The Week(s) Ahead | In the Dark


Today is a public holiday in Spain, as it is in much of Europe (including France, Germany, The Netherlands and Denmark). The occasion for the day off is Pentecost (or Whitsuntide as it is known in the UK) which, if I understand correctly, is when the Holy Spirit went down on the Apostles. Actually Pentecost (Whit Sunday) was yesterday, exactly 7 weeks after Easter Sunday, which was quite early this year which is why Pentecost Monday (20th May) is earlier than the fixed Bank Holidays used to mark it in the UK (the last Monday in May, 27th, next Monday) and Ireland (the first Monday of June, 3rd, in two weeks’ time). Could I perhaps take all three off?

Today’s holiday notwithstanding, this is going to be a busy week. On Wednesday and Thursday there is to be an event at the European Space Agency coincident with which, on Thursday 23rd May, there will be a significant press event relating to Euclid. I’m not at liberty to say any more at this point, as everything is strictly embargoed until 12 noon CEST on that day, but I have been writing a piece for RTÉ Brainstorm to come out as soon as the embargo is lifted. Hopefully the Communications team at Maynooth University will get involved in the press activity. Watch this space.

Remarkably for me, I filed the RTÉ Brainstorm piece ahead of the deadline but it’s no time to rest on my laurels because I have another paper to finish this week by a different deadline.

And next week will be busy too. I have to make a short trip to not-Barcelona to do a PhD examination in Newcastle upon Tyne and give a lecture in Oxford, where (so I’m told) there is a University of some sort. Then I have to pass through Maynooth to vote in the Local and European Elections before returning to Barcelona. Having another two Whit Monday holidays is looking like a good plan…

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