In other news, we had Britain's quietest Christmas here, with no Christmas decorations, no cards sent and relatively few received, and a general feeling of unreality lent by the fact that I didn't get back from my last pre-Xmas trip (to Malta) until late on Saturday. I had intended to come back on Friday, but that would have been via Heathrow, and due to the complete inability of British Airways to run anything approaching a 'service', would probably have led to me spending either 12 hours in a coach from LHR to Edinburgh, or a very uncomfortable night on the floor in Heathrow. It seemed, therefore, infinitely more sensible to spend an extra night in Malta, and come back on Saturday direct to Glasgow in a virtually empty Air Malta flight. I did have to pay a bit extra to alter the flight, but given that it meant me giving up my BA segment from Heathrow to Edinburgh, and given that I didn't clutter up LHR on Friday and Saturday, I frankly think BA should have paid me to go on the Air Malta flight. Anyway, it was nearly 20 degrees in Malta, and just as soon as I upload a picture, you will understand my willingness to spend an extra night there, rather than in grey and foggy Edinburgh.
Aside from blogging (when I should have been marking), today has been a day of planning and booking travel. First, to Leicester tomorrow, on the train, to honour the memory of this friend, whom I have known since my days in Exeter in the 1980s. Second, to Montreal in May, for a conference (and a few extra days). And finally back to Malta in July, for another stint of examining. In the latter cases, I will be accompanied by BB. The trip to Montreal will be BB's first venture across the Atlantic, and I fear that it might not be the most relaxing trip I have ever made, as he is a notoriously bad traveller. That is just about tolerable on a short hop to Ireland, or even a slightly longer hop to Croatia via Frankfurt, but across the Atlantic. I fear I may have been less than sensible.
Finally, out of loyalty to my co-resident at the Bond, I should note that BB has another venture. The aptly named Rantorium. I will update my blogroll just as soon as I finish the Giant Kakuro in The Guardian, which was confiscated from me earlier on, in order to give me an incentive to do some blogging. It appears to have worked.