A bit of background first: I’m on a grand European tour (for work). There are three events: the combined UK/Lux voting project meetings in Surrey (UK), the summer school on voting I’m (co-)organising in Bertinoro (Italy) and the voting workshop in Fribourg (Switzerland).
So, I’m back at Uni of Surrey. It’s a bit weird to be here — for having lived here a mere three months, the place seems steeped in memories. There’s the breakup, the supermarket where I always got dinner, walking around town and enjoying the shops again…
Today was a good day. Dave, an UniS colleague, proposed on Friday eve in the pub to go swimming. There was an outdoor waterskiing center, that opened its track to swimmers in the early morning. Why not, sounded like a challenge. And it turned out to be! Woke up at 6:40 (continental time), so anxious was I. 30 minutes ahead of my alarm… We went there, I rented a wetsuit (previous experience: outdoor swimming over long distances works a hell of a lot better with wetsuit), and off we went! it went okay, though I’m not used to looking where I’m going (in a pool, you can easily tell if you’re going straight — not so simple outdoors). After a jacuzzi, Dave showed me the borough. We drove up to the gates of Windsor castle, and it was impressive. Windsor itself is fun too, a typical british hamlet with some tourist attractions (the leaning teahouse was unfortunately still closed). Next up was Ascot. Yes, Ascot! I treaded where the horses race… the grass is well-kept, long and quite wet that early in the morning :).
Onwards we went, through the borough, some quaint little villages left and right, till we got back to Guildford. Dave drove up the hill behind Castle carpark. I’d never been there, and the view is amazing! A bit further up the hill, you can even see Canary Wharf. We enjoyed our brunch at a restaurant, and then Dave had to leave.
Next up: shopping! My backpack had broken two days before this trip, so I needed a new one. Went to Argos, and found a cheap replacement. It’s not a high-quality bag, but for 5 pounds, you can’t expect much (got a wallet and a pencil case — both come in handy for this trip).
Final stop: books. I had run out of books, plus: I’m in the UK, they’ve got English books aplenty here — and that is what I predominantly read. I got myself the new instalment in a series by KE Mills (aka Karen Miller) I started reading while employed in Guildford. Plus more (Snow by Orhan Pamuk, the Turkish Nobel-prize winner), because I can and it came recommended :)
All of that was enough, so I went home, Tesco-lunch, home, worked a bit, and had dinner with Peter. Dinner was great for two reasons: one, we were having take-out Italian (and are going to Italy tomorrow); two, we ended up having a discussion on politics, on proportional representation versus geographical representation etc. That discussion was fun! Got us wondering when parties arose. It seems more logical in the Dutch (prop. rep.) setting than in the UK (geographical).
So: great day today, managed to do some work, still a lot of things to do before Wednesday :s. If time, I’ll try to post more after SecVote 2010.