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April 12th 2011
Published: April 12th 2011
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Hi everyone

It's now our second day in Dublin and we're having a great time. We've hardly visited any pubs (not).

Our flights from Australia were good.On the flight to Singapore, we had extra special treatment from the flight crew. Sheridan who is looking after Cleo is a former flight attendant and pulled a few strings. Tom, the cabin manager brought us port and real champagne from up the front of the plane. How good was that!

From Singapore to Heathrow, we traveled in an A380. That's the aircraft that had all the problems last year. We were pleasantly surprised to have quite a lot more legroom and bigger seats. The in flight entertainment system was touch control and made it easy to find and watch things. Food was pretty much the same though. We were both shattered having arrived 32 hours after we'd left home.

The day we arrived in Dublin the temperature was in the mid 20's so the locals went mad with the shorts and skimpy tops. Lot's of glowing white skin on show. Not that I can talk; my legs are that colour! That all changed yesterday when the temperature was a fresh 12 degrees so it was back to the gloves and hats.

Dublin is so much less prosperous than when we were here in the mid 2000's. The main way you see this is in the cost of food. The prices are lower than they were, making it much economical than it was back then. This morning we took a walk around Merrion Square which is a big garden in the middle of town. There was saw a lovely display of spring flowers. It was a real contrast with the bleak austere architecture of the city.

This is the second day of the conference and I delivered my first paper yesterday. After a shaky start (nerves always grab me) it went well. I received some really positive feedback. Given that I'm submitting my thesis this year, I was really pleased that international academics think that my research is useful. After having worked on my thesis for 5 years now, I'd hate to have gone down the wrong track.
It's really been great to catch up with colleagues and friends from around the world.

Last night we went to a reception at the town hall. It was very grand and included a presentation from the lord mayor. Unlike Copenhagen where the show was run by prohibitionists, there was lots of wine making it a very convivial event. The only blight on the evening was that they ran out of beer. Go figure that happening in Ireland!

Peter's taken himself on a day trip to Killybiggen today. As you would expect, he's visiting a distillery. As well as being at the conference, I have to go shopping today because I left half my clothes behind including pajamas! Luckily we were given a sleeping suit on the plane and that has been pressed into service So I'm off to Marks and Spencer today.

The TV and print media is full of the preparations for the Royal Wedding on 29 April. I saw some souvenirs at Harrods at the airport. I admired the tastefulness and ignored the price tag. Unsurprisingly because of the history with Britain, there are no signs of the impending event. In fact Peter has told me to keep quiet about it! I'm expecting it to be the same in Northern Ireland. So I'll have to hold down the excitement until we hit England in about 10 days time.

That's all from us today in Dublin. pj and jet lagged Sandy

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12th April 2011

good luck with the next paper
It's good to read that all is going well in Dublin. I hope you are having good fun ;-) I'm glad to hear that your thesis topic is still interesting to others, hahaha, that means mine is still worth something as well :-P Best of luck with the next paper and the panel, and give my regards to all I know over there. Cheers, Robbie
17th April 2011

reds win against bulls
Peter and Sandy, Peter should just get an annual pass to the distilleries as he is very keen. Your trip sounds fantastic. Saw Reds beat Bulls on Sat night. The reds were very quick and tired out the bulls forwards, but they let 3 tries in - one embarrassing one from the kick-off (if you saw the replay). Next sat the reds play NSW at Lang Park. I will be there. Happy holidays and conference paper giving Cheers Greg

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