Thursday, 30 April 2015

Evolve Biomed Conference Day 2

My laptop's being narcoleptic, so here I am blogging on the iPad again and typing with one finger like a Muggle. So, today was the second and last day of the national (sorta international) Biomed conference AJ invited me to, and I'm glad to report I survived the many new experiences of the two days. 

So, chronological order. 

I wasn't so sick today after sleeping early (11.30) last night, so I was quite productive on the train up and got two articles written for Fiverr. I also wasn't so nervous and didn't have to lug around the big poster, which were definitely advantages. 

Oh, and I forgot to mention something funny that happened yesterday. When I realised there were no trains from my station and was asking AJ for advice, he and two other organisers, Laura and I think it was Azeez, all started offering me money. Azeez was like 'Does someone need money? Because I have loads of money!' It was a funny thing to hear. 

Anyway. I used the route that guy showed me yesterday to leave the station and get to the RDS, the scenic route (which happens to have no ticket checkers). 

It's really gorgeous, apparently taken care of by the bank. I got to the RDS no problem and found the building without getting lost, though that was mostly luck. I'm still proud though. 

When I got on, I was delighted to discover that there were free books. That's how you buy my loyalty. 

I charged my iPad at the wall for a bit then, and ate more cookies and talked to people. Whilst wandering, I found this:

Name your cancer research MULTIFUN, because what could possibly go wrong? 

I Tweeted way too much today, probably annoying everyone, but at least it helps keep track of what happened. While I was chilling in the main room, I missed several cool talks, including one on cancer immunotherapy and one from Laura Anderson of Cheeky Scientists, which everyone raved about on Twitter. I Tweeted that I was sad about missing it and she met up with me at break and we chatted, so that was cool.

I tried to do some Maths homework at the break (and counterproductively Tweeted about it, to which Essential French replied), but soon got distracted. 

I tried on an Oculus Rift, which was cool. Also, my hair worked out for once. And it responded to the way I moved my head. Nice. 

There were then Breakout sessions, where we split up into groups. I went first to the Biotech session (#throwback to CTYI 2014) and then to Medical Devices. They were alright. 

It's hard to remember exactly when things were, but I did like the talk on vaccine development and the woman who said "20 years experience" is a shortcut for saying you're old. She was interesting, had a lovely voice and made me realise where British "r"s go (idear). 

Oh, another thing I forgot to mention - I enjoyed another one of the talks yesterday evening, by this guy. I forget what he actually does, but he was funny and talked about windsurfing to work. He got knighted in France, which he said meant he could speed all he wanted because he outranks the gendarme. He also said his friends say he knows a lot about oestrogen, but nothing about women.

Also, a speaker from yesterday used three buzzwords in sequence in a sentence, which I found funny. "We need to ... gear up, accelerate, boost ..." Ah, buzzwords. I've heard far too many of them. 

Another speaker talked about tissue engineering. I'd heard most of this talk before during the part of my work experience that was at RCSI tissue engineering labs, but it was grand. People talked a lot about the graphene flagship, which is something to do with the EU and 1 billion euro. Also, Horizon 2020 and filling out grants for it. Someone also mentioned a bidding war for the 2018 World Congress of Biomechanics and said it'll be held in the Conference Centre in Dublin, and that Ireland is 6th for nanotech and 8th for materials science (either in the EU or in the world, I'm not sure which). 

At some point in all that there was lunch, where I couldn't find a BLT. I talked to people from MiCRA a bit more about my project and theirs. I like the dude with the glasses, but their nanotech guy was unfriendly. One of the organisers specially came to get me for the session where Prof. Prina-Mello was giving a talk on the nanomedicine group (of which most of the organisers are a part, so duh). I came back to listen to the AMBER speech as well, and I think that was actually the one that had tissue engineering.

More talks, hunger, cookies, Tweeting. I livetweeted the whole day and @EvolveBiomed2015 Retweeted everything I posted, so that was interesting. There were talks, and I remember the guy from Enterprise Ireland because I left after that. 

Then there was another break, where (maybe this was lunch?) I talked to a group of PhD students and then to this professor who gave the first talk I saw (Prof. Cahill, I liked her). She brought her 10-year-old daughter along, so I went over to their table after finally finding someone younger than me. I was still the youngest person there in their own right though. Later on, she said she'd read my poster and it was brilliant, so that was nice to hear from someone I respect. Someone else said my work was very impressive ... especially for someone still in school, and I was quite offended because of the condescension, although I don't think he meant it that way.

