Cape Town Connections

Now I’m properly online and reconnected to the blogosphere. The problems I had yesterday turned out to be quite easy to resolve once I spoke to a competent person.

I’m staying here on the delightful campus of the University of Cape Town, where I’m visiting George Ellis and other cosmologists here with a view to setting up a collaborative project with them. The last time I was here was in 1995, and I came here to put the finishing touches to a book George and I wrote. At that time I don’t think there was much of an internet connection at all, so I had no distractions from the task in hand. Except, that is, for the Rugby World Cup which took place in South Africa at the same time. Which was not, if I’m being honest, a coincidence. I even managed to get a ticket for the semi-final between England and New Zealand which was held just down the road at Newlands and saw Jonah Lomu running amok as England got thrashed. New Zealand went on to lose to hosts South Africa in a tense final and the celebrations afterwards were something I’ll remember for a long time!

That was all during June/July, which is winter time here. Now it’s April. Technically speaking this is autumn, but the weather is sunny and warm although there are stiff breezes and scudding clouds. Not unusually, Table Mountain is wearing a white fluffy crown, as you can see from this picture I took this morning from the base of the stairs leading up towards the Jameson Memorial Hall and, to the right, the Mathematics department at UCT:

I realised yesterday that I’m staying in exactly the same flat (one of five at the UCT residence called Kopano), a short walk down the hill (or a long walk up it) from the guest office they’ve provided. When I started to walk up yesterday morning the memory of the route came back, apart from one or two new buildings which have inconveniently appeared on the way. I’m reassured that I still have some functioning memory cells!

Another connection I have with Cape Town is that my former PhD student Rockhee Sung has a PDRA position here. I’m looking forward to catching up with her again, although she’s not here at the moment owing to here having to sort out some problems with visas, etc.

Anyway, I have to give a talk tomorrow and since I’m going out for dinner tonight I had better prepare it this afternoon.

P.S. My commiserations to those of you back in Blighty who are shivering as the recent warm spell has been decisively ended by a cold snap, complete with snow. It seems I left at exactly the right time!


3 Responses to “Cape Town Connections”

  1. Awesome – I wish I was down there, I would have asked to meet up and show you around, but I’m in Johannesburg (JHB) at the moment. Still, do you know either Neil Olver or Maciek Stanciewicz (?SP) or Bruce Merry? Curious – you sound like you might.

  2. What is your talk on?

    Can you disclose anything about the collaborative project?

  3. […] a long visit in 1995 when I wrote a book with George Ellis. The last time was in 2012; see here. During those visits I was based in the Department of Applied Mathematics, which is on the Upper […]

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