Monday, January 09, 2006

9 January 2006: Kidnapped

No blogs for a month? And the last one I wrote was about my Grand Unified Conspiracy Theory? Surely I must have spent the last few weeks kidnapped by government agents and held in a secret prison that Condoleezza Rice knows nothing about (honestly) and tortured until I squealed everything I knew.

No, actually it wasn't that. It was Christmas break, which this year didn't involve going to Texas, but instead bringing a little of Texas over here as Gloria and I spent the festive period with my family. A good time, although tinged with a little sadness as Gloria is flying back to DFW tomorrow morning to prepare for the wedding, and I won't see her again until the end of March.

Still, not like there's nothing to do in the meantime. This AKTing lark enters its final calendar year - both for myself and for AKT - and I'm getting busy with final experiments, thesis structures and spinning out a few papers before it all finishes. Add on to the that OPSI stuff, the AKT DTA conference and teaching Java to highly intelligent undergrads (have to be polite, some of them read this stuff), and it's going to be busy. Not to mention running the marathon.

On which note, incidentally, I can confirm I'll be running for the Oasis Trust this year. Kevin somehow managed to get two confirmed places in the race, so he passed one of them on to me, and it seems Oasis are quite happy with that as long as I raise a good bit of dosh for them. The race itself is on Sunday 23rd April (hurrah for St George!), just three days after flying back from honeymoon so hopefully I won't be too out of shape. Training so far has been ok but the challenge of stretching the running from one to four hours is where it gets tough.

Finally, it was sad to hear about the death over the weekend of Tony Banks. Sorry, Lord Stratford. (He was the most un-Lord-like person I've ever seen). A proud, principled Labour man whose roots went back to the GLC and who backed Benn over Kinnock in the early 80's, he was a surprise appointment to the front bench post of Sports Minister in New Labour's 1997 government. He campaigned vigorously against Margaret Thatcher and fox hunting, eventually seeing the end of both. He was only 62 - still with a lot to offer, and somehow it seems quite sad that he never got to see the Olympics played out in his beloved East End, a place where the people genuinely loved him and by whom he'll be sorely missed.

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