September 2013: University visits and Church Weekend Away

So, this post was meant to have been published yesterday and I had written in all out on my phone last night. But then my phone decided to wipe the whole post! I was naturally very annoyed and also tired, so I am trying to recreate that beautiful post now.

Anyway, September 2013 brought more university visits and our first was to Southampton. We set out for the train fairly early and, although I was worried about the journey, we arrived safely and in good time. After a sizeable wait for the bus we arrived at the university and I received a free lanyard (promotional material attached). In the student life exhibition we also got a free water bottle but there was no obvious free bag! Anyway, we went to a few information talks, had a nice sandwich and saw some accommodation, but by far the best thing about the university was the Chaplaincy – they had their own house! However, in the end I decided against applying to Southampton because the history department was outside the main campus and the main accommodation was also relatively far away in the other direction and it just didn’t feel right.

The following weekend was our last open day at the University of Bristol. We drove up the night before, which was fine, and then we couldn’t find the Travelodge! We got there eventually though and got up bright and early in the morning to walk up to the campus (I say up literally because it was on a hill; I also can’t tell you what sort of breakfast we had). It was quite a nice walk though despite the steep incline. Anyway, we did the same as we did for every other open day – had a talk on how great the university is, sampled some chips in the cafeteria, saw the history department and saw some accommodation. The accommodation was actually a bus ride away up yet more hills, because the university is actually in the town centre (ish), but it was fairly nice. We finished off our day in the student life exhibition where I got a free bag with ‘I heart Bristol’ on it from the alumni stand. The CU seemed nice too. We went home with a lot to think about.

The rest of September involved starting year 13, which was much like year 12 but a bit more work and more frees. I finished my first draft of my EPQ (I’ll come back to that at a later date!) and we also went to see Nicola Benedetti live at the Brighton Dome. She is an amazing violinist, and I really like her album ‘The Silver Violin’ – it’s beautiful and well worth a listen.

I started my first and only year with the Brighton Youth Orchestra, almost at the back of the second violins, and the first rehearsal was the last Friday in September, just after my year post-op anniversary! That was quite exciting, but after the rehearsal my back really ached because I had been playing for such a long time. It probably wasn’t made better by the fact that I was worried about the following day, travelling over to the Isle of Wight for our church weekend away. In the end it was fine, but I was pretty annoyed about missing the first day and the fact that it was somewhere new rather than the Oast Houses that I know and love with its heated swimming pool and everything else – we’d missed out on going in 2012 because of my operation. The weekend was good anyway, but there wasn’t all that much to do in free time, so I ended up going for a long walk which was quite tiring. I guess I would have enjoyed it more had I been there from the Friday evening because I didn’t really get a chance to settle before we were off again.

OK, well I suppose that’s it for September, I think I may have squeezed two posts into one there! I was officially a year post-op and relatively back to normal!


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