An Oxford Adventure- part 1

When I was a kid, my dad bought me a Oxford sweatshirt, probably from Spag’s.  (OMG remember Spag’s?)  I used to say that some day I would go there.  I don’t think I actually ever believed it, until last week, when I did go, and presented at an academic symposium.

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Wednesday:

On three hours of sleep, I got up and took the bus to the airport.  I’m not kidding when I say that it took longer to go from the west end of Glasgow to the airport than it did to fly to Heathrow.

I had plenty of time to go through security and get a coffee before waiting for my flight to take off.  I did some reading.  And I pretty much fidgeted all the way to London.

Once arriving, I grabbed my bag and headed to M&S for a snack for the bus ride.  I had no idea how long it would take; the website said up to 90 minutes so I wanted to make sure I at least had some fruit.

When I got to the bus, I found that you needed cash, so I ran back into the terminal and took out money and quickly headed back.  The bus was loading up and I ran into 2 other people who were attending the conference.  The bus driver was pretty rude when he asked where I was going and I told him and he gave me a lecture about Oxford, which wasn’t really helpful (considering he had me get off at the wrong stop anyways).

The ride took maybe an hour or so, I didn’t really pay attention to the time.  From the bus station I made my way (using google maps) to St. Edmund Hall.  When I got there I was directed to the wrong conference and had NO idea where I was supposed to go, which made me really, really nervous.  I had not gotten any confirmation or anything so I was starting to freak out.

I went down the street a bit, and found a cafe on the corner.  I got some lunch and sent an email to the coordinator so I could find out where I was supposed to go.  At this point it was getting late in the afternoon and I was tired and wanted a nap desperately.  I still had some finishing touches to put on my presentation and wanted to get settled.

Finally I went back and asked the porter and then ran into someone involved in the conference itself and found I WAS in the right place, and I got my room key.  Horray!

I got settled in my small dorm room, checked my email, unpacked a few things and charged my phone a bit.  Then I went for a walk to the shopping centre area (because I had forgotten to grab my toothbrush) and I wanted to try to see what was around food-wise for dinner and for lunch the following days in case what was provided were things I couldn’t eat.

St. Mary's, Oxford University as seen on my walk

St. Mary’s, Oxford University as seen on my walk

I picked up the few things I needed and some water and made my way back to the room.  I started making notes, but I realised I was way too tired to make any sense of it, so I took a brief nap.

When I woke up I realised I was pretty hungry (I had a small salad for lunch) so I went to the cafe I had went to earlier as it was the cheapest/closest option and got a sandwich which was really good.

I settled myself back in my room after, went over my slides and finished my notes.  I knew I was speaking second on Thursday so I wanted to make sure I was ready, and also have gotten SOME sleep.

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