All entries for Monday 01 February 2010

February 01, 2010


I’m great at Italian. Every morning I come down from my room and offer my best buongiorno to the old man who runs the hotel. Should his dog have returned from her mornings wanderings of the streets of Pisa I offer the same to her too. The hotelier’s face lights up and he strikes a dramatic pose, feet slightly apart, before returning a buongiorno which puts mine to shame both in terms of enthusiasm and hand gestures. I’m not quite sure if he’s being serious or mocking me.

Then I stroll towards the maths building and call in at my favourite baker, who now recognises me, buy a chocolate croissant and sit down in the piazza for my breakfast in the sunshine. Life is beautiful here.


Crosswords are excellent things to do when you’re at the dreamy stage of doing maths. I’ve been working late some evenings while waiting for the research centre to clear of people so that Aspa can call, and this seemed an appropriate time to try the crossword from the paper I’ve been carrying around all week. I only have two clues which seems a fairly poor return for the half hour I’ve spent on it, but I was very proud. The clues are:

American cop gives sustenance (3)
Top receptionist keeps order (7)

I’m currently working on
Retro Jazz piece by the French composer (5)
but I’m all out of ideas. What does it mean when they put a question mark on the end? Like
Money essential if finishing early and retiring? (3)

hmm, many things to learn…

February 2010

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