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.
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.
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.