03 January 2011

2010 on Karmasotra

2010 was another busy year. We skied/boarded in Canada and Norway; climbed, biked, canyoned, jeeped and rafted in Utah; dived and wakeboarded in the Madives; hiked, climbed (rock and ice) and kayaked in Norway. And also did some fieldwork in South Africa and Utah. Visited 7 countries, of which only one was new, a lean year on the travel front.

I proposed to Katharine, who said yes and then 4 months later told me she was pregnant. We bought a derelict farm in Stonehaven and found an architect who would help us design our future home. We wait impatiently for that project to get going.

Work wise the year was pretty busy, lots of good stuff achieved in both jobs. 2011 is shaping up to be a very big year for the Company with lots of wells to drill. Up at the University I had another four students complete and published 11 papers. We also got funding (at least the industry part) for the next stage of the VOG project.

Globally BP messed up big time in the Gulf, but everyone seems to have forgotten already because the oil has disappeared. A volcano in Iceland had a minor eruption just to remind us how fragile our 21st centuary lifestyle really is. The global economy was torn apart by a corrupt and immoral financial system, while the people who held it together got the blame. In the UK a fascist party run by a smarmy twat sneaked into power with the help of a backstabbing smarmy twat and they immediately set about dismantling the welfare state and finishing Thatchers evil plan, while students and young people finally got politically motivated. Wikileaks hit the news with a mass of information that everyone already knew or suspected. In the US the right wing gutter press and its associated sewer-life bayed for the execution of Julian Assange, who was then arrested in the UK for not wearing a condom in Sweden. An interesting year indeed...

Meanwhile closer to home, Karmasotra hit 31,000 hits and there were 185 posts. Most of them were crap jokes and movies. But to capture the esence of the year I have copied the first line from every post that included some news - these are reproduced below...


Flew from the UK to Calgary.
Its very cold in Bergen, as it is in most of Europe
This week the joke is the cretinously stupid, sanctimonious, self righteous bastards that “run” Bergen Kommune (town council).
There is a common saying "there is no such thing as friends on powder day".
Stage 2 of the lecture tour of the US, flew across with SAS and ended up with the worst kind of “seat-mate” – middle aged Norwegian male who guzzled has much alcohol as he could get, constantly invaded my space, then fell asleep snoring and farting.
I have spent the last week on the second half of my lecture tour of the US.
The temperature in Bergen is starting to poke its head above freezing during the day but everything is still white.
First trip of the year to Voss on Saturday followed by some cross country skiing (falling over) on Sunday.
Was back in South Africa for a week doing some field work.
Whilst in South Africa I was attacked by a Centipede
Its been an amazing winter in western Norway, very cold for a sustained period of time, which means lots of ice in good condition.
Have been getting more and more interested in different forms of photography recently
I just watched the excellent documentary "Crude" which details the 15 year fight between the indigenous Amazonians of Ecuador and Chevron (Texaco).
Being in a Norwegian city during Easter is very similar to being in the opening scene of Danny Boyles "28 days later", the place is entirely abandoned.
I was very pleased to read in the Norwegian press today that not everyone was on holiday over Easter. Agenda 21 attempted to sink two whaling boats in Lofoten and were successful with one, the "Sophie", which was badly flooded in Svolvær Harbour
Now that Katharine has moved back to the UK there is no long Easter holiday for her!
If you had asked me a week ago where was the "most unlikely place I would be on Friday" then sitting on a cross channel ferry would have been fairly high on the list. But here I am
As a geologist it's pretty exciting to see Earth sciences topping the news, especially when it rates above a general electon in the UK.
Nail biting general election in the UK where all the parties lost, but who was the winner?
Things have been a bit quite for the last month, tumble weed has bouncing through the part of the blogosphere that is karmasotra.
I was involved with convening a conference in Stavanger in the last few days before I left for Utah.
...Bergen - Bradford - Barcelona
Lots of blame being thrown about, most of it at BP, the american people blame BP, Anadarko blame BP, BP blame Transocean, Transocean blame Halliburton etc. Nobody wants to take responsibility so lets look at a few facts.
I have a pathological hatred of hanging around in airports, I think that a large part of the security farce of being there 2 hours before the flight is a marketing ploy to get you to spend money in hideously over priced shops.
We are currently about to bid on a house in Scotland and I have to say, when it comes to house buying systems, the Norwegians are streets ahead.
I have been trying to learn the skills of time lapse photography.
I always figured it is rude to live in a country and not climb it's highest mountain. So last weekend was my birthday and we headed up the the Jotenheim with the goal of walking up Galdhøpiggen which at 2469 m is not only the highest point in Norway but the whole of northern Europe - woooo!
After a fairly shitte start to the summer (the wettest July on record), things suddenly got better on Thursday when the sun came out. So since then I have:
The score has been stable at 1 all for a couple of weeks.
One of the great things about living in high latitudes is the chance to watch the Aurora (Northern lights).
There is already a lot of things going to happen in 2011, getting married, moving to the UK, buying or building a new house, some great projects at the Uni and lots of wells finally getting drilled by the company after 5 years of preparation. So when Katharine told me 2 months ago that she was pregnant I was surprised but pretty relaxed about it.
It was a somewhat interesting weekend.
Karmasotra has just hit a bit of a milestone. When I looked this morning it had just reached 25000 hits - thats quite a lot of people reading crap jokes, rants and the occasional piece of news.
Sandy and Helen tie the knot... on a mountain in a storm
Given that my Wife-to-be and now my child-to-be, live in another country from me it seems logical that I would, at some point in the near future move across the water to Aberdeen.
I have had an ongoing project to fix the garden outside the house for the last 3 years, ever since it was necessary to rip out the old steps and garden to waterproof the basement.
Fairly hectic times at the moment. PhD exam in the UK was tough, with the candidate getting super defensive and rather difficult to handle.
Amazing weather last week, really felt like summer, unfortunately I was stuck in doors working.
Was inspired by a post on Ola's blog with a cool pic and an awesome video, to go out and try some star trails.
A while ago I wrote a post about a guy who had photographed the Sun every ten days for a year. I am a geek in that I have a strong interest in science and technology (amongst other things).
Autumn is definitely here.
Things in Bergen plod along as normal. Winter is coming although there has been some fine Autumn days.
It snowed in October and for a few days last week Bergen was white.
My old school friend Alan came across to visit at the weekend with Megan, his 10 year old daughter.
We are in the Maldives having a nice time...
We had already had two conventional scans of the baby and they had indicated that everything was going ok, all the measurements seem to suggest normal development and the pre-requisite number of arms, legs, fingers toes and heads.
We have had a lot of great trips to a lot of great places: surfing, diving and exploring rain forest in Costa Rica, canyoning, biking and rafting in Utah, big mountain skiing in Canada, surfing and diving in the Caribbean and numerous others.
Its been super cold in Bergen, the temperature hasn't been above freezing for about 3 weeks and more importantly it hasn't been raining.
Julian Assange is a hero for a modern generation.
Hemsedal is a small mountain town in the middle of Norway.
Busy times at the mo, but want to take a very quick moment to wish you all a good holiday.
As the title suggests I spent the festive period travelling around Britain to see family and catch up with old friends.

No comments: