Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Football, bacon and a 7:30 start

A mixture of the Hamiltonian Academics and
the last team to beat us.  I'm the tallest one.
Well, it's been a year since the last departmental football tournament, and today was the day when teams from around the physics department contested the Al-Khalili challenge cup, named after the original organiser of the tournament, and renowned Leeds United fan Jim Al-Khalili.

I turned up a bit later than I might usually do, thanks to attending a committee meeting for the local UCU branch.  As usual, as someone who doesn't normally do enough exercise that looks much like playing football (though I do walk a lot, run a bit (but at a steady slow pace) and swim a bit) I got quite tired quite quickly, and soon moved to my usual position of playing in goal.  I can't remember exactly how many goals I let in, in the 3 halves I played in goal, but there were a few.  I did make some saves that I was reasonably proud of, though.

My day started much much earlier.  This morning, from 7:30 to 9:30 I had agreed to chair a "IoP business forum" event, organised by the Institute of Physics, and held at the Surrey Research Park, a Univeristy-owned business park adjacent to campus.  It was a good opportunity to wear a suit, though it did involve getting up early.  I don't particularly mind doing that, though the same thing happens as usually does when I set my alarm extra early - I don't really sleep properly and keep waking just in case it's really time to get up.  Of course it's not, and I set my alarm perfectly competently.  Then I dream I've missed the session, because I was having breakfast in one room, and was too polite to leave midway through a conversation to go and chair the session in the other room.  Oh the perils of being English.  In the dream I even ate the bacon roll that was provided for breakfast, though I don't eat meat in real life.  Well... of course I made the event just fine, and though the (internal) room was suffused with the odour of bacon and sausage sandwiches, I didn't eat any of them.

It was a pretty interesting event, even though it was all about funding opportunities for businesses, so not really relevant to me.  It was essentially about how to take taxpayer money and give it to private enterprise, which is of course what governments are for.  I'm not sure I chaired it desperately well, but the people who came seemed to engage with it, and it was interesting for me to see another side of life.  I always enjoy visiting companies when I go and see students on placement for some of the same reasons.  Then I enjoy going back to the university.