Monday, June 30, 2014

Earth Systems Governance

Over the next few days, Hannah is exploring Norwich and playing with Iorwerth whilst I participate in the "2014 Norwich Conference on Earth System Governance: Access and Allocation in the Anthropocene". How's that event name for a mouthful?

We're exploring issues of politics and justice around environmental resources. On a rather large scale - I haven't been to a conference with more than 100 attendees in quite a while. This one has 259 accepted presentations, plus keynotes and semi plenaries.

I'll be chatting about my work on virtual water trade on a panel, speaking on environmental education in a semi plenary, and chairing a session on environmental law and governance (because chairing a panel on environmental law is exactly what I always wanted for my birthday!).

For more details:

I get to come home to the Maestro every night, so it should be a grand time all around!!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Cambridge Punting

We had this brilliant plan for this afternoon.

We stole a Cambridge boy who is an expert punter. We were going to float along the river, occasionally feeding him grapes, showing Hannah the prettiest colleges. And then we were going to keep going all the way to Grantchester, a grand place for tea. 

It was going to be perfect. 

And then England happened. 

Specifically, English weather. 

We got *poured* on. And rather chilled. We most definitely did not make it all the way to Grantchester. But we did have a fun little adventure. 

We then showered and redressed, then did cream tea in Cambridge and found a pub with the Brasil v. Chile match on. 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Lazy London

Hannah and I have spent a few lovely and necessarily lazy days in London just chilling at the flat. She took Tuesday and went to Wimbledon, where she successfully queued for grounds tickets and then spent the day tracking various American players around and eating strawberries and cream on the field. (Probably one of her major highlights from the summer, were I to guess.)

I have been..."working". Which is to say, reading a lot of novels whilst thinking about how much I should be writing. Oops? I'll get there eventually. ;)

We leave London tomorrow for Cambridge, with a wee side jaunt to Norwich for me to help welcome US scholarship advisors to UEA. 

Punting along the colleges and frolicking in bell towers, here we come! (And hopefully I also do actually work one of these days...)

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Ellie's Wedding

Saturday was, quite simply, a rather fabulous day.

I went in to Norwich very early, serendipitously sharing the Tube train with a Marshall mate. So we had a good chat. And then I got some work done on the train (sorely needed). Upon arrival at Norwich, I was able to meet up with Danielle, go pick up Iorwerth, and take the Maestro to Waffle House (yum yum yum).

The afternoon and evening were filled with Ellie's wedding, a beloved friend from the Octagon Chapel. It was a beautiful afternoon - sunshine! - with bubbles and babies and bowties.

Friday, June 20, 2014

The White Cliffs of Dover

Traditionally, one sees the White Cliffs of Dover when traveling from Paris to London. You would take a stagecoach to the French coastal town of Calais, board a ferry, and boat across the English Channel...where you would land in Dover only after an incredible view of gorgeous, sheer chalk cliff face.
Thursday, the girls and I saw the White Cliffs of Dover.
We did not do so in the traditional way. We are not traditional girls.

Nowadays, it is (sadly) cheaper to fly from Paris to London and then take a day trip to Dover than it is to do the traditional travel route.
So we did that.

The day was fabulous: It included wild ponies on the cliffs, fresh lobster for lunch, and rocky beach toe-dipping!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Au revoir, Paris!

Well, after a week of Paris:

1. The city is lovely.
2. The Eiffel Tower is, indeed, a massive hunk of metal.
3. The public transit makes life slightly miserable. (It was, as far as I could make out, dirtier, less easily navigable even for an experienced traveler, and crowded for reasons of lack of infrastructure rather than true crowds.)

We had a lovely little visit. But we were very, very happy to see London tonight.

Ta ta for now, France! we come!

Friday, June 13, 2014


Purpose of DisneyLand for Kristina: Cooing over Princesses
Purpose of DisneyLand for Hannah: Loving on Studios Stuff
Purpose of DisneyLand for Becca: Watching the girls have fun. Also roller coasters. (I *may* have ridden the minetrack roller coaster 5 times.) And the surprise "Star Wars" simulator, which was fairly fabulous.

We had a good (twenty-hour) day, and are now getting a very lazy start out to walk up Montmartre!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Paris, here we come!

Well. It's been a fabulous week, and it's only Wednesday!

Hannah and Kristina had a fabulous time in Ireland, even managing to hop on a bus outside of Dublin and see some of the gorgeous country. 

Laura, Ben, and I got eaten alive on the Isle of Skye by midges - mini mosquitoes that don't do you the courtesy of buzzing to tell you they're about to cause havoc. We saw glorious mountains, the bridge used in the "Harry Potter" films for the Hogwarts Express, and some lovely waterfalls. 

Monday night, Hannah tried haggis for the first time and Kristina got to dance with a British man in a kilt. I ceilidh danced away and all was delightful. 

Tuesday, Hannah very sensibly took a break and had a quiet day in Edinburgh. Kristina won't get another chance to see the Highlands, though, as she's leaving earlier than Hannah. So she and I popped off on a free tour from Edinburgh that included feeding hairy coos (cows) and seeing the castle where "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" was filmed. 

We are now on an airplane to Paris (I'm typing this and then posting later). We'll be seeing DisneyLand, Versailles, and of course the basic Paris monuments. Facebook shall explode with the number of photos we are likely to take. 

Having a marvellous time over here, in case you couldn't tell. The only problem with visitors and taking time to sightsee with them: At some point, I really should probably do some actual work...

Sunday, June 8, 2014

An average Sunday...

Today's highlights include:
  • a ferry trip between the Isle of Skye and the mainland,
  • a beached jellyfish on a rocky loch, and
  • the "Harry Potter" train bridge!


And touring!

I've got Hannah and Kristina on a weekend trip to Dublin while Laura, Ben, and I are currently on the ferry between Armadale on the Isle of Skye and Mallaig. We'll be staying the night in Fort William (Harry Potter bridge!!!). 

This past week included wandering Edinburgh, tea and a hike in Markinch, and a day trip to Alnwick Castle (more Harry Potter!). 

Laura and Ben fly out tomorrow night - while Hannah, Kristina, and I attend a Ball!

We're off to Paris, London, Oxford, Cambridge, Norwich, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and Bethlehem this summer. It's going to be a wee bit insane, but one assumes delightful!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Laura! Ben! Maybe!

I am currently on the AirLink Bus to go pick up my best mate from Battle Creek at Edinburgh Airport. 

This is generally an easy and fun trip, thirty minutes on a bus close to my flat and included with my local bus pass. I love going to grab folks from the airport. It's a gorgeous ride into town and a nice chance to catch up chat without feeling the need to immediately be touristy. 

I love these trips less when they take 90 minutes because there are somewhere in the area of 100000 teenagers on the street pouring out from a OneDirection concert. 

Oi vey. I may get to Laura and Ben eventually...

Monday, June 2, 2014


I've just returned to Edinburgh from a truly incredible weekend.

The Marshall Scholars worked with Norfolk County Council to take 24 teenagers to Holt Hall, the County's outdoor education centre, for three days of engagement with nature, arts, and community leadership. We had an incredible time, with absolutely so many powerful moments.

The focus was on environmental arts, using photography, poetry, and creative expression to spread the word about environmental sustainability. "Developing Environmental Sustainability in Greater Norfolk" was a ton of fun, an absolute success according to the student evaluations, and I can't wait to run it again! Our biggest request was to make the programme last a week instead of a weekend. We'll see if I can get anyone from the staff side to sign up to that. ;)

Tons of photos and videos are on the programme's website: