Moving



So Will & I are trying to move. Both of us. I was in Bath for a week & a half -- my PhD student Hagen Lehmann had (and passed!) his viva, and I attended a meeting & worked on a couple grants, but somehow in there we also found an apartment to rent right in the centre of Bath -- I guess just as close to the train station as last time but the other side. We also put in a bid on a really excellent cottage -- we couldn't afford it so we bid very low, so we will see whether or not we can help the forces of deflation on the UK housing market. I think UK house prices are still way too high, you wouldn't believe some of the crappy places we saw that people were asking half a million dollars for that you couldn't pay me to live in -- no way to block the light from weird windows, noisy roads, sharing an old mansion with two other households who don't even fix broken windows or keep the garden. I'd say the housing bubble may have stopped growing, but it certainly hasn't burst, nor deflated very much. So probably we will keep renting. We certainly have a rented flat for 6 months anyway.

Will, meanwhile, has finally told his boss that he has an offer from Maastricht. This is about the same commute as Vienna / Nottingham, except it is by Eurostar instead of jet, so we'll be able to get a lot more work done. I'm glad we will still have one place in continental Europe, though of course unhappy we aren't living together again. We will probably spend holidays etc. in Maastricht for a while at least since we are such neophiles. Anyway, that job is supposedly taking care of ALL our moving -- Maastricht will get the furniture from Vienna as well as one bookshelf & a lot of books from Nottingham. But they haven't actually even offered him a contract yet. Apparently we have to get used to this, it is a Dutch thing. Supposedly he start 1 September, certainly my Vienna lease ends August 31. Anyway, at least it's motivating me to clean the apartment. Or it was. Now I am blogging :-) Guess I should stop that...

It was very funny. Nottingham had been promising to find him a permanent job for a while. So Will has this way of giving big news he's pleased with, where he just sits there & listens until someone asks if he has any news. It can take quite a while. So this time his boss talked about various things for like an hour, and then finally says "Oh, here's something I should run by you -- the head of department has found a permanent, part-time job for you in [a different school of the university that Will really doesn't like & has nothing to do with politics]. How does that strike you?" So Will was sitting there with an offer of a real, tenure-track job in his discipline in a cool city, and getting offered a part-time job in a backwater somewhere near the group he'd worked very hard to try to help set up in a place he otherwise had no interest in living in. So he gave up on waiting to be asked if he had any news & just told his boss.


Anyway, I'm very glad I'm going to be on Eurostar a lot -- I love it! (Well, so far... haven't got stuck in the chunnel yet.) I hope going once a month is enough they'll let me into the lounge soon.

I am resolved that our next two homes are going to be real -- kept clean, decent furniture, PROFESSORIAL. Will is afraid.

I still have a lot of science to finish up before I leave Vienna too. Though I finally got a simulation running I'd been working on for ages while I was in Bath. But it's mostly the writing that's the problem. I really, really need to get some money & hire some postdocs who actually write. Though hopefully both of my current PhD students will have articles out this year. But there are a number of my own things that need revision, not to mention new things that need submission. It's ironic that you can only do science if you don't do any science but spend all your time working to get money to do science. But at the same time, honestly, I think some good scientific theory building and innovation happens when you are trying to get a grant written.

Anyway, back to cleaning... Will should be here in 3 hours :-) Then we have dinner plans tonight with a couple from the university. The weather is great here, at least today.
2