I’m off to Europe

Once many years ago, at the beginning of my career, I went to the then Head of School and said I was taking a weeks leave. Then he said to me that a young man in my position should be thinking long and hard about whether I could afford to be away from work.

That was then …

Nowadays one gets rude emails from HR about not having taken enough leave and excessive long-service leave balances. So I’m off to Europe to experience a white Christmas. Mostly pleasure with some work.

Posting may be light or heavy. Checking the auto-moderation and spam filters will take some time. Regular posts will appear at irregular times – as always.

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35 Responses to I’m off to Europe

  1. Chris

    Have a ball!
    Seeing you mention nothing that you are going to see, I propose that you add a tour of Thirty Years War seiges to your itinerary, and post photos of the most entertaining re-purposing of defensive buildings.

  2. struth

    Have a crack on the Autobahn for me, Sinclair.

  3. Elle

    Enjoy! And don’t forget to stop at the duty free shop. 😉

  4. Rev. Archibald

    Checking the auto-moderation and spam filters will take some time.

    Espeacially when it won’t let you use random words like scapu-la.

  5. Leigh Lowe

    So … not a “study tour” then?

  6. Oh come on

    Bon voyage – hope we don’t miss out on our annual dose of cheesy Christmas YouTube clips, though!

    Fun fact: Dolf Lundgren is RMIT alumni.

  7. LBLoveday

    Even more years ago, on my first day in the SA Public Service, I was told to not work so hard – silly me thinking I was to be paid to work at full throttle, all the time.
    I only lasted 3 years, but I’m told little if anything has changed in that regard.

  8. notafan


    enjoy your White Christmas.

  9. Malcolm

    Life is one big holiday for our Sinc

  10. Bruce

    “enjoy your White Christmas.”

    Not in Malmo or several other places, he won’t.

  11. Mak Siccar

    A white Christmas is something truly magical. Enjoy and travel safely.

  12. Oh come on

    Oh, balls. Dolf Lundgren isn’t RMIT alumni.

  13. Elizabeth (Lizzie) Beare

    So I’m off to Europe to experience a white Christmas

    You have to chose the right place to get guaranteed snow. Somewhere alpine sounds nice.

    We went to Banff in the Canadian Rockies for our White Christmas last year, at the Cinderella’s Castle that is the old Fairmont. The lights in the gloaming, the numerous decorated trees everywhere, and the ambience inside were exactly as ordered. Outside was a dream in falling snow on Christmas Eve and a horse-drawn sleigh-ride through a forest and a clearing with a herd of reindeer watching us in the silence, with only the vague clops of the horse’s feet and the jingle of sleigh bells to add a festive note, as we huddled under caribou-hide blankets in minus twelve below.

    In Europe, it is also Yuletide, the old pagan winter solstice festival. It is great to get a sense of that as well as hearing the British still speak of that auld god (I think) now called ‘Father Christmas’. Santa Claus is a newer name, agreed as derived from St. Nicholas, whose main claim to fame I find was that he once punched Arius (the heretic who separated the Father from the Son) on the nose, so of course the birth of the Trinitarian Christ was something St. Nick (note not ‘Old Nick’) was celebrating. And the medieval sung carols and nine good lessons in Britain’s Anglican churches are worth going to hear, snow or no snow, believer or no. Enjoy it all, Sinc. Drop us a line on Christmas Day though. Plus I hope your pre-Christmas musical drinks at Catallaxy will still be on.

  14. Dr Fred Lenin

    It musi be Sincs holiday. Conferences are not held in the cold weather . If you are in Paris ,go tp see Ste Chapelle on l’ile de la Cite ,behind the Palais de Justice . Not far from Notre Dame , the former chapel of the royal family is one of the best medieval churcj[hes in Europe ,the stained windows are fantastic <best you will ever see .

  15. Tom

    Enjoy the White Christmas, Doomlord. I’ll be thinking of you as we frolic around the pool on Christmas Day.

  16. notafan

    ,the stained windows are fantastic <best you will ever see .

    Even though some of them of them are not the originals “Much of the chapel as it appears today is a re-creation, although nearly two-thirds of the windows are authentic. The chapel suffered its most grievous destruction in the late eighteenth century during the French Revolution, when the steeple and baldachin were removed, the relics dispersed (although some survive as the “relics of Sainte-Chapelle” at Notre Dame de Paris), and various reliquaries, including the grande châsse, were melted down.”

    The Conciergerie is also very well worth visiting,

    Sainte Chapelle’s web page in English advises that visitors carrying blunt instruments will not be admitted, silent on the subject of sharp instruments. Perhaps that is merely being sensitive to the needs of France’s muslim citizens.

  17. mh

    From the UK’s Independent newspaper in 2000:

    Snow is starting to disappear from our lives. Sledges, snowmen, snowballs and the excitement of waking to find that the stuff has settled outside are all a rapidly diminishing part of Britain’s culture, as warmer winters – which scientists are attributing to global climate change – produce not only fewer white Christmases, but fewer white Januaries and Februaries … Global warming, the heating of the atmosphere by increased amounts of industrial gases, is now accepted as a reality by the international community … According to Dr David Viner, a senior research scientist at the climatic research unit of the University of East Anglia, within a few years winter snowfall will become “a very rare and exciting event”. “Children just aren’t going to know what snow is,” he said.

  18. Fluffy

    And how exactly does one escape auto moderation? its hard to be part of a discussion when your comments arent seen for hours

  19. Megan

    Safe travels, o Doomlord! And don’t forget the Christma markets. Also recommending Sainte Chapelle and it’s stunning windows.

  20. Charlie

    Nowadays one gets rude emails from HR about not having taken enough leave and excessive long-service leave balances.

    We really need to cut academic funding in this country

  21. .

    Charlie – cool your jets turbo (but generally I agree).

    Who do you want teaching your kids economics, Sinclair or Wayne Swan?

  22. Pedro the Ignorant

    Bon Voyage , Sinc.

  23. Snoopy

    A true believer in open borders would travel without a passport.

  24. .

    A true believer in nuclear power would eat uranium…etc.

  25. Snoopy

    I just knew you’d strike that bait, dotty.

  26. .

    Yes, you’re psychic – like how Arky is seeing ghosts on the other thread. Incredible.

  27. calli

    Enjoy the snow and be sure to pack extra layers. They freeze you in the streets and roast you indoors.

  28. Clam Chowdah

    Have a great time, Doomlord!

  29. I’ve only ever seen snow the once. And that was with a noisy bloody Sergeant yelling at me “Dig you lazy bastards, or you’ll bloody freeze tonight!” So forgive me for staying here and spending the day in the pool.
    Have fun, Doomlord.
    Don’t freeze your manliness off, and leave the mankini at home, FFS.

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