For a change, I am taking a holiday this year. So I will be away, and probably not maintaining this blog, for a couple of weeks. A bit of walking in the middle of Wales: what could be better?
I have probably earned this holiday. I have been working hard on preparing material for the new course I am teaching next year. It will be a challenging job, turning more than 300 people straight from school into mathematicians. I’m really looking forward to it. If you are interested in what such a first-semester course might look like, you will be able to watch material appearing week by week on the course web page once the semester starts.
The Olympic Games happen to be on at the moment, but have not affected us very much. Transport for London have done their best to persuade us not to use their services, even going to the lengths of having Boris Johnson’s voice booming out advertising his website every few minutes; people have taken the hint, and it is not uncommon to see a poster saying “This station will be very busy during the Games” on a nearly deserted platform.
I went to meet my daughter at Limehouse after she had been to the fencing last Saturday evening. She was, understandably, a bit worried about walking through the streets of east London alone; but, despite the fact that it was a Saturday evening, I have never seen this part of Stepney so quiet. There was not even anyone driving around. Sitting on the sofa watching the Games on the box, maybe?
A few small changes have brought me a bit closer to the 21st century. I have broadband at home, and was amazed at how well it worked straight out of the box. I got an HDMI to VGA connector for my Ubuntu laptop, and once again it worked straight out of the box. I installed Dropbox but, alas, it was not three times lucky; it doesn’t work at all, the company refuse to help me, and I think I shall have to abandon it (despite the fact that two good friends urged me to try it out).
Since I retire on 30 September (I will be teaching the new course as piecework), I thought it would be good to celebrate with a retirement walk. I am thinking of mid-September, perhaps the weekend 15-16 September. If you wants to join me, you will be most welcome. The tentative plan is to start at Tring station, walk the Ridgeway Path to Wendover, lunch in Wendover (a very good place for eating), then walk back to Tring on the Wendover Arm of the Grand Union Canal. Since Wendover also has a station, this means that there are shorter options: morning walk and lunch, lunch and afternoon walk, or just lunch! You could even arrive in Wendover in time to walk up the Ridgeway and meet the party walking from Tring. More details nearer the time.
Finally, as I mentioned elsewhere, there is now a web page for my LMS-Gresham College lecture next year.
So, back later in August.