Sorry I can’t be with you this week

Villa Monastero in Varenna, Italy

The Villa Monastero in Varenna, Italy.

I hate international travel. And I would happily see out my days in sunny rainy Teddington without regret. But travel is part of my work and so next week I am off for a week to teach at the International School of Physics “Enrico Fermi”. And I have to confess I am looking forward to it.

The summer school is about Metrology, and I feel honoured to have been invited to speak. Some of the other speakers have Nobel Prizes to their name, and so it is a prestigious affair. But despite my nervousness, I am eager to go, mainly because of the setting. The Villa Monastero in Varenna is situated on Lake Como, and to my eyes looks like an earthly paradise. As I stare at the images I can almost hear the sound of the waves lapping on the steps…

View from the terrace of the Villa Monastero, Varenna

View from the terrace of the Villa Monastero, Varenna

Sadly, I do have to do some work [Note to self: you really must prepare a talk before you go]. I have an onerous two hours teaching on the penultimate day of the summer school, talking about the Boltzmann constant – a subject which has been on my mind almost every day for the last 5 years. And I also have to write a paper following the outline of my presentation. But at the moment, I can think only of the prospect of sitting on the monastery steps by the lake, breathing the fresh mountain air, and gazing at the mountains.

They already have a statue of me in the gardens of the Villa Monastero, Varenna

They already have a statue of me in the gardens of the Villa Monastero, Varenna. Cheers.

Anyway. The blog posts may be a bit thin on the ground next week. And if there was anything that I said I was going to do for you by next week, well, it’s not going to happen. Sorry. Have a nice week.

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