Note: this post was written by Bob O'H, not GrrlScientist. the author attribution will have to be sorted later
Sorry about the silence over the past couple of weeks. But we were having too much fun in the real world (well, Britain anyway). Whilst we were away, Scientopia had some hosting problems, and moved to another host. Not all the gremlins from the move have been sorted out (some of our archives have temporally disappeared), but we'll get this sorted out soon. MarkCC has gone far beyond the call of duty arranging the move, so we'll let him have a proper holiday first.
The formal reason for this journey was to attend a couple of meetings, ScienceOnline London, and the British Ecological Society's annual meeting in Leeds. The less formal reason was beer, plus a few other things (but not the wifi, obviously). Oh, and a visit to Slough, to meet my brother.
Not my brother
More posts will emerge later about our trip, but for those of you who want a taster, here's a quick summary.
We spent a day in the Guardian's offices, where they launched their science blogging pages, including Grrl's new blog, Punctuated Equilibrium. Whilst there, we discovered something curious: The Guardian has a reputation in the UK for being infested with a large number of typos, so much so that it is affectionately known the The Grauniad. This reputation was well deserved before the rise of modern inventions like word processors (and it also made doing the crossword more interesting). But whilst there we both discovered that we also had more typos in what we wrote. I can only guess that there is something in the air around Guardian Towers that causes this. Is it how their copy-editors keep their jobs?
We also wandered around London a bit, and ended up in a rather nice pub, with this view. I hope some of you can work out what drew us to this particular view (and it wasn't just the beer!).
As a hint, I'll just say that it's the entrance to somewhere Grrl and I would love to go, but would be unable to even if it wasn't fictional.
The real reason to go to London was to attend ScienceOnline London. This was an excuse to meet people
and drink with them (image not shown). Lots has been written already about the meeting – the Twitterfall was amusing, although it was fortunate it was turned off during the final session, as one of the speakers did not prove popular (as a perusal of the #solo10 hashtag will show).
After the meeting we went to Leeds. Our plan had been to travel up there, drop our stuff and then go to York. But we missed the direct train to Leeds, and had to change at York anyway. So we just got off there and spent the day running around anyway. And we went back on Monday as well. Grrl took photos like this:
whilst I preferred subjects like this:
After York, we spent 3 days at the BES meeting in Leeds. This is where I did my undergraduate degree, and I was shocked, shocked I tell you, to see what they had done to the Maths coffee bar. It is now all gentrified and called an Espresso Bar. Ugh.
The meeting itself was great fun – some good talks (especially in the session I was talking in). Grrl also got a couple of books to read. We also discovered that my favourite second-hand bookshop, Bookside, had been demolished. *sniff*
After all that excitement, we returned via the Eurostar (which has worse rolling stock than either the East Coast line to London, or the ICE train from Brussels to Frankfurt). I then spent Saturday running around trying to get our wireless sorted out. No luck, though. Apparently the line is broken somewhere, so an engineer will have to come out and fix it. This is the third time in less than a year that our internet connection has gone down. Not happy. Not happy at all.
Did anything else happen whilst we're away?