My UK trip — Cambridge

Cambridge is nice city. I was there at least once every year since 2009: OEDEM 2009, Emdebian sprint in 2010, during Linaro Connect q3.11, ARMv8 sprint in 2012. But this time it was not work related visit.

Saturday

It was evening when I reached Cambridge. Paweł took me from the train station and I had occasion to see their new house and how they plan to restructure it. We discussed some things, spoke a bit (mostly I) about ARMology (history of ARM cores) and day ended.

Sunday

Lazy day spent on wandering around in the centre of Cambridge. I could go to Ely or Norwich instead but decided to just take a long walk and see places which I already saw before and find something new as well.

One of new places was Market Square Street Market where many local products could be bought and/or tried. Ostrich burgers, cakes, cookies, cheese, different things made from wood, metal or screws, jewellery made from misc materials like buttons. There were books, movies, music on CDs and vinyls, paintings, different kind of food to buy/taste… And many other things. I spent probably an hour there just walking and checking what do they have on offer.

But as it was yet another quite windy day I decided to buy some wind proof jacket. Visited few shops but did not find anything (finally bought one day later). My cold was already at advanced phase ;(

But it was well spent day. I saw many new places, reminded already visited ones but (mostly due to cold) did not took any pictures.

Monday

I had an appointment with Andrew Wafaa so we met for lunch at the Oak Bistro. Discussed about misc things (like end of my job at Linaro) and at the end I gave him MicroSD adapter which does not stick out from Chromebook. He told me few hours later that it was a problem to get it back from people later during day ;)

After lunch I went to the Whipple Museum. Interesting exhibition. Models of human body, lot of scientific equipment from few centuries. Really worth visiting.

Day ended with visit at 40th Cambridge Beer Festival. I like how event was organized. “No glass, no service” means you can bring your own glass or pay 2.5GBP deposit for event one. There was wide choice of beers, ciders, perries (cider like make from pears), meads and wines. You could buy whole, half or third of pint (meads and wines were sold in 175ml portions) which made tasting easier.

Tuesday

I reserved that day for beer festival only. Leif took day off so we could spend it together there. The only problem was when on Monday’s evening I realized that we forgot to share any usable contact information but we managed to find each other at one of social networking websites.

So beer… I bought several ones and tried even more from local friends. In the official application I marked (random order):

  • Curious (bitter)
  • Summer Virgin (golden ale)
  • Nero (stout)
  • “Ruby… don’t take your beer to town” (dark mild)
  • Krasny Red (bitter, IPA style)
  • Pegasus (bitter)
  • Honeypot (speciality which I got rid to urinal after few sips)
  • Golden Kiwi (golden ale)
  • Bohemium Lager (lager)
  • Zulu (porter)

But there were also other ones and “Dark Mead” for the end of day. With thanks of Leif and Steve I found out what is a source of that strange taste I call “English beer taste” which I am not a fan of. According to Steve it is due to hops.

It was great day due to beer and people I met: Andy, Neil, Steve, Leif, Maria and others.

Wednesday

The last day in Cambridge. Went to Fitzwilliam museum to take a look at the art. And I have to admit that I prefer art from 18-19th centuries rather than modern one.

Eat lunch, packed bags and then went to Stansted airport. Funny moment at security gate where officer asked me about amount of cellphones in my bag. There were just two of them: Nexus 4 and Chinese E6 one (plus Kindle and Nexus 7 tablet). Probably it was just routine control ;D

And after around 9 hours I finally arrived at home…

Conclusion

It was good trip, I enjoyed every day of it (even with cold), managed to visit most of the places I planned to, met friends and spent time in other way than usually.

My UK trip — London

I was few times in London but always on business without time for sightseeing so decided to change it.

Day one

After few hours trip landed at London Gatwick airport. Some say that’s worst one of five but was not so bad. Why there? Because I could and I was on Stansted, Luton and Heathrow already (plan to use City one next time). Short trip to the city and hello Victoria station — long time no see

Bought Oyster card to use public transport in easiest way and took a metro train to hotel. Nothing fancy — just cheap (65£ per night) hotel without any extras (but with working free WiFi).

Unpacked only needed things and went to city centre. Victoria monument, Buckingham Palace, the Mall etc. More or less followed the most popular trip from the “Trip Advisor” application.

Went to Thames, crossed with one bridge, looked at London Eye (and decided to skip it) and then Big Ben and Westminster Abbey were next. I considered returning to the Abbey next day but later decided against it.

Grabbed some food and went to sleep early as it was 3rd day when I woke up around 5:00.

Day two

Thursday… Skipped Westminster Abbey and went by foot to the British Museum. Met Mark Brown on a way and we had good time looking at all those things which British Empire had stolen from all around the world. We didn’t managed to find Britain sections.

After lunch I went to the Forbidden Planet store. And sunk there for quite long time. Then got back to buy two more books. This place was amazing…

They had stuff related to movies, games, tv series – figurines, key chains, t-shirts, toys, rings/jewellery, helmets, weapons and other… Some from limited editions. But when I wondered “is that’s all?” I went to the basement. And sank.

Comics, books, movies, tv series, manga, anime, photo albums and more. Books about movies, books which movies were based on (and vice versa). “Darth Vader’s princess” and “Darth Vader and his son” were there (9£ each), “Simon’s cat” books which my daughter would love (so I bought one), lot of SF and fantasy books in nice editions (Asimov for example).

