Long weekend

Well, it’s been a terribly long weekend with much achived. Not much sleep though. Sunday consisted of a two hour train journey to London followed by my first meeting of the trip with Matt in order to catch up with his job and life on general. I made sure that we treked to the Australia shop for some goodies.

Following this the rest of the Birmingham entourage turned up, and after unsuccessfully trying to check into the hotel we went for our first meeting at Kings College (with all our luggage). Hot topic was search based software engineering and how to apply it to almost any problem. And as would be expected from a room full of searchers the puns got in everywhere. Kings were very hospitable with refreshments and cakes and biscuits.

In the evening we went to a Chineese rearurant to enjoy a variety of things that I struggled to pick up with chopsticks, but I refused to give in. Variety for none fish eaters was rather small, but sufficient. The plan was to meet up with Matt again, but this went on til 9:30, and since he had work in the morning he went to bed.

In the end about 10 of us went to The Hops! bar since we had a 25% voucher for the first round. This made a whole round under £20, very good for London. Bill and I decided to buy, Bill being of the very nice guys resident in CREST.

After one pint we got kicked out, it was late on a Sunday. I’d taken some DVDs and mine and Vivek’s phones were dead so we went to charge them at Ben’s room while watching Bill Baileys Tinselworm. My phone charger wasn’t working and after trying it on many phones and sockets this was confirmed, so we used a data cable. This didn’t work either, so I tried on my laptop and it was fine. I decided it was a driver issue on Vista, and it was. Apparently Vista won’t supply power to a USB device without a driver installed, or at least not enough to charge the phone. On the other hand Ubuntu did.

After enough charge to last the night and the first half of Tinselworm we retired to our rooms. I had to sneak my chair back which I’d borrowed since we didn’t have enough. I then enjoyed a very good shower and browsed the TV ending up watching the end of the first Austin Powers movie. Then I enjoyed the comfort of the Strand Palace Hotel beds.

I’d set my alarm for 7:30 in order for breakfast, but the hotel comes to life in the morning and I woke at 7:10, amazing as I’m a heavy sleeper. We met up and had a very nice breakfast, if only the couassants were warm.

Following this we had another SEBASE meeting, a full day. This had the same wonderful resfreshments and muffins, and was interrupted by a buffet lunch in the luxurious River Room, the food was comprable to Staff House at Birmingham.

Following this meeting I had arranged dinner with another Vodafone PhD student from Imperial. He is Itallian so we went to a very nice Italian in South Kensington. This meeting was quite useful in understanding how our work links, he was also a very interesting guy.

Finally I headed home, I managed to finish watching the Royal Institution Christmas lectures on my iPod. These are aimed at children but Chris is a very good lecturer and manage to explain very complex things like key exchange in simple terms.

After a little sleep I’m back at Uni and in meetings again, followed by the tediom of VIVAs, sorry Demonstrations.

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