Hi all! This is a strange summer, I must admit, but at least some things are happening this week. I spent yesterday at Dublin Maker and a festival in Swords and (very briefly) saw a festival in Malahide, all while hanging out with some nerds (Kate, Paddy and Anthony).
Dublin Maker was cool, although sadly I couldn't stay very long. I did get to make a rocket in Minecraft by painting with a physical paintbrush onto a circuit board, and saw Vanessa of Echoing STEM and Laura, who I first met as a fellow Stemettes panellist in November and saw again at Inspirefest. At the paintbrush-Minecraft-dots activity I got talking to Andrew (Vanessa introduced him as a Raspberry Pi friend of Amy-from-Outbox's), who was cool and found out that Amy will be in the country soon, so that's cool. There was a duo onstage playing country music with a double bass and an electric guitar, which was definitely a new experience. Unfortunately I didn't get to see the modular origami again, but that was so cool at Inspirefest and I'm glad I got to talk to Jennifer (who makes these amazing craft pieces) then.
After an hour or two, Kate and I went to the Swords festival and climbed up the spiral staircase of a reconstructed castle. Now, I have a spiral staircase at home, so I thought I was used to them, but there were some important differences: (a) my staircase is made of metal, not half-eroded stone (b) there's free space around my staircase, rather than very very close walls. Both of those factors made descending the stone spiral staircase a rather precarious task, especially with a ukulele in hand. Managed, though! Kate and I enjoyed seeing the tremendously sophisticated apparatus people used to use as a toilet (a raised wooden board with a circular hole cut in it) and sitting at what was presumably once a royal dining table.
Overall, not the most impressive castle, but pretty cool nonetheless.
The rest of the festival seemed to be made up of a ton of bouncy castles. Like, a ridiculous amount of bouncy castles, as if a bouncy castle convention had been kidnapped by the festival. There was also some pretty good music with a cute girl fronting the band.
When we were done with the festival, I visited the famous JC's for the first time and then we got a lift back to her house and watched some stand-up comedy. I showed her Bo Burnham's second special, Make Happy, which I recommend but only if you've watched his first special, what. Make Happy is very good, but it's funny in a depressing way, whereas what. is just straight-up funny and won't leave your emotions in a mess afterwards.
It was awesome spending time with Kate, especially since we've both been busy lately. But all good things come to an end and so I hopped onto an incredibly packed train and read about thirty pages of A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking until it was time to get off.
Pretty good! Next blog posts will be about my Debs, the pros and cons of starting your career young, aphantasia, and impostor syndrome. Probably.