I was so nervous about talking about my project before the conference, but now I realise I know it far better than most other people there did because it's my own area, so that was relaxing. 

I finally did the #techwerk selfie: 

After that, the awards for video and Evolve challenge were presented (I didn't enter because it required preregistration). The first two groups presented the exact same project, which was embarrassing. Cool though.

Then there was a panel of fancy people. The CIO of the HSE, the Chair of Biochemistry at Trinity, the Director of SFI and the Chief Medical Officer at Icon. I liked that panel, because they all knew what they were talking about and it was fairly lively. Bit of a sausagefest though. Some guy in the audience asked a "question" that literally wasn't a question, he just complained for like seven minutes about low postdoc wages. 

Also, a guy there said at one point something like "So, I know you're all PhD students or have been through a PhD" and I was just thinking Dude. No. 

After that, I packed up my poster and went back to hear AJ's closing address, shook hands with some of the organisers and left. 

So empty after conference. 

I sprinted for the bus to the city centre (some man said he was impressed by that, which is fair enough since I was carrying the poster). A woman there was really nice, we struck up a conversation and she helped hold the poster so the wrath of Dublin Bus didn't descend on me. I started reading that free book.

I had to wait 45 minutes for my train, so I read more and was cold. Talked to this man sitting beside me in Pearse about my project though, which was cool. He works in pharma and his company has a stand at the YS every year (Irish Medicines Regulatory Board or something), so that was cool. I finally got home around 10.30 p.m. I have school tomorrow and none of my homework done, but I'll deal with that when it comes.

I amassed a lot of business cards and gave out contact details and stuff. It was grand. I've probably forgotten to put a lot of stuff down but we'll live with it

Again, I'll have a reflection post soon enough once all this has settled in. For now, I'm signing off. 

See you tomorrow. 

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Evolve Biomed Conference Day 1

I'm currently on the train home from the RDS and am absolutely exhausted and headache-y, but here's today's blog post.

So, I woke up a bit before seven and put on the dress and coat combo I wore for the Bootcamp pitch and my brother's communion. Mam dropped me to the train station and I waited for MOR to bring my poster. We wrapped it yesterday in binbags and it's huge. Even just getting it through the barrier and onto the train was a struggle. It took up two seats on the train which was awkward. 

I got off at Lansdowne Road and some random dude showed me the way out of the station and helped carry my poster. I was a bit wary, but he was nice and studied Physics and Computer Science in DIT. The way he showed me was a great shortcut so then I just had to cross the road and I was in the RDS. Finding the actual conference building was another challenge, but more people helped me

When I finally got inside. I stuck up my poster with help from this dude, and then saw Mary from CRANN. I went over and talked to her and someone else from CRANN, and then to Dr. Adriele Prina-Mello too, who has a beautiful name. Talking to him was both awesome and intimidating, because he said AJ presented my project to him yesterday. He seemed enthusiastic, which was great. I really need to do more research on it so hopefully that can happen. 

Mary took a picture of me with my poster and put it on Twitter, which she tends to do. 

I was starving, so I was delighted to see cookies. Also, a lanyard! I love lanyards. Plus a goodie folder. 

iPad won't let me format these pictures but I'm sure you can live with it.  

I also talked to some other people about my project and also just in general. It was cool. Their questions weren't hard and I pretty much just gave the short version to everyone. 

Then it was time for the Diagnostics session of talks. There were four in this session: Prof. Laura Cahill, Dr. Barry McMahon, Tara Dalton and Dr. Paul Galvin. My favourite was Prof. Cahill's, who said she was once turned down for a job she otherwise would've gotten after they found out she was a woman. She's still really successful though, and talked a lot about the Max Planck institute. I also liked Tara and Dr. McMahon. Dr. Galvin had cool points too but I was just too hungry for lunch by that point to care. Here are some of my notes from the talks. 

They emphasised the importance of good IP strategies and boy am I going to need a business partner because that stuff is scary. 

Then there was lunch. Got a BLT, banana, chocolate bar and bottle of water free. Wandered around awkwardly for a while, got bored of people talking about their kids, and collected lots of free stuff including a calculator, USB, notebook and key ring. AJ came over and told me that someone I'd talked about my project to earlier was actually one of the keynote speakers, Barry McMahon. I hadn't noticed but I was flattered when AJ said the guy had been very impressed. 

