Thursday, 27 December 2007

have escaped to S. America

I'm taking a short break to write this, as I put together a list of potential reviewers for a bunch of papers that were submitted to the journal recently. I should instead be enjoying the view of the River Plate as I wait in Buenos Aires to board a plane to Patagonia. I feel like I'm on the run... glancing over my shoulder lest anyone with a submission to the journal should have noticed that I've gone AWOL, or worse still, followed me here. But no one's hovering around suspiciously, so I think I'm in the clear. That said, and now that I take a look around me, there are an awful lot of suspicious looking people, and an awful lot of people hovering around. But no one that's doing both. Phew.

The flight over was uneventful. I slept until Brazil (a big thank you, again, to the pharmaceutical industry...) and then watched a rubbish thriller (Invasion - a remake of The Bodysnatchers) until Buenos Aires - actually, I watched it all but for the last 15 minutes or so... we landed before I could get past the climactic scene where Nicole Kidman is set upon by a mob... But experience tells me she'll have survived, saved her child, and then the world. I should've watched Shrek 3 instead. So the inflight movie was not exactly a highlight of the trip. Nor was spilling coffee on myself (turbulence, not Nicole Kidman...)

Ok. Enough's enough. Before guilt sets in, I shall get back to the journal... an alien invasion does seem a more attractive prospect all of a sudden...

Friday, 21 December 2007

I'm off...

That's it. I'm done for 2007. I can look forward to Xmas in Oxford, and a Boxing day flight to Argentina. I've done only half the things I'd have liked to have done in 2007, but hey, that's life. There are, undoubtedly, a string of people to whom I should apologize for the things I did not manage to do in 2007, but hopefully I'll make good in 2008.... Although I expect that at the end of 2008 I shall reminisce about the things I did not manage to do in 2008, but which will be made good in 2009... and so it goes on.

A Happy Xmas to you, whoever, and wherever, you are. And an even better 2008.

Friday, 14 December 2007

Falling behind...

Things I've not yet done in the lead up to Xmas:
  • failed to change the mole's status as a still-living organism
  • bought xmas presents for my family and myself (hey - I deserve something)
  • cleared the queues at the journal (am juggling between answering emails, catching papers that have been in the system since the time of the first printing presses, making decisions on papers, sending papers out to review, and managing the transition from one assistant to another)
  • set up the new eye tracker
  • marked exam scripts
  • breathed in and out with a rhythm that is not indicative of rising panic
Things I've done in the lead up to Xmas:
  • worked out the things I've not done in the lead up to Xmas
  • breathed in and out with a rhythm that is indicative of rising panic

Thursday, 6 December 2007

3 metres and closing

That's the distance between the latest molehill and the pond liner.... Have called in the professionals...

Sunday, 2 December 2007

At war with the mole

Have laid traps and sonic repellants. The latter are guaranteed not to work, but they were given to me, and I'm not going to look a gift horse in the mouth. Not sure what a gift horse is, but there you go... Current distance from closest detectable burrow to pond liner - 10 metres. If it gets through the liner, the only satisfaction I shall receive from having to repair it again is the knowledge that the mole will have been engulfed in the burrowing equivalent of a tidal wave...

While mapping the burrows (with a 6ft iron rod that I had for other reasons), I discovered a 'hole' in the garden that goes down about 5 ft. Not sure what's down there. Could be skeletons, or a septic tank, or both. Once the mole's gone to that great burrow in the sky, I shall map out the hole. If it's too big, I may need to open it up and fill it (the lawn is sinking a little where I found it). With hindsight, it would have been useful to find this hole before digging the pond at another spot in the garden. But another hole would be useful - I recall that the Italian post office, many years ago, were over-burdened with postcards that needed delivering. So instead, they buried them (perhaps they burned them, but the idea is the same). Am considering doing the same with all those journal submissions...