Out and Back

So here I am, back home in Maynooth, after a very enjoyable day and a bit in London during which I learnt a huge amount and met so many lovely people. If only all science conferences were so much fun!

Incidentally, next year’s LGBT+ STEMinar will take place in Birmingham (2020), and the one after that in Oxford (2021). I’m told the first such event had about 40 participants but it’s now struggling to find big enough venues. The attendance at this year’s event was strictly limited by the capacity of the lecture room in the new IOP building. Hopefully the next will have a bigger theatre to enable even more people to come.

As well as being my first LGBT+ STEMinar this was also the first time I’ve ever flown on Aer Lingus. I was quite impressed, with flights in both directions being ahead of schedule. In fact I got back in such good time yesterday afternoon that I was able to get a much earlier bus than I had thought possible and found myself at home well before 7pm.

This trip gave me the chance for the first time to use the newer and swankier Terminal 2 in Dublin, which is a lot comfier than Terminal 1 (from which FlyBe and other budget airlines operate). It was Terminal 2 at Heathrow too, which is where I had awful problems with Eurowings earlier this year, but there were no problems this time. Both Dublin and Heathrow airports were very quiet. There is probably a post-Christmas lull in air travel at this time of year.

I did quite a lot of walking around London on Friday and Saturday, including walking to the Athenaeum from King’s Cross for the RAS Club. It’s hard to believe I lived in London for quite a long time (1990-98) as I am obviously a total stranger there now. I did however recognise the wonderfully cosmopolitan vibe as I walked through the West End towards Piccadilly. I was almost late for dinner as there were so many people about it was sometimes hard to make progress through the crowds. I’m also, of course, not as fast a walker as I used to be…

Anyway now that I’m back the main job for the next day or two is going to be marking examinations, no doubt preceded by numerous displacement activities..

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2 Responses to “Out and Back”

  1. Anton Garrett Says:

    Airlines schedule longer for flights than 15 years ago and it is partly to fly a bit slower and save fuel (this reasoning cannot be extrapolated indefinitely) and partly to reduce the probability of having to pay compensation when a delay exceeds a legally set threshold.

    • telescoper Says:

      Yes, the window for Dublin to Heathrow was about 90 minutes but the flying time was only about an hour. Notably unusual was the complete lack of air traffic delays at Heathrow.

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