A few people asked me where I'm doing my PhD and I was like 'I'm in secondary school.' So that was weird. My poster fell down and broke under  its own weight, which was upsetting. 

I sellotaped it back together and then it fell again so it spent the rest of the day on two chairs. 

Something I really liked was this wearable sensor thing. It measured my heart rate totally inaccurately - 202 - but it looks cool. 

I need to try on the Oculus tomorrow. 

I was also talking to Joe, a 23-year-old Masters student whose poster is near mine. He said I beat him out for being the youngest person at the conference and repeated that I was 16 a lot. I'm aware of that, Joe. He's nice though. 

Then there was the therapeutics session. I went late because I had a headache and came in during a talk on vaccines. Dr. William Finley was also cool, talking about the pharma industry and drug pipeline. I didn't really enjoy these as much though because of the headache and because the sessions were a bit too long to stay focused for, in my opinion. Finley's was the last one I took notes on. 

At the break I talked more to people. There were a good few interested in my project and some who were surprised about my age. Two different groups asked me about details of the graphene manufacturing process and, used to talking to Young Scientist judges, I told them freely. I'm now hoping that stuff wasn't confidential... Ugh, I hate politics. 

I was also late for the last session, on Smart Health because headache. I came in for Johnny someone, who was very energetic and fast-talking. I also liked this Polish guy who talked about applying ArtificialIntelligence  to Healthcare. Then two separate people talked about the same topic which I wasn't interested in in the first place, so I didn't pay attention. 

I didn't go to the social evening because I don't drink and it would just be weird. I checked my train timetable and to my horror discovered that there were no more trains from Lansdowne Toad for the rest of the day. I said this to AJ and Laura lent me money and AJ showed me the way to a bus stop. I'm going to pay Laura back tomorrow but yeah, the organisers are great. 

I successfully got the bus, then the train, and will soon be getting a car. Adventurous day. I'm too exhausted to reflect much on it but I will at the end of the week, once  I've had time to process things. Congrats to all the organisers. 

Fancy room where the speeches were. 

Dublin is pretty. 

And that's me done. See you tomorrow. 

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

My Top 15 Favourite Songs

Here's a nice relaxing post about my favourite songs, so that I don't have to worry about the blog for today and can instead focus on the conference tomorrow and the next day. here's hoping I don't get lost or be late or screw up somehow. 

Have a non-exhaustive list of my favourite songs, all with embedded videos. I'm truly a tech whiz now. 


15. Oopsy Daisy by Chipmunk

This one just makes the list for nostalgia, because it reminds me of our holiday in Wexford when my sister and I had Now 74 and constantly sang this and another song that appears nearer the top of the list. I always made her do the rap while I sang. Poor thing.

14. Happy Little Pill by Troye Sivan

Not too much to say about this one, just that it's a wonderful mix of sounds and I love the rhyming scheme and cadence of it. 

13. Just Give Me a Reason - cover by Sam Tsui and Kylee 

This is a great song, so shoutout to P!nk, but in this cover Sam and Kylee's voices are absolutely incredible. I'm in awe when they hit the high note on "We'll come clean."

12. Becky from the Block by Becky G

I've been really enjoying this song but only recently, so it feels disingenuous to rank it higher. Very fun song.

11. Remedy by Little Boots 

This is an amazing dance song, and I love how powerful Little Boots' voice is when she's belting. Great to get me pumped up. Best when played loud.

10. Nice Guys by Jimmy Wong and Landon Austin (cover)

This song is pretty funny as it stands, but these guys sing it amazingly. Just fabulous.

9. Call Your Girlfriend by Michelle Chamuel (cover)

This woman has a seriously powerful voice, and the song is amazing.

8. Somebody Told Me by The Killers
7. Mr. Brightside by The Killers

Somebody Told Me is just a great song, but Mr. Brightside has a ton of sentimental value to me. For me and my first boyfriend, it was "our song", and then it was my CTYI song. It would've placed higher on the list were it not for the fact that I've overplayed it and am now sick of it unless it's played on the radio or during a CTYI disco. Also, once I was on a bus with the school choir to Galway and wow I never realised how dirty this song is until the moment I was standing beside the teacher belting "HE TAKES OFF HER DRESS NOW".

It's really hard to rank these.

