Saturday, July 1, 2017

30th June

June came and passed without a wink. It'll be July 2017 tomorrow.
Man... Where did time went?

The family came to town for a 12-day holiday. Everything went smoothly as planned. The important thing is that everyone is happy, though tired. We did a road trip to Isle of Skye (4 days). I was actually quite tired after only the second day of driving. But the Nissan Qashqai was a pleasant machine to have (and it’s manual!).
Taking the ferry from Dunoon to Greenock - cutting the time of driving
Isle of Skye - The wind was too strong
To be honest, I didn't really plan for the trip, and almost missed this famous landmark at Isle of Skye - Eilean Donan Castle

We took a flight from Glasgow to Belfast. An interesting place, Belfast is full of history and conflicts. Not sure why people mix religion and politics. We spent a day walking around town on the walking tour, and than check out Titanic Museum. 
Was quite nice
Wasn't on my wishlist anyway - Dublin is more interesting
Edinburgh, as always one of my favourite.
Carlton Hill
Scots Monument
Some good work-out for the folks - Arthur's Seat at the rear view
Some good shopping were done at Buchanan Street – MK purse of GBP135 was selling at GBP65.
Shopping day was wet, but the next day was great!
And my family took the effort to make sure I spend the next 3 months fulfilled...
After coming back, I gave myself a few days of rest, and travelled down to London for a technical visit to BAE Systems Intelligence at Blue Fin Building. The first night, we stayed at Cumberland Lodge Hotel, just outside Marble Arch. Slightly too small a room, but it's still a hotel. I extended my stay and bumped at Jon’s place at Mile End, near Queen Mary University, while coincidentally, he was staying at my residence in Glasgow, for a conference!
Took a stroll around Westminster on Day 1
After the stroll, our friend J actually lost her purse. Thankfully her passport was still there. Need to be really careful of pickpockets.

Extra security at Downing Street

I stayed at Mile End on Day 2 after the visit. On Day 3, I took a leisure (Saturday morning) stroll along the Regent Canal towards Canary Wharf. Totally changed my perception of East London. Canary Wharf was originally where the Port of London was. Extremely wealthy and important.
Spent 2 hours at the London Docks Museum. It was really interesting.

East India Company - Yup it is

Regent Canal
Still had time to creep into the Undergraduate Open Day at Queen Mary's
Left London Euston on a 4pm train for Glasgow.

Coming back to Glasgow, I felt the chill in the air. I conclude that the weather in London is way better than in Glasgow. (My friend says that's due to being closer to the north pole)
Had my first steamboat with a colleague. Not bad.

Xiangbala at Union Street
 On Hari Raya Day, visited R and Jay for a authentic Raya lunch. Couldn't be better!

Vegetarian Raya meal!!
Dinner was home cook food at E's place with LX and S
I was back to my dissertation project swiftly. Using Homer to provide data on Solar Irradiance and household load, I am now cracking my head to learn and use Matlab programming to design a suitable battery. I still have around 5 weeks to finalize my findings. Presentation is on 1st of September, 2 months away.
And, I am heading to London next Tuesday (again) for Chevening Farewell reception. In a week's time, I will be in Dubai for IET YPCC meeting and EMEA CVC. I have extended 3 nights, thinking of exploring Dubai. But with temperatures hitting 40 C and a low of 29 C, I am interested to see what happens to my Scottish acclimatization.

The biosensor project is a major letdown. I did my best, spent my time in the lab (consistently since January), but maybe it's my inability to produce meaningful output and work. There's no teamwork, team spirit and direction. Most probably not going to Eindhoven with a finished article. I detest last-minute work, and we are basically at the very-last-minute now. You could see that pressure is kicking-in. We had 6 months before this, and most probably did 10% of the work, with 90% left for the next 2 months, with all of us having various commitments. Now you could see free-riders popping up and making the loudest noise. I had been working (quietly), playing my role as an unnoticeable team member, which can be easily looked down on. I don't regret the hours I spent, most probably because I didn't produce the output I intended. But I believe we should know when to cut-loss, or abandon a ship (if it's sinking without hope). This could happen in a student-project, but never in working life, especially in engineering environment. Really, I am amused. Being quiet and humble doesn't mean my brain is empty. People tend to make judgement based on the surface.

I will most probably settle for a return flight around end of September. It's time to go home, get a job and settle down.