Having lightly hinted at my desire to be dry while everything is water, I successfully ended up with a drysuit for Christmas! Whoop whoop. I already have it, because the smallest size available was a size too large and we wanted to make sure that it didn’t need swapping. It fits a little loose around the legs, but the body is perfect and the ankle can be tightened. Plus, I’m planning to wear my Totoro onesie underneath, so more room is never an issue.
It’s a Typhoon ladies, but has only the back zip, so allows no toilet breaks. It’s also damn expensive, since it’s a good one.
Imagine a massive crowd of 500-ish people, dressed as Santa, playing christmas music and skating through the streets of central London. That’s pretty much all there is to it, but there’s just something so awesome about hijacking the roads. I went along with a handful of people from Imperial SkateSoc, who didn’t know I was coming so I was rather lucky to find them right at the beginning.
I also missed the fact that you could actually buy a santa suit from the people organising it. I’m hence dressed in rainbows and tinsel, as you can see in the video at around 5.30.
We’ve literally just started university, and the first term has almost already passed… So it’s time to talk a little bit about the achievements (or “achievements”…) so far.
On the first week we had several introductory lectures, but one of them was particularly interesting. It was about assessments and grades. And the lecturer kept emphasising:
“Don’t expect 100% on all tests!”
He also said that it will be new for most of us, because we were most likely to be the best students in our class, and we were the ones who got 100% all the time. But that time is over, because everyone can’t be the best so we have to get used to the thought of failing.
The last two weeks of term have so far been a flurry of carol services, Christmas trees, mince pies and mulled wine. I am loving life (apart from the massive piece of coursework I’m doing but let’s suspend disbelief for a moment and pretend that this fortnight is a fortnight of fun and cinnamon sticks).
By the time I go home next Sunday I will have attended no less than four carol services! Last night the Christian societies at Imperial hosted our annual carol service at the beautiful Holy Trinity Church next door to Beit Quad. It was a lovely evening and loads of people came over from Imperial to join us for carols, readings and a short talk about the gifts that Jesus gives us.
Random update. Canoe club had a curry night and particular highlights included stealing hats, millions of selfies while people left their phones unattended and a table of people even more obnoxious than us. Also now have a new favourite phrase:
“The bread you shoved down my back still itches”
“You shouldn’t have thrown it at me”
“I didn’t, I just gave it to you at a trajectory. It’s called projectile feeding”
Also had a dentist appointment today and found out that although i’ve been transferred to a dental hospital in London, they don’t currently have someone qualified to deal with the amount of mess going on with my teeth.
Yes. Yes it is stupid to go on a kayaking trip in late November with nothing to keep you either warm or dry. As wonderful as club wetsuits are, they’re not fantastic if there’s a massive rip on the backside. So mistake number one was really just agreeing to go at all.
Bearing in mind the outcome of the trip, I would call the first day a success. We arrived at around 2am and did the sensible thing and went to bed. This still didn’t leave me with a lot of sleep, since I decided that the words ‘morning mission’ were enticing enough to wake up at 6.30
Two years ago I was volunteering on yet another week of earthworm sampling on the NERC BESS project, this time in Leicestershire and Dorset. This week features farty mustard solution and an exciting day in an active quarry!
Another county, another field… Last Monday and Tuesday I was again away with the Natural History Museum Soil Biodiversity Group, this time heading up to Leicestershire, for more earthworm sampling. Not as scenic as Somerset, we were sampling in a research farm near Loddington, in addition to myself, Sholto was again volunteering, I also met for the first time Salma and we were joined by Irfaan on Tuesday.
It’s Christmas party season!
I actually am not keen on Christmas or parties, but do try to go along to a few to try and get in the spirit of things, chat with people I haven’t seen for a while and eat free/cheap food and drink. Between the Museum and and various Imperial College departments I have been overwhelmed with invitations and have only been able to attend a few, but I thought I would list some of the others so you can see all the different opportunities for partying at Imperial.
Parties at the Natural History Museum
The Museum has a reputation for boozy parties (although we have to be careful not to upset security and neighbours).
Before I got here, I was stressing about money considerably more than I’m stressing about it now, which is worrying in itself. So for anyone in the same situation, I’m going to break down how I survive.
Background: I receive a student finance loan, as a home student. I also happen to recieve the minimum student loan there is and no grants or bursaries. At the same time, the financial situation at home is such that I wouldn’t nag for money unless I need it, although of course they take care of me and are prepared to be a safety net, so I never end up selling my own kidney.
One of the highlights of societies so far was the kayaking freshers trip to Wales. We stayed in the Imperial Mountain Hut somewhere in Snowdonia.
Standard start with superhero-resembling poses atop a minibus, because there is no mundane way to get 12 kayaks on a rack. I don’t know how to describe a long bus journey, other than with the confession that I now know what the worst radio stations of London sound like.
The hut is cool. It’s a hut and it’s cold, so it’s cool. The evening consisted of the intellectually fulfilling creation of architecture on the ceiling beams using the many cans of *hot chocolate* we emptied.