6. The Bad Touch - Bloodhound Gang

This song, especially the video, is really weird, but it's another CTYI song and it's incredibly fun. Very sexual though, in a comedic way. Love.

5. Gay Bar - Electric Six

Another CTYI song, also quite sexual but not, this one is brilliant to dance to in the disco, especially with a close girl-friend. (I'm looking at you, Bridget.) I haven't watched the full video, but even from the thumbnail it looks really weird so be warned. Hot damn that riff, I can't stay still with it. 

4. You Could Be Happy - Snow Patrol

I loved this song for ages, wrote quotes from it on my arm and always imagined I'd say that to my first boyfriend if we broke up. That is not how it happened, needless to say. Still a beautiful song though, with an equally beautiful video. 

I shouldn't have spread this post over two days, honestly, because I've forgotten half the ones I meant to put down. Crap. 

3. Most songs by Pentatonix 

Pentatonix are just amazing, honestly. Here's one example.

2. Most things by Taylor Swift

It's really hard to pick examples for Taylor because she has so many great songs, but some I really like (usually the old ones) are Girl at Home, Invisible, Stay Beautiful, Begin Again and Back to December. She has such a range, covering every romantic issue plausible. And Girl at Home is so underrated. 

1. Next Best Thing by Sam Tsui

I was introduced to this song by Jerry of the haikus. At the time it was personally relevant so I really got my feelings out through the song, but it's still an amazing song and my very favourite song at the moment. 

Monday, 27 April 2015

Interview with Kay from Hong Kong

This is the sixth day of World Week on the blog, after interruptions the last three days due to me having a life. Previously, I've talked about stupid misconceptions people have about Ireland and interviewed people from Canada and Zimbabwe Australia and, most recently, America.  I'm now interviewing Kay, who's from Hong Kong. 

What countries have you lived in?

I was born in Hong Kong and I lived there most of my life. My mum always lived in Hong Kong but my dad moved there like 30 years ago or so, from England, for work opportunities as Hong Kong's economy was thriving at the time. That's where the two awesome people met and then there was me! 
I lived there for 11 years, going to kindergarten for 2 years, and then primary school for 6 years.

Why did you move?

My dad has a Master's degree in an English university. Basically, he's well prepared in terms of my education. He has every intention since I was very young to send me to a university in England. In case you don't know, universities in England are restricted by law to charge only 9,000 pounds per year for tuition fees to EU students, while the international fees normally soar above 23,000 pounds. My dad sent me to Ireland so I could qualify as an EU students, and hence pay cheaper tuition fees. My dad also went to the same school I'm in and he got a decent education here, so I was sent to follow in his footsteps. Literally got shipped off to a boarding school thousands of miles away from my parents.

How often do you visit Hong Kong?

Since my parents still live there, I do like to see them every now and then. The usual is twice a year, Christmas and Summer. Plane tickets are expensive for such long journeys, so I can't fly over every weekend, not to mention the flight from London to Hong Kong can be about 13 hours!

What do you like about Hong Kong?

Many things really. Its full of people so everyone is always busy. It's pretty hard to get bored. Towns/cities are all back to back, and everything is nearby. The MTR is the underground train system, kind of like the tube in London. It's disgustingly cheap, and super fast and efficient too, trains come every 3 minutes among the spiderweb of railway lines. Estates are full of people because of high-rise buildings and apartments all in one estate, so you get so many neighbours. The weather is fantastic all the time, warm I mean. Summer temperatures soar to 40 degrees, while winter temperatures will only get as low as 5 degrees or so. The exotic cuisine is amazing and Hong Kong has many restaurantes for different Asian Cuisines, as well as western cuisines too. Oh, there's also not VAT on general supermarket goods, nor any electronics tax. So, cost of living is very cheap and electronics, like phones and tablets, come very cheap.

What do you dislike about Hong Kong?

Many things again. To contradict nearly everything I have said: Its full of people. Like, there's SO MANY PEOPLE. Over 7 million, all squeezed into the space of a little bit over the area of the Dublin County! Streets get packed and motorways are everywhere. Typical over populated developing world problems really. If you're uncomfortable around many people and loud noises, it can get scary. Buildings are everywhere, and its hard to find a bit of natural nature in Hong Kong. Grass hardly naturally exists and there's not much countryside to Hong Kong. Accommodation and residences have extreme price tags on them due to the value of space in Hong Kong being so high. Living there is near impossible now. The weather in the summer. Oh my god. HUMIDITY. Huge problem. Everyone all squished together on streets in the blazing sun. The air gets so humid, it's impossible to dry yourself. Outdoors you will sweat from slowly walking within 5 minutes, and you cant exactly dry the sweat off you. Also, it annoys me that there's such a lack of vegetarian meals there. There's no land for grazing, so dairy products have huge prices but meat gets shipped in from different countries for cheap prices. 

