Thursday, 29 July 2004

becoming old

I ceased to be young on Sunday, according to the french railways, who celebrated my 26th birthday by charging me more to return from St Avold to Rennes than I had paid for the outward journey. Fair enough.

I was fortunate enough to be at a fairly large party for my birthday, by way of Jacques' and Sophie's wedding and everyone sang happy birthday to me, first in English and then in French. If that wasn't enough, I got a repeat dose on Sunday at the Klein family lunch. To top it all off, I carted a sack of croissants and pains aux chocolats to IRISA on tuesday for morning tea, as is apparently the tradition of birthdays. In all, it was probably more festive than some birthdays I had in Australia.

I'm pretty sure my family are trying to call me to wish me happy birthday, but its proving difficult. I had a day back in Rennes on Tuesday, but from today until Sunday I'm in Paris working with a group here just around the corner from the Tour Eiffel. Sandy, Renee/Andy, Dave and his new GF are coming on the weekend, which should be nice.

After a birthday, I guess I'm entitled to some reflection, so here we are. I still want to go back to Australia. 6 months here have not in any way shaken my opinion that the research that I was involved in at DSTC was and continues to be better than that being done here. Ditto for the dynamic of the teams, although not by so great a margin. On top of that, I miss the argot, the sport, and the general culture. I still have it in my mind to broach the idea of a cotutelle (co-enrollment at Australian and French universities, dual recognition of degree, minimum of one year in one place) with Jean-Marc once DSTC gets its next bid and once my topic is a little better decided, but I can't really see any reason why he would agree to it - IRISA, and the team in particular, has nothing to gain by it that I can see.

That may sound a bit like January/February all over again, but this time it comes after one of the best weekends I've had in France, up at chez Klein, so perhaps it has more merit. I just don't know.

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