It has been a while.. / by Callum Lamont

So it has, Title. And, as you would expect, there is much to catch up on. I had the crafty idea to drip feed each interesting event in my life as a seperate post. However, that would be a little disingenuous and not really keep in line with the "real-time snapshot of my life" this blog was aiming to represent. So instead I'll cram this all together and hope it isn't too long (or embarrassingly short after that hype up). 

 

A window to Slovenia

A window to Slovenia

We'll pick things up where we left the viewers last. I had finally got a bit of travelling under my belt and was enjoying the proximity and diversity of the different flavours of Europe. Since then I've added to my meanderings, enjoyed some local London offerings and hit a fairly significant milestone in my move over here. I'll get the travel talk out of the way first, as it's a pretty fluid continuation of what was said last post. Shortly after Copenhagen I booked a trip to explore Slovenia. With its unpretentious, yet picturesque, capital city nestled amongst some wonderful nature, I can't imagine anyone having a bad time here. To be fair, the ideal weather could have left me less impartial. To summarise the weekend: beers in Ljubljana by the river, scaling the castle walls at Lake Bled, and paragliding 2300m over Lake Bohinj. I’d give this more than two thumbs up if it were physiologically possible.  

 

The following (long) weekend was then spent enjoying a tour through the familiar world of the Netherlands. One night each in Eindhoven, Utrecht and Amsterdam. No time spent dilly dallying around tourist traps, this weekend was to catch up with friends. Coincidentally, it nearly synced up perfectly with my original arrival at end of May 2013 (let's not focus on that 3 year lapse in between). Time was short and sleep was, quite naturally, sacrificed to extend the festivities. I think you can expect to see me popping back repeatedly for the next few years (much to the suspicion of the U.K. border control). 

 

Peppered between these trips was some work, to be sure. Things have taken the usual tango of 2 steps forward, 1 step back, a shuffle to the side, and maybe a half step forward (or was that back?). But, on the whole, progress is being made, which is nice to hear considering I’m now at my 6 month tenure. I'm also taking full advantage of the UCL facilities on offer. The highlight would the Institute of Making. It sounds a bit wanky but it's a seriously cool area where students are provided a workshop, 3D printers, laser cutters, CNCs and whatnot free of charge. Naturally one can jump in to rig something up for an experiment, but more interesting is what people do on their own time. One thing I'm looking forward to is replicating and extending upon some of the sketches I've thrown up here, but in a physical iteration. Somewhat related to university, and in the spirit of science communication and education, which I'm becoming ever passionate about, I lent a hand in this year’s Pint of Science festival. For the uninitiated, universities across the world put on a number of informal science talks, tackling a variety of themes, in pubs. The general mantra is to promote awareness of science to the general public, in pubs. Keep an eye out for it in the following years as there is much cool stuff to see.

Inside and outside. As this was the first act, things only got better, busier and muddier from here on out

Inside and outside. As this was the first act, things only got better, busier and muddier from here on out

 

Most recently, as in the day previous to writing this, I got wet, muddy and drunk (in that order) at London’s Field Day Festival. I was a bit late to the table for most of the summer 2016 European music festivals, but was lucky enough to snag a ticket to this one, more or less on my doorstep in East London. And I think it’s fair to say that I got a true British festival experience - as noted by the wet muddy drunkenness. I was a bit arrogant and thought I could make do without the wellies and rain jacket, though I like to think that my inadequate preparation added to the experience.. 

 

So you've been brought up to speed on all things Callum. I probably didn't do any of these events justice as this post felt more like a checklist of notable items which I needed to communicate. I’ll finish things off with a little bit of admin and homework for the reader. I figured it would be good to have a sort of notification system on here, especially considering there may be long stretches void of contributions. The easiest solution I found was to create a mailing list of sorts. Hope on over to the subscribe page (linked amongst the other pages of this site) and enter your email address. If all goes according to plan you will be updated when any content is added up here.