Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Medical emergencies, bad light and football woes

That sort of sums up the Bank Holiday weekend.

Son-of-Furtheron and his girlfriend arrived at ours on Friday evening for a brief one day stop over as they were scheduled to fly out of Heathrow on Sunday morning to attend a PhD Summer School in Budapest.  Why it is in Budapest is a conundrum that will keep some of the most intellectual brains in the world occupied.  It is being organised by a prof from Sheffield, everyone attending is from the UK and all their host unis and funding councils have now had to pay for flights and hotel accommodation to/from/in Hungary.  Go figure, why not host it in Sheffield using empty student accom?  Whatever, maybe the fact the Prof arranging it is actually Hungarian may have had some bearing on it...  I'll leave you to consider.

So after getting drenched in the rain fall down on Saturday when I popped to the shops for something on the way to Mother-In-Laws we spent the afternoon there topped up on tea and biscuits watching the Rugby Challenge Cup Final - enthralling match even if not a great one.

Sunday morning up at 5:30am to run to Heathrow, now that is the time of day to drive around the M25 frankly, no holdups at all and I left there with the students through into departures.  I got a text later saying "We have landed" - I thought, funny I thought they'd be there earlier than that.  My son called later to explain that as they taxied out at Heathrow the guy sat next to them who had been chatting away suddenly slumped forward and couldn't speak.  There followed a few chaotic and tense mins with paramedics called to the plane on the apron.  The guy had a severe stroke - only in his 40s - I hope he is ok now and on the road to recovery, I guess we'll never know.  My son and his girlfriend were praised by the crew for helping and given free champagne.  I think they were ok about it - but it is a shock when something like that happens in front of you.

Later on Sunday I realised that the Ashes test was heading for a dramatic conclusion, I'd given up on it after Saturday's wash out expecting it to play to a boring draw but after watching the feast of motor racing on the TV turned on the radio commentary. Fair play to Australia in trying to win the match by declaring early, even better kudos for England matching the run rate needed and slogging it back at them in an attempt to beat them too.  Sadly the farce with the bad light decision at the end was a disgrace - why can't we have the old rule of just offering the light to the batsmen, if they say they are happy to play on.. then play on...   Would England have won?  Who knows but it was a shame that we were denied that chance to see - also cricket is again getting popular then they do that - what a PR disaster.  If it had been a draw because they run out of overs I doubt people would have complained and Australia had just got Bell out anyway so were working through the England batting order.

Monday we trooped off to see Daughter-of-Furtheron's boyfriend playing football - he has moved up to the men's league this season, a significant jump for him, he is still only 17 but now mixing it with the big boys in the Southern Counties East League.  Sadly not a game to remember, they had some good spells on the ball, esp in the 1st half but lacked decisive attacks, one chance fell to our favourite (he is the centre forward) but sadly he couldn't connect.  The defence however did look shaky and only by a couple of excellent saves did they get to the break still at 0-0.  Second half the manager decided to change it up front early on and our lad was substituted but it went down hill after that and the 4-0 defeat was a bitter pill to swallow esp as they'd given away 2 penalties, become a theme of the defence this season and of course once a team is known for it other teams will exploit it.

So that was the end of the summer - well felt like it walking to the station in a cold clammy mist this morning.


  1. The international conference circuit is a bit of a gravy train. At any one time, hundreds of well-paid academics are flying above us, often travelling thousands of miles simply to deliver a single paper. I used to love conferences though--academics (in my area of Arty-Farty Studies, not like your son) are sociable people and I really enjoyed both the presentations and the boozing afterwards.

    I was also most let down with the cricket. What a farce this light thing is. Trouble is, the umpires had set themselves a benchmark earlier in the Test so made a bit of a rod for their own backs.

    It's had its moments this series but it's not really been a satisfying summer of Test cricket. Never mind--Brisbane starts on 11th Nov is it, something like that, so will become slightly insomniac till the New Year.

  2. 21st November, not 11th.

  3. The PhD summer school is so obviously a boondoggle for the prof to see his family that I'm shocked it was allowed to happen at all.

    Thank heavens the sick passenger keeled over on the runway and not mid-flight. That might have been the end of him.

    End of summer but here comes fall with its beautiful changing leaves, pot roast and hot coffee and (American) football. The change of a season is a good thing.

  4. How scary with that guy on the plane! Glad he wasn't out over the Atlantic or something..
    Once when we were going back home from Gran Canaria, they called out in the loudspeakers "is there a doctor on board?" and then later they called out to hear if someone had Betapred (Betametason - steroids) with them because someone had had a severe allergic reaction to peanuts. It turned out to be a wee little baby.. and they asked everyone to kindly close any bags with peanuts and that they would stop selling them. Now I've heard that many airline companies don't sell peanuts on planes anymore because people can react very badly if they're allergic, although they don't eat them.

    1. I worked with a lady once who had a terrible peanut allergy to the point that she could walk into a room and instantly felt the effects if someone had been eating a bag.

  5. End of summer adventures - seem to have turned out fairly well, except for the poor man on the flight. Agree that it was better to have happened before take off to speed his medical care...

    Ahhh, conferencing. This is how the academic set, and research communitites, spend a good portion of the summer. i miss it... in rough budgetary times, it is often the first thing to go. Granted, the networking is good - but most of the travel is completely unnecessary...

    1. That summed up my son's opinion also he is studying outer planet magnetosphere and there was hardly anything really relevant to that subject.

  6. That must have been an unpleasant way to begin a trip for S-o-F and girlfriend.

    The joys of supporting our children through everything be it transport or football.