Monday, 15 May 2006


It was off to Erquy on Thursday for our annual seminaire d'équipe, where we chat about research direction and wander around on beaches. Previous years were at Piriac-sur-Mer and St Jacut de la Mer, and this wasn't too far away from the latter, both of them on the north coast (côte d'armor, armor meaning "the sea" in the local dead language).

So on Thursday morning we had a few presentations from some of the first-year PhDs - JM, Martin & Erwan, and a brief chat from Didier about the state of Kermeta. All very fascinating.

In the afternoon we gathered a bunch of people and went down to the beach for a game of aussie rules. You read correctly. I showed a bit of the anzac day game and tried to explain some basics of the rules, then we hopped into it with a game of 6 on 6 or so on a 60-80m patch of sand with rocks for goal posts. People picked it up pretty quickly, particularly JMJ and Jacques, who had played rugby before, and so could kick a distance, but mostly the ball moved frantically by hand, and there was no positional play. My team got roundly thumped, but it was great fun. Ironically, it was possibly the first game of footy I've played, and I played it in France. There was a little interest, mainly from Erwan, about doing it again sometime, so we'll see if that pans out. After the encroaching tide took away our field, we retreated to a paddock on higher ground and played some European football, proving beyond doubt to everyone involved that footy is an order of magnitude more physically demanding than soccer.

Friday we had more talks, this time second-years - Franck C and Seb - and some chat about more general direction stuff. There was a discussion about custom concrete syntax stuff. Having spent 4 years of my life working on model/syntax standards and tools, I was a little disappointed that no-one has come to see me about this stuff. On the other hand, I've been happy enough to put HUTN behind me a little, and I suppose I can't have things both ways. There was also talk about requirements modelling stuff, which by my reckoning should go pretty well as a future avenue.

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