Friday, 18 July 2014

4 planes, 3 currencies & 3 sim cards

Last week was pretty hectic, as hectic weeks go. I had 4 days on the go at my housekeeping job, which is fairly tiring by anyone's standards. I'd finish each day absolutely covered in sweat from head to toe (it is very humid in Copenhagen these days, time pressures of the job and the non-breathable uniform aside), cycle the 8km home and basically sit in a vegetative state until I recovered the use of my limbs. The week stretched out in front of me with promise, and would include 4 flights, a trip to Durham to meet those working on my study and my future colleagues, and a trip home to Ireland to see the family, all my friends, and enjoy being back in Meath and Dublin again.

On Tuesday, I hurried to get finished with my work, raced home to get my stuff ready, then headed on over to the lovely CPH Lufthavn for my first of two BA flights of the evening. I was fairly excited to fly with British Airways because they still give out free snacks, and there ain't no snack like a free snack. I had a pretty miserable ham and cheese sandwich on stodgy flatbread and coffee, along with a cookie I brought myself in case BA did not bring their snack A-game.

This shocking sight greeted me, but luckily the weather in Durham was more to my liking. Sunshine, a cool breeze, all the things you don't expect when visiting the north of England. 

The 2 days in Durham were absolutely fantastic. My future colleagues are all incredibly focused, kind, and regard work-life balance as of the utmost importance, which is a huge deal for me (living in Denmark, you come to expect it, and having lived in London, know how sacred it really is). 

There was much coffee drinking, meeting and greeting, and fascinating discussions about the work to come and work those in the department have been involved in. I'm really excited to sink my teeth into PhD life in a couple of months! In case you needed photographic proof that Durham is beautiful, I have included some snippets as evidence.

I stayed at the Premier Inn in town, they were so full of northern charm, caring and friendly, such a shock to the system. Danes are incredibly polite, but this is a whole other ballgame. After a few hours of walking around the town, and a surprisingly emotional visit to the Cathedral (along with a scone and a lot of whipped cream and jam), I headed to Newcastle airport to get on the world's tiniest plane home to my family. I had the good fortune to sit next to an academic from Cork who gave me so much good advice on my PhD. It pays to chat to those sitting next to you!

And then before I knew it I was home to this little fellah, buckets of tea and as many free range eggs as I could muster (and I mustered a great deal). I'll make another post about my trip to Ireland, because I think this is quite long enough! Suffice to say: British Airways food-pretty bad. Durham-beautiful. Shifting from Kroner to Pounds to Euro and back to Kroner- mildly confusing. Life-very excited.

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