Early February madness

I have commented in previous posts about everything that’s going on at the moment for me in terms of work, including preparation of new lecture material, revision of our final year courses, etc. But the last 3 days have been particularly busy, even hectic, and I thought I should describe them here.

On Thursday (6 February) I travelled to Hannover for a research meeting. This was a relatively simple trip, involving a bus to Crewe, a train to Manchester Airport, and a very convenient flight (with FlyBe) to Hannover. On arrival I was met by my host, who took me to my hotel, and later we had some preliminary discussions over a beer in a local bar.

On Friday I went to the Institute of Mineralogy at the University of Hannover, where I met in person the PhD student I’ve been helping via email for just over a year. She summarised what she had done recently, and we discussed possible future research directions for her. I was then scheduled to give a talk, which I did, and I’m pleased to say that it went well. This was followed by lunch, and in the afternoon I was involved in further research discussions with my host and some other researchers (from the University of Bonn). Hopefully this will lead to something fruitful in collaboration terms in the future! The meeting lasted until the late afternoon, when I returned to the airport, in time for my flight back to Manchester.

In planning this trip, I was happy to take the flights from Manchester; they were direct, and the airport is far more convenient than Heathrow or Gatwick! The only problem was that I would arrive back in Manchester too late to take a train home. So I booked a hotel, with a view to taking the first train home in the morning.

That takes me neatly to Saturday morning, 8th February. I got up at 5:00 am, and took the 6:05 train from Manchester Airport to Crewe as planned. On arrival I had a short wait for a bus to Keele, and I got home at just after 7:30 am. This gave me time for breakfast before setting out again, this time by car, to drive to Middlewich High School for a workshop on Borodin’s 2nd symphony, which one of my orchestras is performing at a concert in March. This lasted all day, and was hard work but good fun; I was wilting somewhat by the end through tiredness, but I’m glad I went.

So now, as I write this, I feel I haven’t stopped since Thursday, and that a good rest will be needed on Sunday. Next week sees my first lecture and problem class on X-ray diffraction, with a research funding trip in the middle of the week, so I had better be ready for these!


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