He’s back, back in Mac!

So I have made my first pilgrimage back to the mecca of UK environmentalist, the Centre of Alternative Technology, to carry on with my masters after a small pause of 13 months. It sort of feels like I haven’t been away – loads of interesting discussion, lectures and good veggie food and wine.

The only thing I wasn’t expecting was that the technology has moved on somewhat. I’m staying in the hostel in Corris and I can currently 13 people sat around the common room (complete with log file) using their laptops on the wireless network. There is wireless also within CAT, and the mobile phone signal seems quite strong too. I sort of miss being out of the loop but it’s also positive in that it shows communities like this have fast networks like we in the city are used to.

The walk this morning was beautiful; a lovely sunrise, mist rising off the hills and a chill in the air.


The WISE building seems to be coming along, although I’m not sure it’s gonna be finished before I finish the course next summer. I think the bad summer weather has hindered its progress

You can tell autumn is creeping along. I’ve never seen a sunflower looking so sad!


So tomorrow we are off to the sauna in Mac to investigate thermal insulation, the having lunch on the beach and a seminar in the pub. Then on Friday we’re off to look at a heliodom for our practical. Saturday I’ve gotta do a presentation. Eek! And then a party/ watching the rugby. Gonna be a good week!

Down to work

So there will be a bit of a review of the trip to Germany soon, for now I’m getting on with writing an essay for the first module of my course (ok – apart from writing this I’m working, and apart from the fact I’ve had a couple of Friday lunchtime pints too. Oops)


Manchester central library seems to be a good place to work and get things done. Previously I’d not only been on the ground floor and not ventured upstairs. I was slightly surprising by the grandness of the main reading room. It’s not in my opinion as good as the central library in Liverpool but it’s still pretty impressive. I also like the colour of the lighting – reminds me of going to the library as a kid. The majority of the people on the free computers seem to be either surfing facebook or youtube. Scholarly types that they are.

Despite sometimes feeling that studying is a drag – I’m really enjoying the intensive research about one topic. I’m particularly enjoying some of the lobbying by the Carrier Bag Consortium and Plastics industry about Plastic bag taxes. Although they do have some good positive points – most of the spin is hilarious. I mean they say a good way to reuse your plastic bag is sitting on a wet bench. Granted you can’t do that with a paper bag but is this something that really needs to be written down!?

It’s been a while since I’ve put a sketch on here:


Have a good weekend!