Couple of months ago the daughter asked me if I would be prepared to take her to Bristol University Undergraduate open day as she has a provisional place dependant on grades etc. I said yes but to remind me closer to the time. Fast forward to 11am yesterday, “dad are we going to Bristol tomorrow” er what?? 21 hours is not plenty of notice!! I was even less impressed at 7.45am this morning as there was no indication that my daughter was even a wake let alone out of bed and ready to leave at the agreed time of 8am.
We (wife, son, daughter and me) eventually left just after 8am after the threat of “if you not down here now we are not going” etc. etc. We had not even got half way before the request for a toilet stop was made and to get some food as somebody had not had any breakfast, the reply was along the lines of “there is only another 40 more miles to go, you can wait till we get there”
We arrived at the Frenchay Campus a couple of minutes after 10, we were not the only ones, the placed was packed, we were eventually marshalled to a car park in the depth on the University. As we got out the car, I noticed something about all the other potential student walking out of the car park with their parents, they were all carrying sheet bits of paper. I double checked with the daughter who informed me that the only information she had about the day was an e-mail (which she had not printed off). We set off in search of the Media department (and the toilets), having no luck finding either we eventually asked one of the helpful students who were wandering around wearing red T shirts which said on them “Can we help?” written on them. When the daughter asked where the Media department was, she got a blank look and told we better check with main reception which fortunately was only in the next block. At reception we found we were told that we were at the wrong campus, we should of been at St Matthias campus which was just under three miles away across Bristol. So we hiked back to the car and set off for St Matthias Campus.
To be fair we found the place fairly easily, and followed the sign to the registration desk. Daughter picked up some paperwork while the wife, the son and I spied the cafeteria and some nice cold drinks. After the daughter had registered we all headed into the cafeteria for a cool drink. As we sat there drinking the daughter was reading the paperwork she was given and announced that the next meeting for her course she was interested in started in three minutes time!! We are dutifully followed the daughter as we crossed the campus to another building where we walked into a small hall with about 20 people already there and the meeting already underway. The only seating was on the front row so we quietly crept in and sat down. It took about five minutes for the daughter to realise that this was in fact not the meeting for her course but a different course completely. Having arrived late and being sat at the front we decided we should sit it out and wait till the end of the meeting before leaving.
Once the meeting had finished the daughter explained to the lecturer that this was not her course and asked if he knew where her media course meeting was being held? He duly pointed to the door opposite which had a big sign on it saying Media, if only we had looked behind us when we came into the building. As we opened the door to the media meeting we found that this meeting was also in progress (starting to make a habit of turning up late for meetings), as we quietly shuffled in and sat down the lecturer finished the meeting. We waited for everybody else to finish asking question before the daughter went up and asked some questions and collected some paperwork. After five minutes the daughter returned to where we were sat and said that was it, thinking she meant that was all she needed from this meeting I said where next then? I was not ready for the reply “home” After double checking with her that there was no other department she needed or wanted to visit, we headed for the car and home, we had not been there more than two hours!
As we made are way out of Bristol I remembered passing sign posts for Sherborne on the way up and I had been meaning to visit a bike shop in Sherborne. After a bit of frantic Internet searching by the family via their phones, the post code was duly loaded into the Sat nav and off to Sherborne we headed. An hour later we pulled up in the centre of Sherborne and with the family complaining they were hungry and it was lunch time I allowed them to drag me to the shops first for some food. After a bit of shopping we looked around the town but we could not find the bike shop. I saw a postman and asked him if he knew where the shop was, at first he said they were not far from where we had parked (which is what I thought) but then as we walked away, he called me back and said, “hang on they are not there any more, gone bust I think”.
We walked back to the car and what had been a sunny day had now clouded over and started to rain, well that just about summed up the day. It was late afternoon by the time we got home. I had thought about going for a ride this afternoon but I decided to go for a long ride tomorrow instead. I spent an hour or so swapping tyres and fitting some new Dr Sludge self sealing inner tubes. I will let you know how I get on with them in a later post.