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

I haven't looked that far into my future really. I'm moving to England for university in August/September and I'll be there for 4 years doing my course. After that? I haven't a clue.

What would you change about Hong Kong?

I don't exactly have the power and I'm awful at Economics (don't even do in school) and Politics and stuff but the price of apartments are about 100 times as expensive as they should be, taking into account the one-room-sized apartments. I can't do much about the weather but winds can be nice to counter the humidity and heat in the summer. Weird question, not sure how I can answer it really.

What are the differences and similarities between HK and Ireland?

Population density. Enough said.

Scenery too. Ireland has green, and fields and space. Hong Kong doesn't.

Climate too. Heating doesn't exist in Hong Kong. You won't survive long there without air conditioning.

Tell me something I don't know about Hong Kong.

Not sure how much you know about it but I'll list a few things.
Hong Kong is TECHNICALLY a city of China. But from my view, its basically a country of its own. Hong Kong has its own currency (Hong Kong Dollar), laws, government etc. But if you are from Hong Kong, you are Chinese, NOT HongKongian or HongKongese or whatever.

Chinese is predominantly spoken in Hong Kong. There are two main dialects (written the same, but pronounced COMPLETELY different) of Chinese used in China: the much less spoken Cantonese, and the more more popular Mandarin (or Putonghua). Oddly enough, Cantonese is the main language of Hong Kong and I've picked it up solely from being outside and my mother trying to teach me. Mandarin, is taught in schools in Hong Kong (like how Irish is taught in Ireland) as it is used nearly all over China over Cantonese. Mandarin, however, is extremely rarely spoken in Hong Kong, usually just by mainlanders who travel to Hong Kong. There is a small but decent fraction of people in Hong Kong that are fluent English speakers, but nearly every Cantonese speaker in Hong Kong can understand basic English. There are English signs and stuff since Hong Kong used to be a British Colony.

School system is complicated, following English systems. 2 years of Kindergarten, then 6 years of primary. Everyone finishes that at a young age of 11. Secondary school starts, at age 11. It's called year 7 over there, counting onwards after primary. This is why I was only 11 going into Irish first year. Ireland has 6 years of secondary school, with an optional fourth year in many cases. In Hong Kong, like England, there are 6 years of mandatory secondary school (year 7 to 12), with a seventh year referred to as "college" I believe, or year 13. Then they go onward to University at 18 ish. 
Basically, Irish system starts a year later, while Hong Kong starts a year earlier, but adds on an extra year 13 at the end, so everyone is about 18 or 19 going to Uni. 

BUT I am different, and had to switch mid system. So I started early and I have to do a year 13, plopping me in University at a young age of 17.

Do you consider yourself Chinese, Irish or a mixture of both?

My nationality is all over the place. I have an Irish passport. I have a Hong Kong Identity Card. I have a Chinese ID card. But I consider myself a mixture of Irish and Chinese.

Have you experienced racism in Ireland?

Of course! It's bound to happen. I'm Asian therefore expected to be good at school. I'm not gonna bother going through Asian stereotypes ugh. Basically, I have a crazy high standard to cope with in school and I hate it.

Words I hate: Chink, HongKongian, HongKongese.

What do you like about Ireland?

Diversity is nice. Being in Europe, so many different cultures run into each other! Germans, French, Spanish etc. Hong Kong is just full of Chinese people. 

Ireland is also open. Fresh air, greenery, scenery, fields, farming. It's peaceful. Calming. A nice break. And the standard of the education is lower than that of England and Hong Kong, so I avoided the hard stuff of that in Hong Kong (A levels or IB).

Thanks, Kay!

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Jude's Communion

So, yesterday (no more lies) was my brother Jude's Communion. For those not in the know, it's a Catholic sacrament where children spend almost a whole year in school preparing for this one long mass where they get to eat the unleavened bread for the first time, which we're supposed to believe and support as cannibalism. 

