New Year Honours List

Unlike the rest of my friends list, I’m not (primarily) going to be posting about Terry’s knighthood (although that is nonetheless very good news). Instead, I’m posting about Wendy Hall, my former PhD supervisor, who has been made a Dame in the New Years Honours list. Jolly good news, and much deserved.

Dear Undergraduates…

Dear Undergraduates, It has come to my attention that many of you have chosen to celebrate the coming of autumn by donning unattractively formless sheepskin boots of the Ugg variety and shuffling around campus like a horde of denim-clad zombies. Perhaps you failed to read my previous missive on this subject? While I understand the need to keep one’s feet warm, might I suggest that your precious Uggs would last longer if a) you lifted your feet clear of the ground when moving your legs forward and b) you left the boots at home and wore some more sensible (and… Read More »Dear Undergraduates…

Random thoughts

In lieu of a proper post, some observations. Signs of Spring on Campus The campus is full of first-year geographers with theodolites (regular as clockwork, Thursdays in the second half of February every year). The area between the Staff Club, the Law building and the stream must be the most-surveyed part of Southampton (no mean feat, considering we’re the home of the Ordnance Survey). Students’ Union elections are upon us. Again. I amuse myself by playing spot-the-crypto-Nu-Labourite, and seeing if they’re at all distinguishable from the crypto-Young Tories. Sadly, the candidates are what you’d expect from a generation that were… Read More »Random thoughts

Destroy All Undergraduates! [1]

Dear undergraduates on the U1A bus to Wessex Lane, I couldn’t help but overhear your braying conversation at the bus stop and on the bus. Thank you for subjecting me to it. Lest you continue to behave like over-privileged, slack-witted Sloanes, may I offer the following observations: I’m glad that you found common ground in the fact that you both live in London near Victoria Line stations. It’s such a coincidence that one of you lives near Highbury and Islington, and the other lives near Walthamstow – there can be only 400,000 other people that could say the same. Alfred… Read More »Destroy All Undergraduates! [1]

Work as normal / A day at the zoo / Birthday redux

Things are starting to settle down here in ECS. This morning, we were allowed back into our offices in Zepler, so I’ve been able to commune with my books again. My umbrella plant is beyond saving, however. I’ve donated my meeting table to one of the secretaries from Mountbatten who is being rehoused in Zepler, and a bunch of my shelves (most of which are empty) to a professor from Mountbatten who is moving the contents of his old office into the rather smaller office next door to mine. We’re only allowed into the building during business hours (0845-1730), which… Read More »Work as normal / A day at the zoo / Birthday redux

Fire aftermath

Well, it’s Thursday, and I’m still working from home. The reoccupation of Zepler (the building I work in) has been put off until next week at the earliest – we’ve been told that there is no firm date. The salvage contractors are in Mountbatten, and staff based there have been told that they’ll be able to give directions to the contractors in order to retrieve up to one plastic crate of belongings each. Given the book collections of some of the professorial staff from IAM in Mountbatten, this is likely to be a difficult choice. For up-to-date news, there’s a… Read More »Fire aftermath

ECS Fire

Big all-hands meeting this morning, with senior University management in attendance (vice-chancellor and registrar). The upshot is that the clean rooms are completely destroyed, and that the top two floors of Mountbatten are badly damaged. The fire spread downwind from the clean rooms to the upper floors of Mountbatten (which is a separate building). The comms group on Mountbatten level four have probably lost almost everything, though the damage is less severe on the north side of the building (facing away from the clean rooms) and towards the Zepler bridge at the east of the building. Mountbatten level three has… Read More »ECS Fire