Reacquaintance with a physics professor

Today I had two ethics classes, including the first older kids on the topic of The End of The World, which was fun. I worked on some comic stuff and took Scully for walks. And I also had to send off a package of my photography greeting cards after getting an order for eight of them from the UK last night.

But the main thing I want to talk about is something I forgot to mention yesterday. Ever since I moved into this neighbourhood I have occasionally seen a man jogging—or more recently walking—around on various streets. After the first few times I recognised him, but I never stopped to say anything. Recently he’s started walking around with a walking stick, on ageing legs. A couple of weeks ago I passed him walking the other way while I was out walking Scully, and I smiled and nodded, and he smiled and nodded back. I knew who he was, but I had no idea if he would remember me.

Yesterday I was out walking Scully and I saw him ahead on the path through the park, walking the same direction, slowly with his walking stick. We caught up, and I finally took the opportunity to say hello.

“Professor Melrose, hello. I don’t know if you remember me…”

He said, “I do recognise you, but I’m sorry, I’ve forgotten your name.”

He is Professor Don Melrose (Wikipedia, Australian Academy of Science, ResearchGate), who was the head of Theoretical Physics at the University of Sydney when I was doing my undergraduate and Ph.D. studies there. My office was on the floor above his, and I didn’t interact with him directly too often, but we certainly knew each other. I checked his publications and we have only one degree of separation – we share a common co-author.

I reminded him who I was, and that I’d worked with Dick Hunstead. We had a bit of a catch up over the next few minutes as we walked together along the path. I gave him a very brief rundown of my career after leaving the university with my degrees, and learnt that he lives just on the other side of the park to me, in a block of apartments that I’ve walked past hundreds of times. I kind of regret not having spoken to him much earlier, but it was good to finally do so and catch up. I’m sure we’ll exchange a few words next time we see each other.

And a couple of photos: Autumn foliage on London plane trees:

Autumn dapples

And Venus setting over the railway station this evening:

Venus over the station

New content today: