Well hello there! Apologies for the long silence – exams and the ensuing end-of-year shenanigans were distracting to say the least, but here I am, back with a vengeance and with plenty of juicy updates.
First things first, I’ve passed my exams and cemented my place on the M.Eng course, so London will be having me for at least another two years! Feels good to write that, because, as you can probably tell from my sporadic blogging over the past year, 2nd year was absolutely insane and completely hectic. I even took a cheeky weekend trip home to Ireland towards the end of second term to get some TLC from my very surprised mammy and daddy – when I showed up at the door they thought I had dropped out of uni altogether! I’m really glad that I persevered though, I’m delighted with my results, and every year that passes here at Imperial gives me another sticker to add to my proud collection:
I’m so excited to be going into 3rd year! The course is going to be as difficult as ever, but some older students have told me that the timetable is a bit lighter than 2nd year’s jam-packed schedule, so hopefully us bioengineers won’t be as stressed as we were this year. I’m also super pumped about choosing my subjects – I haven’t decided whether to specialise in the Electrical or Mechanical side of things yet, but I’m definitely taking Spanish, Finance, and Design along with my technical subjects, all of which I’m really looking forward to!
As for my summer plans, I’m currently in the middle of a two month internship at Skimlinks, a truly awesome start-up nestled in London’s hipster capital of Shoreditch. Two of my friends from Ireland are staying with me in the flat and working, and the rest of the house is a crazy mix of Spanish, French, and Italian. Thumbs up from me, because my Spanish is fairly rusty and talking to the Spaniards is doing wonders for my memory!
Anyway, I promised you the highlights of my summer so far, so here we go:
The Diamond Jubilee
I’m not ashamed to say that I got my adopted land’s flag out for the Queen’s Diamond Jubliee boat-race down the Thames. I got a bit of good-natured abuse from my Irish kinsmen and women back home, but credit where credit is due, that near 90-year-old lady deserved a good party. Is anyone else besides me amazed that herself and Philip stayed standing for so many hours? Incredible.
The Amazing Spiderman Premiere
My housemate Alex (affectionately known by his surname Harrison because, let’s face it, there are far too many Alex-es in the world) and I went to Leicester Square for the Spiderman premiere to go celebrity-watching:
We didn’t have anything for the celebs to scrawl their names on, but I did manage to get a conversation out of the man himself, Andrew Garfield. When he was signing beside us I plucked up my best Irish charm and said “Hey. Andrew. How’s it goin’?”, and, believe it or not, it worked! He looked at me with that big old loveable face and said (in a very Guilfordian accent) “Yeah, I’m alright, I’m livin’! How are you?”. At which point I giggled and mumbled something completely incoherent. Eye contact and banter with Peter Parker, not bad for a Monday afternoon!
I saw the film in the cinema a few weeks later, and it was amazing!! Definitely a toss-up between that and The Dark Knight Rises (which I saw in the Science Museum IMAX by the way, the Waterloo IMAX was booked solid for at least a month) for favourite movie of summer 2012.
This really was one of our spur of the moment adventures. Sorcha, my Irish flatmate and long-suffering friend, convinced me and Karen (my other Irish comrade) to get up early on my weekend off (no mean feat, as my mother will happily attest to) so that we could stand in The Queue for grounds tickets into Wimbledon for the men’s final. Alas, GB’s hopes for victory were dashed, but it was a great day out all the same. I got slightly sunburnt and soaked to the skin multiple times within the space of a few hours while we watched the match from the spectator screens set up in Court 2.
My brother’s graduation from London Business School
A seriously significant moment. It’s been so nice having my big brother around London this year, and I’ll miss him when he goes off to conquer the world in September. We’re all a bit spread out so it was really nice to get together to celebrate, although we sorely missed my eldest brother who lives in Philadelphia and couldn’t make it for the ceremony. Oh well, gives us a good excuse to head over to the States at some point soon!
London 2012 opening ceremony
Before you gasp and drool with jealousy, no, I did not attend the actual ceremony. Instead, I joined my gaggle of Europeans in our local pub to watch it on a big screen. I honestly don’t know what was my favourite part of the night – JK Rowling and later her 100 foot tall inflatable Lord Voldemort, Mr Bean’s apparent disinterest with the whole event, or the sneaky Eastenders theme tribute. It was probably the utter shock of seeing the Queen herself greet and later skydive with James Bond to be honest – she really does have a sense of humour, bless her. Here’s a typically candid shot of me giving it socks for the Irish team’s entrance in the pub, somehow I don’t think my solo rendition of Ireland’s Call was particularly on-key:
All in all, a good summer so far. Stay tuned for more touristy antics lads!