Back to Barcelona Again | In the Dark


Back to Barcelona Again | In the Dark

Last night I arrived back in a very rainy Barcelona. Although I got a bit damp on the way back to my flat from the bus stop, the journey was otherwise uneventful. The one thing worthy of note is that although the approach to Barcelona Airport was a little bumpy owing to bad weather, the pilot managed to perform one of the softest of soft landings I’ve ever experienced. It was so well done that there was a spontaneous round of applause from the passengers. Clapping when the plane lands used to be fairly common, but nowadays is a rarity reserved for occasions such as this.

The end of my stint in Barcelona is now in sight so I plan to see the sights I haven’t yet seen, or at least as many of them as I can manage. Next week I have to travel to Rome for the 2024 Euclid Consortium Meeting, at which I’m doing a plenary talk on the first morning. The week after that I have to travel to Valencia to give a seminar, so it will be a busy second half of the month.

Talking of the Euclid Consortium, my term as Chair of the Euclid Consortium Diversity Committee (ECDC) closes at the end of June 2024, at which point I will also be leaving the Committee after 4 years on it. Hopefully I will find a bit more time to do research in the last two months of my sabbatical; I’ve spent about 50% of it so far on ECDC matters, and progress on writing papers has consequently been slower than I’d have liked. I hadn’t anticipated such a big increase in papers submitted to the Open Journal of Astrophysics, either but fortunately I’ve managed to get the most time-consuming aspects of that automated and since that it hasn’t taken up that much of my time.

As it happens, yesterday was the day of the Departmental Examination Board for the Department of Theoretical Physics at Maynooth. I haven’t been teaching this year, so wasn’t involved. I do know quite a few students who will be graduating this summer, though, and am a little sad I won’t be around to congratulate them. I might see some of them at their conferring ceremonies in September though.

And then there’s next academic year to look forward to. What will I be teaching, I wonder? I’m not going to think about that until I have to…

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