London Calling


Around the time you read this, barring any flight delay agonies, I will have touched down at Heathrow Airport to spend a week in London. It’s the first real vacation that my wife and I have taken, possibly since our honeymoon. Certainly it’s been the first time I’ve been out of the country since my honeymoon and the first time I’ve been to London since Margaret Thatcher was Prime Minister and I was too young to appreciate it properly.

After the last couple of months, I desperately need some R&R, and this will hopefully fill the bill. This trip means a couple of things. First, the blog will go (mostly) into reruns from the old blog for a week, thanks to the post scheduling feature of Movable Type. Believe it or not, there’s still a lot of good stuff (well, at least I think it’s good) that hasn’t made the migration to the new blog and hasn’t gotten so old that no one would want to read it anymore. I think it’ll be really interesting to see how the material holds up after a couple of years or more and what your reaction is to some of it, particularly those who haven’t been here since the beginning (the vast majority of you) and haven’t plumbed the archives. Second, there will be no Your Friday Dose of Woo this Friday or next Friday. I know, I know, you need your fix, and, benevolent blogger that I am, I really tried to come up with something for this Friday at least, but, alas, time ran out before my flight, and I had to make sure I had queued up enough posts to keep the blog going in my absence. In any case, even a box of blinking lights containing the most advanced computer in the known universe. Assuming I’m still doing YFDoW by this time next year and haven’t fried my last neuron delving into such woo, I’ll probably just decide that there will be no editions of YFDoW around the Christmas holidays and for two weeks in the summer when I take my vacation, whenever that may be. Either that, or maybe I’ll do something I swore I’d never do and recruit a guest blogger or two.

Whether I blog or not while I’m gone depends upon time and the mood. I will have my laptop with me, and I will be checking in from time to time to read e-mail and release comments held up for moderation, although I doubt I will check in more than once a day, if that. If something interesting happens and I have time, I’ll blog about it in between repeats. So don’t go away, at least not entirely. Possibly I’ll do some photoblogging, which is something I tend to like to do when I’m on vacation.

So what will I be doing while in London?

Other than a planned side trip to Stonehenge next week, our week is fairly unscripted. To demonstrate my true über-nerdness, however, I do very much want to make a trip to Cardiff one day to visit the Doctor Who Exhibition there and to have my photo taken by the entrance to Torchwood‘s Cardiff headquarters or maybe where the TARDIS was during the episode Boom Town. I may change my mind, however, having seen this little tidbit:

Daleks from around Britain are being called to take part in a record breaking attempt at the Museum of Science and Industry (MoSI). Manchester-based MoSI currently hosts the Doctor Who Up Close exhibition and hopes to attract a record number of Daleks to visit the Museum on 26 August 2007. The Daleks which come to the historic gathering will have the chance to meet the original Dalek designer – Raymond Cusick too. To fulfil the Guinness Book of Records criteria, MoSI must attract 50 or more Daleks – people dressed in costumes which ‘closely resemble a Dalek’.

That’s happening on Sunday!

Of course, we’ll probably do some of the touristy things too, such as visiting the Tower of London and hitting some of London’s famous museums. More fun for me is sometimes just wandering around aimlessly through interesting parts of the city, seeing where my wanderings lead me and what sorts of things are off the beaten path. I’ll also be meeting up with a former postdoc of mine who moved back to London after finishing her work in my lab, and I may manage to meet one of our London-based ScienceBloggers. I doubt I’ll pull a PZ and announce that I’m going to be in some pub or other, the better to meet my adoring public, mainly because I’m not PZ. It would be embarrassing indeed if I sat there downing beers and no one came.

In any case, if any of my U.K. contingent (or anyone else who’s been to London, even if living there) has suggestions of things to do and good places to dine (and drink) in London, leave a comment. Besides meeting