The other night we had a bonfire at the boat club. Lovely evening, wound up at a pub then went to bed ready for a good nights sleep.

Cut to 4:30am.

I wake up and go to the bathroom. Ben, my housemate, is in the bathroom. What a strange coincidence we both woke up at exactly the same time! He emerges and says, ‘oh did the shouting wake you up too?’.

Me: ‘Err. Maybe? Pretty sure I just needed the bathroom.’

Ben: ‘Oh, well this guy was kicking off. Yelling for Omar over and over, whoever that is.’

So I go to the bathroom and hear the front door open and close. Out I come and I see Ian’s (other housemate) door open and he is gone. I think to myself ‘oh dear maybe something happened and he had to rush somewhere super early!’, and go back to my room thinking I’d find out in the morning. And then the door opens and closes again.

I hear Ian’s voice, and another man’s voice. I was pretty sure it wasn’t Ben, and my suspicions were confirmed when the kettle starts to hiss, because I know that Ben doesn’t really like tea and doesn’t really like being awake at 4:45am. I come out of my room and see Ian standing with a stranger wearing skintight white trousers and black pointy shoes.

Ian: ‘Ren. This is Nathan. He is looking for Omar. He’s going to have a cup of tea and some toast while his phone charges. And then he can call Omar.’

My housemates are awesome.

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I’ve been doing a bit of that travelling thing recently. This year’s adventure led me back to the good old US of A, and to Canada which was a fun new place to cross off my map.

Myself and a girl from camp (Madi) disappeared off on a fun little road trip from her home state of Michigan to visit Livi in New Brunswick. Turns out New Brunswick is really really far, and Livi lives on the wrong side of it. We basically drove through an entire timezone to see her, which automatically makes us the best friends ever.

During all this driving, we switched countries a couple of times. This was fairly uneventful overall, until the very last time. Upon heading back into Michigan, the man in the window announced I had been selected for further investigation.

I am no stranger to being ‘randomly selected’ for extra security checks when I travel, to the extent that I have started to wonder what is so suspicious about a gangly wannabe ginger girl with a backpack. This one, however, was not random. They specifically chose me to be further investigated as we tried to drive back into America. I remain unsure as to why I elicited such suspicion, but proceeded to the building anyway.

As I walk in, 5 guards armed with pocket guns and knives sprint past me and leg it out towards the border.

Great start.

We are asked to remain outside until the guards return, presumably having sorted whatever danger was going on in the car they all ran to. I hand over my passport, and Madi and I sit there for 10 minutes discussing how badly we needed to use the bathroom while the guards discussed where sold the best type of pizza. I was then presented with my passport and we were told to leave. No questions, no car search, no pat down. Literally nothing.

I am still wondering exactly what happened.

I am currently sat in an airport in Michigan waiting for a flight that departs 10 hours from now. You may think this is a long time to be waiting but, in fact, I have already sat here for a total of 2.5 hours. Yes, I arrived over half a day early for a flight. In that time I have attempted to organise travel for a party, and watched Hotel Transylvania 2. Productivity is clearly one of my top priorities.

As I sit here and the airport empties I am concerned that I may be kicked out at some point. There have been numerous announcements about increased airport security, and the woman running the departure security has started to give me strange looks now she’s noticed I show no signs of preparing to check in, or even move from my rather well chosen spot.

I have found a lovely position by a window, there’s even a power chord so I can charge my laptop and watch netflix! Although the chord does look a little as though it’s fallen off the ceiling accidentally and may electrocute me. But I did find a bench without arm rests to sleep on tonight!

Clearly luck is on my side.

 

As I write this, a giant wasp has invaded my room. I fear for my future.

I haven’t been writing much recently, so I thought I’d share some of the more ridiculous things that have happened to me in the gap I left.

I was stood at a bus stop on the way home from training one afternoon last term. It was beautiful and sunny, and I was leaning against the edge of the bridge enjoying the weather when a reasonably old lady started speaking to me.

‘Have you ever considered getting an afro?’

It takes me a couple of seconds to realise that yes she is talking to me, the lanky, ludicrously pale girl with reddish hair.

Me: ‘Err no, that’s not something I’ve really thought about to be honest.’

Woman (dead serious): ‘No? Well you definitely should. There’s something really mysterious about a white girl with an afro, I think you could really pull it off!’

Me: ‘Thank you?’

Thankfully my bus arrives at this point and thus the conversation ends with her recommending me a list of hairdressers that specialise in afro hair.

Just what?

Wow it’s been a while.

My life recently has consisted of attempting to negotiate rent on a new house, struggling to write a report for my summer placement and figuring out which of my friend’s floors I can sleep on during my month in America. You could say I’ve been busy.

There was a massive thunderstorm today, which was fun. Well, if you count sitting in a wooden house wondering if it’ll be crushed by a falling tree and watching your garden furniture fly away as fun.

I also discovered that running like a stiff baby giraffe runs in the family. Thanks for making me feel better about that one Eddie!

Today was the ‘test’ portion of  our second year design-make-test project. In other words, today was the day the ME2 students of Imperial College London got to race electric scooters they’d spent an entire term attempting to manufacture. Only in mech eng…

We did not have high hopes for the LegitScoot (the only way to commute). We chose to meticulously ignore most calculations we did and instead designed what we wanted to, which may or may not have been what was actually required.  For example, other groups designed a kickboard to look good, and to keep the scooter straight. We drew around our rider’s shoe and cut that out.

The first heat was a let down, to say the least. We were expecting these vehicles that we’d poured so much time and energy into to at least move quicker then walking pace. Which they didn’t.

The second heat featured a guy doing a wheelie, then snapping his scooter in two. That was more exciting.

The third heat featured us.

We lined up, and Vader (our rider) struggled to get his kneepads on over his trousers, instead going for the incredibly sexy rolled-up summer look. Having briefed our rider many times about starting tactics, and put him on an intense training plan for his kicking leg (apparently this was not followed.), we knew we were ready. The flag dropped, and the LegitScoot emerged from the kick-zone in a solid last place. Things did not look good for us as the other three scooters in our heat started heading slowly towards the finish line and Vader struggled to go forwards instead of backwards down the ‘hill’. But then it all changed.

Suddenly Vader figured out how the go button worked, and we were off! Shooting down the track like a bullet! We came from fourth place, to just pipping second on the finish line, thanks to our studious ignorance to any sensible transmission ratios.

And then the chain broke, but that’s another story.

Exams have finished, which means I’m free. Problem is, my brain isn’t quite used to that yet. For example, I decided macaroni cheese was a perfect option for breakfast yesterday.

Oh dear.