I will update the last couple of days of hectic travels, but first I really wanted to put up an advert for a new book, out today, which any fan of photography should get their hands on. I've advertised the work of Toomanytribbles (aka Helen Sotiriadis) on numerous occasions, not just because she's a friend but because I think that her work is really spectacular. We met in China after she found my blog and quizzed me about life in Beijing and it was a pleasure to see her photography go from good to outstanding in a short space of time, helped on by the inspirational architecture and sights around the city.
She's just created a book of some 50 of her best works which can be previewed here.
anyway, if you want your own copy of this lovely work, go here and order one...or several. Mine is in the post.
So, onto more mundane matters...
I caught up with a couple of hours of sleep today after a tiring night. I flew from Vienna to Gatwick and got into London some time after midnight, making way towards Oxford Street where I'd booked myself into a hostel in order to get up as early as possible to the Chinese visa agency (a great company if you haven't got time to go to the embassy yourself) I've been using for the last few years. Normally I stay with friends in London but the timing just wasn't going to work on this occasion. I realised yesterday that I wasn't going to have time to get the passport to the agency and back before I leave for Spain again and so I had to hand it in in person this morning. The snorer in the room in the hostel however scuppered any chances of a good night's sleep and though I drifted off some time around 5 am, getting up before 7 wasn't easy.
Anyway, though tired, it worked out ok so far. I made it to the agency, handed everything over, confirmed all forms and photos and made my way back to Oxford where I've spent today drifting between sleep and work.
Tomorrow morning I'm out of the house before 7am on the way down to Southampton where I'll be speaking with the students of my PhD supervisor about my recent work and theirs and meeting up with old friends in the evening, before racing back to Oxford once more late at night. Then Thursday to London to pick up the visa and Friday to the wedding of one of my best friends. In between all this I'm trying to keep the momentum going on a new calculation which we want to add to a new paper, to come out in the not too distant future.
So, in summary, the normal chaos, and in a few days my penultimate stay in Santiago will begin which I'm looking forward to very much.