Friday 1st December 2017, 4.05pm (day 2,290)
The Sam(uel) Alex(ander) Building is the one next to mine at work. Sun setting when leaving work already — but there’s still three weeks for the nights to get longer yet.
For a birthday present for father and nephew (both Manchester City fans) I got them tickets for tonight’s UEFA Champions League game versus Feyenoord at the Etihad stadium, and went along myself.
It was a stellar exhibition of football genius and entertainment, as befits the most exciting sports competition anywhere in the universe, played by Gods who walk the earth in human form. At least, that was the media narrative. Personally I thought it was a rather tedious game, played out by a bunch of uninterested guys who knew it was essentially meaningless and that they’d get their £250,000 each this week whatever the result. And you couldn’t even get a beer at half-time.
Venue for our conference, which ended today, Cober Hill was built as a private house by some rich Victorian nob, but in 1920 was bought by the Rowntree Foundation and has been a venue for educational, residential courses and conferences ever since. And a fine venue it was, too. Why can’t more conferences be held in some nice house out in the country somewhere? Far more inspirational than some pokey rooms up on the third floor of some anonymous campus building somewhere. Good move on behalf of the organisers if you ask me.
And lo, in this very telephone box on the edge of the village of Bampton, Cumbria, Richard E Grant screamed his lines, “No, I’m not in London! Penrith….. PENRITH!” and ever since, mildly sad Withnail and I aficionados (like Joe and I) have visited to pay homage and write our names in a little visitor’s book inside. Well, it’s a beautiful part of the country too, and worth visiting.
Today, 10th October 2017, is the 26th anniversary of my coming to Yorkshire to stay for a short while, and never leaving. But here’s a picture from my workplace in Lancashire: a better attempt than the rather boring shot from last week I think.
I have never noticed before taking this picture what a masterly piece of architecture the National Graphene Institute is. The crane you see in this picture is not a reflection. In fact, it stands behind the building, which is therefore translucent in its upper portion. Graphene was discovered by Andre Geim here at Manchester by how it adhered to pieces of sticky tape used to clean graphite, and look — here are those pieces, lined up, black, translucent — just like graphene. It’s brilliant, actually.
2,222 days is a good number. Here’s a shot featuring another good number, one I invoked right back on day one of this blog. As I’ve never changed the (domain) name, ‘Being 42’ this blog remains, despite its title being six years out of date. And to mark day 2,222 here’s the gravestone memorial to the man who publicised the notion that 42 is the answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe and Everything, the author Douglas Adams (died aged 49…), in Highgate cemetery. A very fine spot that I had not visited before; bringing to an end a fine 24 hours in London.
Once again, not an exciting shot, but Thursday was not an exciting day. Indeed, so uneventful was it that this is in fact a mild curiosity, a shot taken just after midnight on what therefore still amounts to the day before. Still counts though, making this the second-earliest shot ever on the blog: only the one in Bergen on 27/9/14 (12.10am) beats it.
My third and last full day at Purdue. With both the previous pictures having been taken indoors I thought it was time to get out into the continuing sunshine. This is an old campus but very few of the buildings on it are particularly old, it seems to have been completely rebuilt: the bell tower looks old but was only constructed in the 1990s. It’s been a good trip to the US in various ways but I am very tired and now it’s time to go home.