If You Go Down To The Park Today

Last weekend I want to a big picnic. The one I was at was pretty big (50+ people we reckon) but was actually one of many all over the country all as part of the Big Picnic event for WAY Widowed and Young.

WAY is an organisation I’ve been a member of since September (there isn’t a post around here to link to at this point; maybe one day there will be), which has led to meeting many friends (including one pretty special one—again, probably need something to link to) who “get it”. We get together and do things. The Big Picnic was a thing designed as a way (get it…) to raise the profile and help those who sadly might need it find the organisation.

So it was that members of at least three local WAY groups descended on Knole Park in Kent. This included members of the south-east London group who weren’t meant to be there; hopefully the lovely sunny weather we had made the organisers of the groups they were meant to be linking up with, who cancelled the central London event (several days earlier) for fear of rain, feel suitably foolish. It was nice to be able to frolic in the Sun, in a nice place, even if I’m not particularly good at large groups. I got to bake cakes, and of course we took the teddy bears (it was a picnic after all!) and there were deer!

So, yes, a good time was had by many people up and down the country. Pictures below:

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Train Departure Timetables

This is a bit of a rant but never mind, just need to get it off my chest. If you close and lock the doors of a train a minute or more before its timetabled departure, then the timetable is wrong, simple as that. I understand the need to get trains away punctually but the point at which I can no longer board the train (or get off it, I suppose) is the point that it has for all practical measures departed. It doesn’t matter if it’s then sat in the station for a minute—I can’t get on, it makes no difference if it’s in the station, down the line or on a different planet. If the timetables don’t work unless this is done they obviously need adjusting. Stop lying to people.

Rant over

He Was Made Of Atoms

Saddened to hear of the death of Heinrich Rohrer. Without Rohrer (and his colleague Gerd Binnig) my PhD would have looked very different, for theirs was the Nobel Prize winning invention of the scanning tunnelling microscope (STM). My thesis has quite a bit of STM work in it (to the point I actually have a page on it). Indeed I had the pleasure (or, at times, frustration!) of working with one of the first Omicron [Google Translation of German Wikipedia page] STM1s (which I seem to recall had the serial number 003 engraved upon it–certainly it was early enough to occasionally cause confusion due to later design changes).

Anyway, strange what memories a little news story can conjure up. It’s not like I spend a lot of time looking at atoms these days but there is nothing quite like seeing the Si 7 × 7 reconstruction appearing before your eyes for the fist time!

Ian’s Ford?—No, Eynsford!

The bridge into the castle

Castle Bridge

The bridge into the castle

I’ve often said that lovely sunny weather is castle weather, and such on a bank holiday Monday doubly so. It’s probably a good job then that this sunny bank holiday Monday gone found a trip to a castle. The castle in question was one I wasn’t particularly familiar with but Heather knows, namely Eynsford Castle. Unsurprisingly, this lies in the little village of Eynsford, a bus (booo) ride and short train journey away.

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All parcels should come with a little packet of free sweeties if you ask me. Kudos

As if I’d have just spent 5 minutes wondering where my dressing gown was, before finding it hanging on the bedroom door hook…