Archive for crows

Cardiff Bound

Posted in Biographical, Cardiff, Maynooth with tags , , , on April 21, 2018 by telescoper

Just time for a quick post using the airport WIFI to fill some time before my flight leaves from Dublin Airport. Once again on a Saturday morning I was up at 5am to get the 6am bus here from Maynooth. The journey back to Cardiff is far from arduous, but I won’t be sorry when I won’t have to do it every week. Fortunately, term is coming to an end and after teaching finishes I won’t be dictated to by the timetables of Cardiff and Maynooth Universities. And after July I won’t have to do the trip at all!

This morning a large group – I believe the correct collective noun is a murder – of crows gathered to give the bus a sendoff. I did think of Hitchcock’s The Birds but the birds in this case were more interested in rummaging through the rubbish bin than attacking any of us waiting for the bus. Incidentally, it was the anniversary of Daphne Du Maurier’s death on 19th April; she wrote the short story on which that film was based.

Anyway, it’s a lovely sunny morning. Yesterday was a nice day too, both in terms of weather and other things. In the afternoon there was a staff barbecue and an awards ceremony at Maynooth University. There was a big crowd already there when I arrived, a bit late because I’d been at a seminar. Standing at the back I couldn’t really hear the speeches. I didn’t win any awards, of course, but I did get a glass of wine and a beefburger.

On my way home I bumped into the President, Philip Nolan, who is the equivalent of a Vice-Chancellor. To my surprise he mentioned a point I had raised in a recent Faculty meeting about the possibility of Maynooth signing up to the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA). To my even greater surprise he went on to say that this was going to be in the University’s strategic plan. Good news!

Anyway, I’d better make my way to the gate.  Have a nice day!


Let’s talk about the Black Bird..

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on September 8, 2013 by telescoper

I’m writing this using my Blackberry as the train I’m on trundles towards London. Since it’s standing room only (as usual on First Great Western) I thought I’d just pass a little time rambling on about birds.

I took this picture the other day. The bird – a jackdaw? – is one of a pair who joined me for lunch but suddenly became camera shy when I got my phone out to take a picture. As you can see, I didn’t get very close.

I don’t know much about birds, but these are regular visitors to my place of work and I find them very amusing company. I love the way they strut about like officious constables when inspecting their surroundings for morsels of food. When in a hurry they bounce along like small boys do when they pretend to ride an imaginary horse. All members of the crow family, including magpies and jays, seem to share this peculiar style of getting about on the ground.

Anyway, whatever this bird was, at least it wasn’t a seagull. They’re rarely amusing, and often downright vicious. And it’s clearly not a falcon either, let alone a Maltese one…