I have been a little slack in my blogging though I have been busy, and then went on holiday for a few days, but more on that later.
Last week was the conference that had been a major factor in getting me over to the UK when I did. It was at the University of Northampton, which though a bit difficult to get to, was nice enough. I arrived the day before the conference and as the conference organiser had suggested it, went to dinner with some of the other delegates who had also arrived early. We went to a lovely Indian place, the food was delicious and the service excellent. There were a few Aussies there, one girl who was studying at Glasgow and a couple from Melbourne over for the conference. There was another fellow who was from a place about 20 minutes from where I was born in Northern Ireland, and he was lovely, it is funny how small a world it is. (What made the world even smaller was that there was another Australian girl at the conference who not only went to my uni as an undergrad, but had my supervisor!) It was a great night, though probably a bit late and a pint too many for the night before the conference, and so I was exhausted the next day, though thankfully my paper was not until the Friday.
Thursday went well, there were some very interesting papers, particularly interesting to me were the ones on masculinity and the key note speaker was excellent. Spent most of the time with my new Northern Irish friend and at dinner was at a table with him, an academic from Tasmania, a fellow from New Mexico who studies at Exeter, a Gallic speaking Scot from the Highlands of Polish descent and an English Lady. I was pleased with my efforts of talking to people and socialising, which I think was greatly assisted by the first night's proceedings. Even though the actual conference was very interesting, the most interesting thing I learnt that day was that Bob Geldof has Napoleon's penis, he bought it from a collector in California years ago. The things you learn at history conferences!
Friday also went well, my paper went well, and there was a very interesting paper given on Marine's which held my interest very well indeed. The key note was a bit arrogant, but good all the same, all in all it was a good day. I was sad to be leaving, truth be told, and doubly sad as we don't have the same conference scene at home an I can see where I am missing out in terms of getting my work out there, as well as networking and keeping in touch with what others are doing. I wonder if what I am able to produce from Australia will be able to compete with British/European works. I went back to the Indian place with the Australian couple, which was nice and a great improvement on the 1/3 a packet of pringles I was planning on for dinner.
All in all it was a good experience, I met some nice people and learnt some interesting things, mainly that Bob Geldof owns Napoleon's penis.