“Big book of butts” looked funny. Next one was “Big book of legs” next to “pin-up girls” and other photo/erotic ones.

Nice place to go to but I warn you – you can leave a lot of cash there and have problem packing…

Lack of Britain sections in museum made me go to their website to check floor plan. And back to the building to see few more exhibitions. When I finally found what was searching for they told us to leave :-(

But no need to be sad I thought cause I was going to meet long time no see friends at a pub not so far away. Went there, ordered some “organic lager” and sat down to wait for them. Few minutes later I had a chat with some guys around 60 years old about some random stuff. Good part were their recommendations which beer to try next. As you probably guess it was not lager but rather ale or something more English.

YaaL and Pornel arrived and we had nice chat about life, work etc. Time passed too fast :-( But it was good to meet after so many years.

Day three

This had to be no museums day. First I went to visit Canonical’s office as I have never been there…

Finding building was quite easy, then discussion with security took a bit more before they finally realised that I am on a visitors list already. Got tour of the office, looked at wall full of Ubuntu Touch interface mockups, discussed few of them with someone, made some coffee and left the building.

Next step was Tete Modern Art gallery. I spent few hours there watching all those sculptures, paintings and installations which were counted as art in previous century. Did not even tried to understand those…

Due to cold I got during previous days I went back to the hotel. But why stay there when there are so many places to visit and so little time?

So I decided to make use of longer opening hours at the British Museum and went there. This time managed to see Britain sections and European Medieval times ones. It was good evening.

Day four

As this was my last day in London I decided to not go far from the hotel. Checked out, left luggage and went on foot to the Science Museum.

Lovely place. Went quickly though Space exhibition (cause most of it I saw at Cape Canaveral already) but other ones were worth seeing. Age of Steam with all those engines and descriptions, vehicles like bikes (starting with “safety bicycle” by Rover), motorcycles, cars (including JET 1 powered by gas turbine) but also planes (with replica of Wright brothers one) and helicopters.

I enjoyed the “Materials” exhibition — especially body model with some artificial addons and long list next to it informing which materials can be used for which implants and other inserted parts.

There was also special exhibition about Alan Turing and his work.

After visit I went for food, took luggage from hotel and then the Underground to King’s Cross train station and went to Cambridge. But this will be next post.

No, I am not moving to London

Previous post about moving to London was 1st April joke. We plan to move from Poznań but not outside of Poland. So sorry guys — we will meet in UK one day but it will be short visit not staying.

I have to admit that I did not thought that so many people will take that post serious. First congratulations came less then half hour after publishing, then IRC greetings… Probably this is because it is so near to true — as person working alone at home I miss contact with coworkers (as this often ends in brainstorming) and OH office has some interesting gadgets :D

Why “moving to London” was chosen? I did not had a good idea for April’s fools joke and Ania (my wife) gave me this suggestion. Other ideas were:

  • starting to work for Microsoft Canada (I had such offer month ago but no one would believe in this)
  • dropping OpenEmbedded/Poky in favour of T2 from TimeSys (also hard to believe)

And few others also too hard to believe so I wrote what I wrote. Sorry guys.

Moving to London

After long discussion with my wife we decided to move to London, UK.

Why such move? Many reasons — I will name a few:

  1. Many of our friends are already there.
  2. I miss leaving home to go to the office (especially since I have small daughter).
  3. I miss contact with coworkers.
  4. More gadgets available at work.
  5. End of hardware problems as company provides it.

When will it happen? I already discussed it with Matthew and it will happen in June/July (to be able to travel to GUADEC with all OH guys).

UPDATE: No — I will not move to London. This post is (maybe a bit cruel) 1st April joke. More info in other post.

UK – my observations

During last summer I was at GUADEC in Birmingham, UK and enjoyed that. Then I was at OpenedHand X-mas party. Both trips gave me some time to observe other culture and this is what I want to write about.

I will not write about cars on wrong side of road because this is already known and it is easy to get used to it. Did not have problems with it even when I was sitting in front left seat during car trip.

The thing which annoys me is “double taps”. At GUADEC place it was OK as hot water was only warm so I did not needed cold one but during my recent trip they were everywhere… I wonder how they use as hot water is too hot usually and cold one is rather not warm enough. One of solutions is plugging washbasin and wash hands in mixed water — but this is not too hygienic rather…

What was nice to see is mix of people on streets — in Poland we basically have only one type of people — white, Slovian, usually catolics. There were too many of them to count.

Next thing — all those informations everywhere… “Garage in constant use — parking not allowed”, “Fire doors — keep open”, “Private parking — you will be towed”, “No parking here — £75 penalty”, “Keep this place clean — use ashtrays”, “It is against the law to smoke at those premises” etc… Those kind of messages were in nearly each place which I visited.

During walk through GUADEC building I saw few nice places. First was a bunch of shelves — each one signed and it looked as place to use if you want to give something to “owner” of shelf as there were many books, compact discs and other stuff there. Another thing was message table with many informations for lonely people, for victims of sexual molestation or voluntary offers.

It is other type of country then Poland. I am not yet ready to move there I think… Never mind that Matthew asks me each time (nearly – last time he forgot) we meet when I will move to London.

Bromley is not part of London

Few months ago in post about my OpenEmbedded related trips I wrote that Bromley is part of London. Since then I was there during OpenedHand X-mas party and was told that it is not true.

So it looks like all my trips related to OE ends in cities which names starts with “B”. I just hope that next one will not be to Brisbane or Beijing :)