Tag Archives: musuem of london

Busy bees

Is life (or rather work) just much better when you’re busy? After a surprisingly slow start to the week, things got going mid-week – kind of feels like we’re hitting about 40 on the speedo and accelerating. Quite a few newspapers and media organisations have been in touch as they’re interested in what’s going to be forthcoming from the Commission in the next few months, which is encouraging – they are coming to us! We’ve got a Commissioner over at the beginning of next week, Leonard Orban, who deals with multilingualism and he will be talking about the problems I mentioned a few weeks ago, that Brits are losing out in terms of jobs and business because of their lack of language skills. I’ve had to start taking on some of the responsibilities of a head of section (eek…) in terms of planning our priorities and budgets for 2009 – new stuff for me, but one of the reasons I came here, after all, so I just have to suck it up.

Went to the Museum of London last night for their Late night opening which was great fun (you’ll remember I won a competition and they played my music choices during the evening, which was fun for me, but probably not for the friend I was there with as I kept saying “this is one of mine”!) It was really well organised, with sort of treasure hunt round the musuem and them some fun stuff like making plasticine models of the exhibits. B (the friend) continued the winning theme with her model of a fish amulet, walking away with a book and some other goodies from the shop. The place itself was pretty unprepossessing from the outside, but certainly worth a wander around if you’re in the vicinity.

The BBC is running a piece tonight on efforts to develop a universal flu vaccine. We’ve been financing research on this at European level since 2006 – we did a press briefing in 2007, which was very well attended and was really interesting. I’m not sure whether the projects are linked or not, but it’s got to be good news if we can move more quickly towards such a vaccine. Speaking as someone who can’t have the flu vaccine because I’ve been allergic to eggs…

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Filed under Management, Media, Personal, science

I won!

Aah, the joys of the wacky London scene. I saw an entry over on kudocities asking for a soundtrack to go with a magic show. I sent a few ideas in and won a night at the museum with free drinks! Something different to do on a Thursday night and certainly nothing you’d find in Brussels. I never win anything like this, so I’m chuffed, while at the same time reasonably sure I was the only person who entered…

I thought this week would start off really busy with everyone in Brussels coming backfrom the August break and the Commission meeting again today. But it hasn’t happened like that – at least not yet. But the planning apparatus is up and running and it looks like we’re going to be in for a heavy autumn. From the treatment of lab animals, illegal logging and the pharmaceuticals market to consumer rights, text roaming and urban mobility. And that’s before we get into the political stuff, like the informal council in October and whatever foreign policy problems might crop up. One of the best things about coming to London is the range of subjects I am called on to be up on – today it was electronic tagging of sheep and independent mechanics.

Bit depressing looking at the weather forecast and just seeing rain rain rain for the rest of the week. The one bonus is that now that I grow plants, I can comfort myself with the thought that the rain is doing them good. Non-Brits I met in Brussels (and elsewhere) often asked me why we Brits are so obsessed with the weather. My answer is that we have so much of it – no discussion to be had in Andalucia “Nice out again, like yesterday and tomorrow and most of this year”. But in a country where it can be summer in the morning and autumn by afternoon, as was the case yesterday, well, there’s really something to talk about.

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Filed under Living in London, Media, Personal