Recent adventures in Edinburgh

You might have noticed that I haven’t been updating this place so much recently — although that’s quite a common occurrence nowadays so you might not have noticed! This hectic stage of my life finally came to an end on Friday as I sat my last exam. Here are a few things that have happened recently that are notable enough to deserve exclamation marks. Then I will get back to writing about proper stuff.

UFO sighting!

Was this an early sign that I was losing the plot? While I was on one of my many commutes from Kirkcaldy to Edinburgh I saw something in the corner of my eye while the train was passing Edinburgh Airport. At first I thought it was a bird or something — it was quite small. Just as I focussed on the mystery object, some kind of bullet or something shot across really quickly and the object disappeared in a puff of smoke.

My first thought was that there was some kind of clay pigeon shooting competition or something going on. But it seems unlikely that this would take place on the runway at an airport. Moreover, it seemed as though the mystery object was taken out by some kind of science fiction-style laser shot.

That experience was probably an early sign that the exams were genuinely driving me mad. For the sake of my own self-esteem, I have decided that it was a weather event. A really weird weather event.

Hand dryers that actually work!

There was a nasty surprise when nature called while I was in Edinburgh Waverley train station recently. It now costs 30p to spend a penny. The current inflation worries finally had a tangible effect on me personally. Forget food and fuel prices — the cost of taking a leak jumped by 50%! And it is plain inconvenient having to use a 20p and a 10p rather than just dealing with one 20p piece as before.

Anyway, I went in to do my business and they’ve given the place a nice renovation. The highlight is undoubtedly the new hand dryers. Hand dryers are notoriously awful. They just never do the job. All that ever happens is your hands get a bit hot and your hands remain as wet as they were when tap water rather than wind was enveloping them.

These new hand dryers in Edinburgh Waverley toilets are something else though. There are posters next to them that actually say, “Hand dryers that actually work!” I just thought to myself, “yeah right — hand dryers never work.”

The new dryers are quite strange. Rather than sticking your hands under a hot air blower, you stick your hands in a little slot in the top of a box. It’s a very strange feeling. You move your hands up and down in the pocket as wind gets blown around inside. I did this for around 10 seconds as the poster advised, but I was convinced that my hands would come out still soaking wet. But to my surprise my hands were bone dry! It’s like magic.

Furthermore, the posters proclaim that these new dryers are more energy efficient than the old design. The future of hand washing is indeed very exciting! These are special hand dryers — they have their own website as well.

So the next time you’re in Edinburgh Waverley station, think about going into the toilets even if you don’t need to go. Worth every of the thirty pennies.

The end of university!

I had three exams this time round. My personal feeling is that the first one went okay — could have been better, could have been worse. The second one was not okay — I had to choose two questions but I could only really answer one of them. The second question was just bluff. We’ll see how that went, but I’m not too confident about that. My third exam — the one I had the least amount of time to study for — was one of the best exams I’ve ever had.

At least I finished on a high. That is not quite my last action as a student. I still have some books to return to the library, collect a copy of my dissertation and utilise the careers service to try and work out what on earth to do next. Anyone want to offer me a job?

I won’t pretend I enjoyed university, and I don’t think I’ll miss it. Many people say the student days are the best days of their lives. The idea that the rest of life is even worse than this is something I’m trying to avoid thinking about.


  1. Those hand dryers are great, although I can’t help but think that I’m putting my hands inside a hoover.

    Sure I’ve said it before, but sorry that uni wasn’t such a great time for you. I think living away from home and gaining your own independence is a big part of it – which you obviously didn’t experience. Then again, when I was a student we got grants (THOSE BLOODY TORIES TOOK FUNDING AWAY 😉 ) and life was a bit easier.

    Living on your own/away from your parents is really hard work, financially, but the rewards to your self esteem are huge. I just can’t recommend it enough. Hopefully you’ll find a great job, earn loads of money and enjoy your working life whilst the rest of us moan and groan about still paying our student debts at 35….

  2. well done on finishing! As for whats next, if you get a 9-5 job, the loss of lie ins are the bit that stings first….

    finest hand dryers are surely the xlerators ( You can hear them across a noisy bar and they push out the air so hard that the skin on your hands (which you thought was young and taut) flaps about like nobodys business.

  3. I’ve sadly never experienced Xlerators, but “It’s time to thrown in the towel” must be the best slogan ever. I bet all the other hand dryer manufacturers were fuming that they didn’t come up with it first!

  4. I’ll add my congratulations! 🙂
    I first came across the dyson hand dryers in John Lewis, but I have to agree with Sara, the Xlerators have to be used to be believed – it was actually slightly worrying when I first saw my skin rippling like that!

  5. Best hand dryers? Heathrow Terminal 5 – Club Lounge. They made me feel like I’d had a massage… And I didn’t lose my bag!

    Congratulations on finishing Uni!

  6. I’ve seen other friends blog about the dyson hand-dryers! And I spotted them in the wild too – I can’t remember for certain but I’m sure it was at Manchester Picadilly train station – which also costs 30p! – so maybe they’ve won some contract to be installed in train station loos or something!

    Congrats on finishing Uni.