The week we were away for three weeks, part I

   A quick photo from Milan’s World Expo, where the theme is ‘Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life’. A place full of architecture, selfie sticks, tired feet and blatant avoidance of the complex issue of feeding the world sustainably in the future. In the background, the Qatar pavillion. The foreground, the equally sized pavillion forContinue reading “The week we were away for three weeks, part I”

The week the paper was published

“Dear Dr Ashcroft, I am pleased to inform you that your paper has been accepted for publication.” Huzzah! Is there any sweeter sentence in the scientific world?! Maybe “the results are significant at the 99.9% confidence level (p<0.01)”.  But the opening line from this email I recently received is definitely up there. The accepted paper isContinue reading “The week the paper was published”

The week of Renaixement

The first sign was the flags. Blue and yellow, red and white, on street corners all around the old quarter. Next, they were on the bridge, and the main street. After that, deep red velvet banners were drawn along the balconies of our little Carrer. The following morning we awoke to sails draped across plazas.Continue reading “The week of Renaixement”

The week of Benicàssim

Tuesday last week Before we left Australia, a friend of a friend squealed when I told her we were moving to the south of Catalonia. ‘Oh, near Tarragona? You really should to go to Benicàssim!’ FIB, Festival Internacional de Benicàssim, is a music festival in the coastal town of, you guessed it, Benicàssim, about anContinue reading “The week of Benicàssim”

The week it was still hot

Last week was hot. And this week…still hot. Our old bedroom is now the Bed Frame Room, as the mattress permanently lives in the living room under the fan. Use of the oven is forbidden. I’m on a four-day ice-cream streak. And our clothes are drying in about 90 minutes on the line. So we take to theContinue reading “The week it was still hot”

The week it was hot

And continued to be hot. And still is hot. Wearing bathers around the house, sleeping in the living room under the fan, covering windows with wet towels, giving up on the balcony plants, staying at work until late because that’s where the AC is, eating watermelon for dinner kind of hot. A heatwave is currentlyContinue reading “The week it was hot”

The week of Sant Joan

This week brought with it a delightful mid-week fiesta, the day of Sant Joan. The Catalan holiday combines a celebration for the summer solstice with a day commemorating the birth of Saint John the Baptist. If you are a boy lucky enough to be called Joan, then June 24 is your name day — like a second birthday, complete with gifts,Continue reading “The week of Sant Joan”

The week I wrote about science instead

One of the reasons I started this blog was to share my experiences of living and working in Spain, hoping to fill the gap that I discovered when frantically Googling ‘how to live in Spain as an Australian’ before we left home. I enjoy sharing what we see, what we eat, and where we discoverContinue reading “The week I wrote about science instead”

The week of the flies

The amount of aerial wildlife is one of the lovely things about living in Tortosa, a regional town so close to the Delta Ebro wildlife reserve. I’m not saying I’m a twitcher, but in the immortal words of The Eels, I like…birds. Pigeons, sparrows and swallows are ubiquitous of course, occupying the nooks and cranniesContinue reading “The week of the flies”

The week of translation

This past week C3 had the honour of being published in the local newspaper. A half-page spread on who we are and what we do. It’s the start of a regular column for researchers at the university and for our group it was a great, if complicated opportunity for some science communication. Why complicated? Well,Continue reading “The week of translation”