Essentially, it's a big social thing where families show off how pious - and more importantly - how well put-together they are. You buy a suit/dress that the Communion child is never going to wear again. Luckily, I think my family pulled that off. 

This is a picture of my brothers before we left for the church, taken on my iPad:

The mass was pretty standard. The priest is nice and laid-back - while he did keep telling people to stop talking and be reverent, he did pause the ceremony halfway through to ask if he should turn the heating off. Good craic. One of the little girls there had a huge, rigid skirt. It looked awesome but must have been hard to sit down in.

It was very creepy, however, when the priest kept going on about eating the flesh of Christ. It's a stupid belief, transubstantiation. Just go ahead and call it cannibalism, you know you want to. All hail cannibalism.

Anyway, afterwards we had the fun part where we went back to the school reception to get food. I ate a lot, it was great. Wraps and sandwiches and lots of sweets, I don't discriminate.

This is me and mam in the church, a rare photo where I don't mind my smile:

While we were gorging ourselves at the reception, my primary school principal came over and started talking to us, basically asking about what we'd been up to since leaving the school. It was a lot. 

Here's a picture of most of us, plus some of Jude's friends:

It's so depressing how Moya (right) looks older and more sophisticated than me, when really she's nearly two years younger.

This woman at the reception asked if I was the one who did the music, and I said yes. She congratulated me on winning "some award", saying she'd seen me in the paper. I didn't really know which one she was talking about but it was nice to hear, I guess. 

Moya looking older than me again, and less fuzzy:

Then the brothers went off to a trampoline place to have some fun. Pretty nice day. 

Saturday, 25 April 2015

Photo Friday #13: Youth Media Awards Ceremony

So, I left school before 12 today (after my Chemistry group blew up a test tube and nearly set a textbook on fire) to go to the Awards Ceremony. They run a (bi-annual?) competition where you create a media piece (poster, video, newspaper article or audio) about one of the themes. The deadline this year was 4th March 2015, and I wrote my article on the theme "The Effects of Alcohol on the Family" (You can find the article here or on the website when it goes up).

During the Easter holidays from school, I got a phone call from an unknown number. I answered, sure it was a prank caller, and they asked my name and then said I'd won the 15-17 age category for my article and thus won an iPad mini, and was invited to an Awards Ceremony in Dublin on Friday the 24th of April. I was pretty chuffed.

So that's the background.

The Awards were in the Department of Education, so Mam and I got the bus up there (miraculously didn't get lost). I chatted a bit to a fellow 5th Year who won his age category in the audio section and was there with his teacher before the ceremony started.

There were various speakers and politicians there, people from the Ana Liffey Dug Project (including Nicki, who ran the event), and this guy, who's a Minister with a self-confessed really long job title:

Blurry photo, thanks to battered iPod.

After the speeches, they went onto giving out the prizes. Everyone went up and got a big certificate and an iPad. I'm sure there's a photo of me getting mine somewhere, so I'll post that when it gets onto the internet. It was nice. The announcer for my section works at The Irish Times (where I've done work experience) which was pretty cool, and he said he was impressed by the research and references in my article. That was good to hear, but research and references are second nature to me by now.

They showed the video entries, which were the best section (which makes sense, since they require so much more effort). My favourite was that of Blaze Youth Club, which was a bit cringe but fun to watch:

Fine then, refuse to fit on the page. I also liked this one, by St. Leo's: 

Also, I just learned how to embed videos. I'm proud.

Then the overall winner was announced as Blaze Youth Club, so they got the €2000. I predicted they'd win. Fair enough, I guess - they obviously put a lot of effort in, and I still got an iPad. Then there was food!

The catering had some of my favourite food - spring rolls. Sausage pastry-things are my favourites, but spring rolls are pretty damn good too. I also had juice and some dip, and it was cool. Would've been ironic if they served alcohol.

Then we got some photos before leaving the Dept. of Education and Skills campus. This is a picture Mam took of me and that boy I was talking to. I don't actually know his name.

We then went into this curio shop, which Mam is a big fan of. Found a magazine that looks really old, with the Queen while she was still a Princess.

A typewriter, for all the hipsters in the audience: 

Me haunting a creepy mirror, holding my certificate:

Assorted trinkets:

Both of us were exhausted on the bus home, which is why when I keep saying "today" it's a lie, because I'm actually writing this on Saturday and posting it to Friday's space.

The iPad is very nice, and I can finally download things that require more than iOS 6.