Friday, January 22, 2010

negligible friction in the time direction - no slowing down!

A Flamenco concert on Monday night was a wonderful surprise. Having seen an opera, styled in Flamenco in London last year I was a little put off by the florridity of it all, impressive though it had been. These regular concerts which take place in a tiny bar in Santiago every couple of weeks are intimate and powerful, with none of the waving of polka dot skirts and machismo which I'd always connected with Flamenco. The concert was a simple performance by a female singer, a guitarist and a drummer, playing songs about love and loss with far more emotion than I could take from the large scale, touristified version in London. A great way to start the week and I'll be back in the future.

Wednesday saw my first attempts to make home made tofu, turning it eventually into mapo dofu. Cooking for a friend from Sichuan meant that the pressure was on, but though the texture wasn't quite right and the flavours weren't strong enough, I didn't feel too embarrased by the attempt. Again, a repeat attempt will happen soon enough.  Chicken marinated in home made kimchi paste, Korean kochujan and soy was a big success!

Thursday night saw a return to the climbing wall after a five year absence and while my mind knew exactly what to do, my body was having none of it and I became tired and frustrated at an embarrassingly early stage. A little meditation on the evening has left me feeling more positive and I can see already the areas that I need to concentrate on to get back into climbing shape.

Work-wise the week has seen the proofreading of a major review paper by one of my colleagues which should be out soon enough, the beginnings of a couple of projects on flavour backreaction (though I'm forced, in professional circumstances to call it "flavor" - yeuch!) and some really exciting work on bubbling geometries - a subject which I'm new to, but frankly it's about time I tackled something a little out of my field of 'expertise'.

Tomorrow I head off on the train, papers in hand, to go to Asturias - a mere three and a half hours by car but a mammoth 8 hours by train. I'll be taking the train along the scenic route which takes you along the Northern coast of Galicia and Asturias and I'm looking forward to that a great deal. I'll be heading to see my sometimes flatmate who spends half of her time studying in Asturias while she's not in Santiago, or Romania, or Paris.

Speaking of which, exciting plans are afoot for an Easter vacation of distinctly exotic proportions. Tickets are pending.

Right, I gotta review some basics before I give an introduction to modern physics to a friend tomorrow who devours such discussions with gusto along with some of the most perceptive questions I've ever heard.

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