Tieless in Gaza

Party at Professor P’s house last night. We were celebrating our three new appointments and bonding and stuff. Three? Well, our REF gamble is going to work, don’t you know. Of course one of those three is what our American chums call “Faculty shuffle” – or perhaps electron-hole jumping in a a semiconductor is a better analogy. Professor H went orff to Imperial; Prof L left Sussex to come here; Professor C left Cardiff to fill the hole in Sussex. Professor WT had already left Cardiff City for Preston North End, so things might get exciting in Wales.

I was a bit late because I had been gulping vino at government expense at the Scottish Parliament, where there was a reception attached to an exhibition about the Large Hadron Collider. (You can see the exhibition on Parliament TV ! Check out the “Partical Physicist”) Earlier in the day, Wommers had I understand been giving the Science and Technology Committee a pitch on how good this stuff is for the Scottish Economy. He also gave a wee speech at the reception of course, but was correctly upstaged by the (late) appearance of Peter Higgs. Yesterday I referred to Peter as being “quarter house trained” but really should have explained that Peter has  got it just right. He allows himself to be paraded around and lionised wherever this is good for science, but never loses his shyness, modesty and general nice guyness. In his speech he basically told us to be proud of the engineers who built the LHC. He did also apologise for all the work that “we theoreticians” had put them too. Wommers picked up on this but added that he wasn’t so sure about “who-ever invented supersymmetry”.

More than one person raised an eyebrow at my lack of tie at this august gathering. OK, couldn’t resist the title. Never read Milton, but a big Aldous Huxley fan. Not that I am suggesting that at the reception I was in chains and pulled down the temple and all that. Just got a few sniffy looks.  Later at Professor P’s party, Dr F said that I shouldn’t go thinking of myself as a dangerous radical, otherwise I would have worn a skirt.

13 Responses to Tieless in Gaza

  1. ian smail says:

    with a tie-less you and the blackburn-rovers-version of lurch… it must have been quite a gathering at the “houses of parliament”.

  2. “I shouldn’t go thinking of myself as a dangerous radical, otherwise I would have worn a skirt”

    But surely wearing a skirt in Scotland is more conservative than radical?

    • andyxl says:

      well … (a) ok, lets says a girl-skirt rather than a man-skirt, cos its pretty easy to tell the difference, and (b) I am not supposed to wear a kilt because I am English. Only proper Scots and thick skinned Americans wear kilts.

      • What about Princes Charles and Philip? OK, I suppose that Philip, being the Duke of Edinburgh, is an honourary Scot, presumably inherited by Charles. I haven’t seen William or Harry in a kilt, though, though I have seen a picture of Harry without a kilt.

      • andyxl says:

        Going back to Queen Victoria, the Saxe-Coburgs have always had a romantic soft spot for Scotland, and like playing at being Scottish. Like other non-British people, they are allowed to do this in a way that English people wouldn’t be.

      • andyxl says:

        in other words its not an Edinburgh thing, its a Balmoral grouse shooting get away from it all and pretend to be ordinary kind of thing

      • w says:

        Anyone can wear a kilt – the problem is the tartan. But as you are a member of the University of Edinburgh you are entitled to use their tartan.

  3. martinstuartelvis says:

    ties ARE radical! (where I live)

  4. martinstuartelvis says:

    …and who are your 3 new faculty?

  5. andyxl says:

    Andrew Liddle, Sadegh Khochfar, and Jorge Penarrubia.

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