Thursday, June 17, 2010

Off to Dubrovnik

Just waiting for the taxi at 5.30 in the morning after little sleep to head from Hartford to Stanford airport on my way to Croatia and minute now. Bags packed full of papers and books, and possibly a little suncream, and thoroughly looking forward to getting to know a new city before diving into the Black Holes school. During this time I have plenty to do to prepare for a trip to South America next month where I have a half dozen talks already lined up around Argentina and Chile plus a couple more colloquia on Atmospheric Optics to present. This all happens with only a week in between in Santiago (de Compostela) and an immense amount to organise in between, plus the KITPC program I'm arranging looming up quickly. It's these early mornings which give me a few moments to reflect and breath, but for now the taxi is pulling in and I gotta dash...

Sunday, June 13, 2010

the briefest of updates

It has been pointed out by a number of friends that things have come to a grinding halt here for the last couple of weeks. I haven't had a moment to update from the last few days of South Africa, or from Paris or the return to Santiago where I've been getting on with the project started in Cape Town since getting back home. All well and I've been spending days and dreams surrounded by kappa symmetry equations - all good!

This weekend I had a couple of old friends from back home to stay which has been lovely, as always, and somehow we've fitted in a huge amount to the weekend. We took a trip down South to Redondela last night to a music festival where some friends of my good friend, collaborator and current housemate, Alex, were playing. Caspian Hat Dance came on at about 2 in the morning and I've seen such electric reactions from a crowd on only a handfull of occasions - these guys are incredibly talented musicians and play with such a flair and style their klesma/gypsy/folk/rock combo that the whole of the front turned into a giant mosh pit where people were going crazy for the whole performance. Apart from being bounced around like a pin-ball and waltzed through the crowd by a bearded, long haired stranger (one of life's more surreal moments) I jumped and sweated to the music and had a fantastic time getting lost in the atmosphere. The group is coming to Santiago this evening and will play in Casa Das Crechas before descending on my flat where we will have a full house of seven tonight.

The next couple of days I have to finish off a few calculations before handing over to my collaborators as I fly to England Wednesday and then Croatia Thursday on my way to a summer school in Trpanj on Black hole physics. I'll have a couple of days in Dubrovnik first and am thoroughly looking forward to exploring this old city and getting in some good photography while I'm at it.

So, for now I leave you with these scant relics of the last couple of weeks but will see if there's any time for something more substantial before getting lost in the Balkans.