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I had a professional exam to take after a period of, well I’d like to call it “intensive study” but it would probably be better to call it “not being bothered” over the summer. The exam in question was ISACA‘s CISM exam. ISACA does its exams by paper, and therefore has to do them in fixed (and quite infrequent) formal sittings. The closest one for me was being held at London Metropolitan University in Islington, quite close to the Emirates Stadium. It was a Saturday and I had to be there for about 8 am. And I had a cold. In fact, I had a bad cold. I nearly didn’t go.

The exam consisted of a couple of hundred fairly abstract questions, a time limit of 4 hours, and a definite limit to the number of pencils you could have on the desk. I’m not sure whether I irritated everyone else by constantly snuffling during the exam, but nobody said anything, and before you could say “smoke me a kipper” I was all done. Technically, I did my usual of having a first sweep to do all the easy ones, then returning to think about the others, and then finally just guessing anywhere the thinking wasn’t working. This time around I only guessed about 10, so not too bad.

When I’d finished it was solidly “lunchtime”, so I made a quick hop back to Euston to meet up with the ladies of the house, and we sat outside in the sunshine deciding what to do whilst munching on some sandwiches and posh coffee.

I wanted fresh air, having been cooped up like a battery hen all morning, and Kas fancied going over to Greenwich, seeing as she’s previously only been there for the London Marathon, so that was enough opinion to call it “a plan”. We got there by taking the tube to Bank and jumping on the DLR down to Cutty Sark. We mooched about here for a bit before going into the shop and deciding it was an expensive visit for the 30 minutes or so that the girls might be interested in it. They were interested in some ice cream though, so we got some and decided to go for a walk up to the Greenwich Observatory. There’s a very fine viewing platform which gives a great view out over the Canary Wharf developments. There’s also a little memorial to the Prime Meridian – the line of zero longitude. There’s a virtual geocache here that gets you to measure the distance between the Greenwich Meridian and the current line of zero longitude as per the WGS84 datum. The Observatory is no longer on the zero line.

The viewing platform proved to be quite good for taking selfies.

After we’d done up there we walked down through the Royal Naval College and past a massive ship in a bottle.

We’d all had enough by then. I certainly had, because I’d been up since about 5 am, so we gave up and went home.

I found out a few weeks later that not only had I passed the exam, but I’d scored within the top 15% of people taking the exam on that particular day, so I was quite pleased, especially given my lack of preparation.