02 April 2009


Spent the last week in London at a conference. Travelled over Sunday night and found that I had been booked in to a rather nice hotel on the Strand, very central and significantly nicer than most of the flee pits I usually end up in London. Monday morning I headed to the conference centre to set up my virtual fieldtrip audio visual extravaganza. The conference centre turned out to be right next to the houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey. Found out that I wasn’t able to get in to set up until the afternoon so I head over to the Geol Soc to use the library. Since the weather was nice I opted to walk.

When you visit London it’s normal to spend most of the time travelling about on the tube which is both practical and fairly unpleasant. Travelling underground also makes it very difficult to grasp the relative geography of all these familiar names. Walking was great, I wandered past Westminster Abby and across St James Park up to Buckingham Palace. Then across Green Park to Piccadilly. Later I wandered past the house of parliament and Big Ben which seemed smaller than I remember, but that is probably because I haven’t been there since I was 14. London is an amazing city with so much history and great architecture. No wander the Americans love it.

And on the subject of Americans, Obama was in town at the same time as me. I saw his motorcade whiz past as I walked along Whitehall. He was on his for breakfast with Gordon. I had already eaten so I kept walking.

Wednesday, there are 800 petroleum geologists in a conference centre, right next to the city and all those banks. It seemed like a pretty good target for the 100000 anarchists and climate change protestors who were supposed to descend on London for 1st April. From our perspective the day went off peacefully and we didn’t see a single person with green hair or a dog on a rope. Was subsequently pretty surprised to see all the rioting and fighting with the Police on the news that evening. It makes you realise that you have to treat so much of what you see on the news with a pinch of salt.

Conference was ok, not the best. I was involved with a session doing virtual reality fieldtrips which went pretty well. There were several key guys showing some pretty amazing stuff. Its great to see what everyone else is doing.

Had a few nights out but nothing too big. Caught up with Gary and a few other folk and got to socialise with people from Bergen that I never seem to get to go out with and the beer was cheap and nice.
Now heading back to the big B

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