foreseeable future.  Thinking in real terms, not a lot will change, courtesy of modern technology.  I mean, we already have the ability to communicate whenever and wherever we are, at no cost (wooo Skype/WhatsApp/etc.), however the great distance between London and Hong Kong can hardly be deemed to be negligible.  Fortunately, we’ve both agreed to ensure that we don’t lose touch, and so in reality, there is nothing to worry about, and we’ll try to visit each other as much as possible, and she’s considering looking for a job in Britain after her post-graduate law course anyway, so fingers crossed :D!

I arrived at her flat just after 11, just as she was moving out, and, after a nice chat over some tea at a café, we grabbed a delicious steak lunch.  Then, it was off to the tube to get to Heathrow.  Check in was rather exciting, as she was over her baggage weight limit, so we spent some time repacking her stuff, but fortunately, we managed (although various things had to be jettisoned).  Some charity should set up a shop at Heathrow, as I’m sure people would rather donate their excess stuff that they can’t take, rather than bin it, so charities, if you’re reading this, take note!  After a quick drink at another café, it was time to part (and give her an au revoir letter to read on the journey of course – not goodbye, as I’ll see her at some point soon (or die trying)), which is always the most unpleasant experience, especially with someone who is very close to you.  It was then time to take the long journey home.  This wasn’t the first time that I’ve dropped someone off at Heathrow, and taken the tube back alone, and I’m sure it won’t be the last (although this time was the saddest by a large margin).  The journey back is like a trip to the gallows (in terms of enjoyment), but of course, I’m very glad I was there to take her to the airport, and see her off, and I wouldn’t have swapped it for the world.

You may have noticed that I’ve tagged this post under “Family”. Simply put, that’s because to me, she is just like a sister (and no, I’m not exaggerating).

Don’t worry readers, tomorrow’s post will be far less sentimental, no need to panic!

One Week to Go

This time next week, I shall have left the UK.  However, today was allocated as time to spend with the family, and it was great.  First, we visited a lavender farm over in Banstead (driving through various districts where my family from several generations ago originated, so we got a brief genealogy lesson on the way).  The farm visit was followed by a country walk along the North Downs, ending up in The Harrow (an excellent local pub).  An Indian takeaway eaten outside in the garden, and Quartet (a new film starring Dame Maggie Smith, Sir Michael Gambon, Billy Connolly, et al.) ended the day.  Overall, lots of fun time spent with my family (with the good weather as an added bonus).

Dorset Bound

I’d arranged to go and visit my paternal grandparents today with my father, as I’ve not seen them since Christmas, and would not get the chance to see them again until after I’m back from Chile at the very earliest.  Anyway, it was lovely to see them both, and we had a good lunch, followed by generic conversation, and plenty of interesting stories about my various ancestors (including one who got questioned by the police after a case of mistaken identity between him and a terrorist).

On the way back, we stopped off at the Rufus Stone.  This is a monument in the New Forest (established 1079) to King William II (reigned 1087-1100), who was “accidentally” shot dead whilst on a hunting expedition in 1100.

Just Another Day

Well this does make an interesting change.  Today’s the first day when nothing has happened.  Ok, so not completely nothing, but a sufficient amount of nothing.  Compared to all the excitement of May Week, and the Imperial Summer Ball (as well as the “excitement” of the Tripos), it’s been very quite.  I had a haircut this morning (done by J – I don’t know her surname, in spite of the fact that she’s done my hair for the past 17 years – which is always fun, as she always has great stories to tell), washed the garage windows, and did a little bit of gardening.

In the afternoon I went over to my maternal grandparents’ house to help them with changing a ceiling light, and had some tea.  Now I’m back home doing some reading, and have spent some time looking at Ordnance Survey maps of Surrey (as I’d like to go on a long distance walk generically south one day if the weather is any good).