O.K. It’s been a while since I last posted, but I do have a good excuse. I’ve been on the road with my family for the past 5 weeks, and have just settled in London. I’m here because I am about to start a half year sabbatical, and to give you a sense of where I’m working, here are a few picture hints (note that it’s not, as my Son thought for a while, Hogwarts).
Here’s the “foyer” (img link):
Here are a few of my “office” buddies, just down the hall (well, several halls actually). (img link)
And it’s also a place where I can have a chat with Charles Darwin himself (he’s in the white chair). (img link)
In case you haven’t guess the answer yet, I’m doing a sabbatical at London’s Natural History Museum. Right now, I’m meeting all sorts of people to see if there are projects I can help out with, as well as dabble a little in my own biodiversity project brought from home (the PHYLO project). I’m also in a “writing” kind of mood, so am looking for ideas (let me know if you have any worth following up on – especially if it relates to biodiversity).
Anyway, even though I’ve just started, my family and I have already been in the UK for about 3 weeks traveling and taking in the sights of various cities. From these travels (which included places like Bath, Stratford Upon Avon, Canterbury, Snowdon), I’ve noted a few things and here is a short list of things observed.
1. That there are a lot of churches and cathedrals in England. Some interesting questions from my kids have arisen from this fact. Such as when Hannah saw a crucifix and asked: “What is the matter with THAT guy?”
2. That there is no unfunny way for a Canadian to say “Swift ‘Alf” with a British accent (a swift half is half a pint).
3. Cheddar cheese is WAY better here.
4. But not on everything. Case in point – a packet of ramen noodles actually had this suggest serving tip. “When noodles are cooked, place on toast, add grated cheese and chunks of ham, then grill until it is gooey delicious.” (Truly, I am at a lost for words).
5. Them English folk drive fast. Plus, when you’re on those tiny country roads with 6 to 7 foot hedges all around, the experience is not unlike the bike scene from Star Wars Return of the Jedi.
6. With a B&B visitation schedule that involved 6 out of 7 straight days, I can say with certainty, that it will be a long time before I can even look at an English Breakfast. Even thinking about it is making me gag a little.
7. People look at me funny when I bring my own mug to the coffee shop. But on the bright side, people don’t look at me funny when I add a ton of sugar (I like my coffee sweet).
8. And finally: I’m working on a hypothesis that when a Canadian Scienceblogger moves to England, a significant chunk of scienceblogs self implodes. Probably just correlative, but you never know (still not sure what has transpired, but will probably be catching up over the next few weeks).