It was a very, very jam packed week last week. As part of my course – I am studying Climate and Atmospheric Science at the University of Leeds – myself and seven other course mates were visiting Manchester to attend the Royal Meteorological Society‘s Student Conference.
As we had three nights booked at the hotel (cheers Leeds Uni!) my friend and I headed off early on Sunday morning to check Manchester out. Our main aim was to go to The Depot bouldering centre just outside of the Trafford Centre however, I have a funny little story which occurred just before we were about to go…
Now I am a bit of a newbie to Starbucks, I only got introduced in the USA last year and even since being back in the UK I have not visited one, making me a little unfamiliar with the whole named cup aspect it has going on. Anyway, we went on Sunday and I ordered some sort of caramel-ey, banana-ey frappucino iced coffee thing (basically the sweetest, most sugary drink they sold). I waited at the empty pick-up desk and the guy behind the counter shouted out the drink name but all I heard was ‘frappucino’. With nobody about I assumed it was mine, took it, stuck a straw in it and started slurping away. At this point my friend looks at my cup and says ‘that’s not yours’. I had only gone and taken some guy called Dales’ drink. I was so embarrassed at my stupidity I legged it and sent my friend back in to get my drink – the cup with Sophie written on it – at which she got mega evils from our new mate Dale. Looking back it was funny, but at the time I just wanted the ground to swallow me up. Anyway cheers Dale, thanks for the drink, I hope you got your order in the end!
Here is me looking pretty chuffed with myself at having two drinks after the trauma:
Enough talking now, here are some pictures of the absolutely awesome, absolutely massive Depot in Manchester
It’s in a business district in the middle of nowhere
It also had seats which were made out of bouldering mats which I thought were pretty cool!
This is by far the best and biggest bouldering place I have visited and it is the first time I have got tired before running out of routes to climb. I will definitely be returning except next time I think i’ll try Costa instead. Much less hassle.
Now for the serious bit, the conference. It was held at the University of Manchester which was really interesting to look around.
We arrived on the Monday morning and put up our snazzy new posters.
Please excuse the red eyes and awkward pose but how professional is that?!?!
My poster presentation went really well, everybody was very friendly and positive and it was very enjoyable to chat about something which I am genuinely interested in researching.
After a long day of talks we went along to an icebreaker session where I met lots of nice people, successfully won the pub quiz, had a few too many drinks and consequently managed to miss the next morning of the conference. Oops.
After another looooooong (but interesting at times) day of talks, the final evening saw us attend a formal dinner at a place called The Place (imaginative I know). With an introduction of Peach Bellini and wine this night was only going to go one way…
The menu was pretty snazzy and tasty though
After the dinner and a few more glasses of wine we went out for a night in Manchester. Somehow we managed to end up in a gay bar which was my first ever time visiting such a premises and what an experience it turned out to be. It was great fun, the cheesy music suited my drunken taste and I got to have a good old dance! Here’s me and my course mates looking sharp in a not-so sharp picture:
So my first ever conference experience was a very good one, I felt like I really made the most of Manchester, which is a city I absolutely love, I learnt a lot about my future career options and I had a pretty good time enjoying the nightlife over waking up early!
A big thank you to my course mate James for allowing me to use his photos because I am terrible at taking them! Check him out on twitter @metmanjames. With my dissertation deadline looming I am not up to much lately (very sad I know), however I am planning to do lots once I finish including the Yorkshire Three Peaks, Leeds festival and a trip to Prague (it’s written down now, I HAVE to do them).
I also have the Leeds 10k tomorrow so wish me luck!!!!