Thursday, June 09, 2011

Paris, Brussels, and around

I feel a sudden urge to get back to the blog, which has been in hiding for longer than I care to calculate. Not having internet at home is the primary cause of the silence, plus the fact that the relatively sedentary lifestyle of Munich doesn't much inspire blogging at the moment. The odd street fair here and there, a particularly nice walk in the English garden, a trip to one of the surrounding lakes have punctuated the last few weeks, plus a very pleasant trip to Salzburg a few days ago made for a good, relaxing day, but none of these deserve an expansive post. I have a friend who has been staying here for the last couple of weeks, and because said friend enjoys good food (no euphemism intended) but not necessarily the actual process of cooking, I've been in full culinary mode in the evenings and have a couple of great new recipes to put up here soon. A Thai green curry recipe in particular takes some serious preparation but is infinitely better than anything I've produced before - I'll have to ask permission from the source of the recipe before divulging here, but this was stage two, after some dry-frying:
The last true travel adventures took me to Paris and Brussels a couple of weeks back. In Paris I gave a talk at the Institut Henri Poincare on my last paper and chatted to a few old friends about possible new projects, while eating as much steak tartare as I thought was advisable (ok, maybe a little more than was advisable) and sampling a good number of new Paris hangouts. Chez Denise, near pont neuf was a new restaurant for me, but one that I can highly recommend - the lambs kidneys were superb.

I got a few pictures with a new perspective on an old favourite here, but wasn't quite in the mood for intrusive street photography which Paris is generally so great for.
Eiffel tower 2
Eiffel Tower 3
Eiffel tower 5

From Paris I went to Brussels, which in itself was a rather strange experience. Having lived in Brussels in 1989, I hadn't been back in over two decades, and my memories from the age of 9 were pretty faded. I remembered very little of the city, apart from the Grand Place, which was certainly less Grand than I'd seen from my slightly lower perspective, but the food I did remember, and the steak au poivre brought back floods of memories and pangs of nostalgia from an age where my visions are now mixtures of confusion, change and some not inconsiderable growing pains.

The conference itself was one of the best I've been to for a while, and the highlights from Shiraz Minwalla, Yuji Tachikawa and Jonathan Heckman made the trip well worthwhile.

From Brussels I took the train back to Munich where I've been for the last two weeks, and will be for the next two, until I head back to Southampton to complete a paper with collaborators there. Hopefully in the mean time I should have a new paper out with the team from Munich which has been in the pipeline for the last couple of months and has caused all manner of numerical headaches in the process. This'll be a good one to let loose.

Anyway, for now I'm waiting for a friend and collaborator who is visiting to go for a beer where we need to catch up on a number of physics threads before he disappears off again back to Princeton.

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