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.
The angry scream of the alarm clock jolts through my being like a bolt of lightning. Eurgh, alarms. This morning was spent in Croydon (that most delightful of places), where I bought some clothes, UV proof sunglasses, and a new suitcase. Good old Debenhams had a massive sale on, so lots of stuff was less than half price (pretty handy)!
After returning home, having lunch (and completing my health and safety risk assessment), it was back to the stables, for my appointment with Hobbit. I think I’m slowly beginning to get the basics sorted, and this time, we went into the field, as well as the school area. However, I did nearly fall off during an uphill trot, but somehow managed to balance myself without being removed from the saddle (although I did lose my stirrups).
Anyway, I’m back home now, and am off to the pub later for a gathering of school friends before I leave Britain. Should be fun!
Today was my second riding lesson, and it was a good chance to recap what I’d learned on Tuesday. Admittedly, I’m still pretty bad at it, and Hobbit called most of the shots if I’m completely honest (but he’s so lovely, so I don’t mind). That’s one of the things about horses when compared to cars, in that they literally have a mind of their own (and like to stop on the way for a quick snack). I must admit, they’re infinitely nicer than cars!
Other things I’ve been up to today include looking at potential companies for graduate employment (as backup plans, in case I can’t get one with the company I’m working for this summer). I really really really don’t want to end up being stuck in Britain after graduating. Assuming I manage to find a job abroad, it’ll be a very interesting chat that I’ll have to have with my family, some of them aren’t especially keen on my desire to disappear off. I can just imagine the reaction were I to open with “Oh, just to let you know, I’m going to be living in Hong Kong [in an ideal world]/Canada/Australia/Thailand/<insert name of country far away here, i.e. NOT in Europe> for the next x years, so yeah, hope that’s ok!”…
Today was my first riding lesson! Wooo! It was a lot of fun, and helps prove that I’m quite a rural person at heart. The horse I rode is named Hobbit, who’s 15 years old, and about 16 hands tall (around 1.65 metres). He liked cutting the corners (presumably as it meant he was able to walk more slowly, and less far), but he was absolutely lovely! My next lesson is on Friday, and already I can’t wait. If I make enough money, I’d definitely want to get a horse.
I’m now watching Brainiac: Science Abuse, which I rediscovered on YouTube. It’s such a great show, especially the first couple of series which Richard Hammond presents, and brings back a lot of memories (casual shout out at this point to 2coldfingers who introduced this show to me, and who was primarily responsible for my keenness in science in the first place, I owe you one)!
Generic chore things today have included collecting more sun cream, sending off an extra contract to Chile, as well as making arrangements for my work permit once I get to Santiago.
Finally, congrats to my sister, who got her results for this year today. She managed to survive her first skirmish with the Tripos with a First, which is marvellous!