Dramatis persona*

helenhead Helen Chick

I've always wanted a bumper sticker that said "I'm a female, LDS/Mormon, Scout leading, geocaching, piano-playing, bicycling, mathematics educator with a PhD in maths ... and I VOTE"!

I think this makes me a minority group of cardinality 1!

* Since there's only one of me and "personae" is plural (I think), I've gone with dramatis persona.
September 2009
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Collecting Quoits

Tuesday 29 Sep

There are many things more dangerous than British motorways.

These include the tiny lanes that seem to comprise the entire road network of the southern-most end of Cornwall. Here, anything above 10mph is an excessively dangerous speed, and if you meet anything larger than a Matchbox car coming the other way you are in BIG […]

The seventh impossible thing

The seventh impossible thing was to get away today. After that, it was just a case of heading south-west.

I don’t really want to talk about the saga of collecting the hire car this morning, except to say that what was originally going to be a 1.5km walk ended up being two there-and-back trips plus a bus […]

A long day

I am now safely in Oxford, and Anne and John have made me feel very welcome which is wonderful.

I arrived early in the afternoon, and in order to address jet lag we took advantage of the lovely weather to go for a walk along the Thames at Marlow. This was very pleasant, and I’m hoping the […]

Aleph-nought “To Do” lists

Mathematicians have a concept called aleph-nought. It’s for counting a certain kind of infinite set. Just as “4” is the number name for the number of asterisks in the set {****}, “aleph-nought” is the number name for the number of asterisks in the set {********…}, where the … is meant to indicate that the asterisks […]

Six impossible things*

Well, it’s only one impossible thing at the moment, but the day is yet young.

Whatever you do, however, don’t tell my mother or the EH&S inspector! (Which reminds me: my Melbourne office survived Friday’s inspection apart from a dangling power cord violation. Phew. That doesn’t mean that it couldn’t afford to be a whole lot tidier, […]

In transit

The Mountain may be iconic for Hobart; in Melbourne’s case it’s the skyline. I remember visiting the You Yangs (granite hills) some 50km west of Melbourne many years ago, and looking east in awe of the mountains of steel and concrete rising out of the plain. I could see the Dandenongs waaaay off in the distance, […]

Lemon tarts

I went looking for a lemon tart this morning (as you do!).  However, I don’t think Hobart believes in them as I tried several (well, three) plausible patisseries but with no success.

Having a lemon tart to celebrate things is a tradition of my Melbourne colleagues. It is such a tradition, in fact, that on one memorable […]

Tempus fugit

20% of the year just disappeared, and while I can account for it all, I’m still left wondering where it went. It was meant to take much longer. If the next 20% does the same thing I am in big trouble. The endpoint of my sojourn in Tassie has hit with an abruptness that is scary: […]

Girls’ day out

Mum and I decided to have a girls’ day out and so we went for a drive in the countryside. Mum understands about my caching obsession—and acknowledges that it can take us to interesting new places—so she was prepared to allow me a left-hand turn in the tiny town of Forcett, shortly followed by a right-hand […]

Pooh sticks

Jane and I had lunch together with our friend Betty and a friend of Betty’s yesterday (Jane is my friend, mentor and colleague with whom I came to work in Hobart on sabbatical, and Betty used to be the secretary in the Maths Department when I worked there). There’s a lovely little park and walking track […]