Thursday 29 April 2010

...and staying in Spain

The prestigious S.Pellegrino "World's 50 Best Restaurants 2010" has just been unveilled. A good place to look at the list is HERE in the Guardian travel section. You can roll over each one and get a brief description and with a neat little interactive map. El Bulli which would be well known to users of this library has been knocked off the number 1 spot by Noma in Copenhagen, which i hadn't heard of. The chef is Rene Redzepi so we'll see if he has any books out and order for the library. In terms of national representation Spain has 4 of the top 10 spots (any connection between this and my recent extended stay in Spain are purely coincidental. Anyway 2 are in San Sebastian and 2 close to Girona -- miles and kilometers away from Madrid.) The USA has 3 in the top 10 and Denmark, Italy and the UK (Fat Duck) 1 each. Gotta Catch 'Em All

Saturday 24 April 2010

Ashen, stranded and well grounded in spanish art

Well i'm back. - see last post from 13th april. 4 days later than planned i did manage to get a flight out. Otherwise plan B was a 27 hour coach journey to London, overnight there, train to Holyhead, ferry to Dun Laoghaire.
These volcanic events are impressive and in a way it's comforting how nature can dominate commerce when it feels like it - and ultimately have worldwide consequences.
The Toba eruption 72000 years ago almost wiped out the entire world population of the time. Without the eruption at Tambora, Shelly would never have written Frankenstein, nor Turner painted his best sunsets, The irish immigrants would not have left New England for California, apparently. Without Laki (1783) we might never have had the French Revolution - all to do with harvest failures. With Krakatoa scientists discovered how air currents move in the high altitudes. And so on and so forth.
The above courtesy of a Guardian article last thursday which i read on the plane 1 day there will be an eruption that could wipe out the human race" Now that's real invconvenience. And i presume without Krakatoa we would never have had South Pacific, the musical.

Packing up last thursday i felt like a convict getting an early release. But despite the sense of frustration i can't admit to it all being bad. I now know my Velazquezs from my Zurbarans, my Carlist wars from the Peninsular ones, my PPs from the PSOEs. Oh and the food wasn't bad

What all this hast to do with dit library i'm not sure. We don't even offer vulcanology as a major. However while at madrid-barajas airport i did bump into Andy O Gorman the recently retired head of the Bar Management department at DIT who had also been stranded in Madrid after returning from a trip to Chile where he had been on the judging panel for an international sommelier competition.

Tuesday 13 April 2010

Y Viva Espana

It's work honestly. Later today i go to Madrid to attend a conference organised by LIBER on new library buildings. All very salient as DIT considers the move to Grangegorman. The conference title: "Planning libraries for the users of the future"

Whether it's business or pleasure, with any country i'm visiting i like to have a good grasp of their political, economic, social historical state. Easy enough with the internet but even better when you have access to a library resource like Business Source Premier, In the advanced search you can pick your nation, click on Publication Type and select Country Report and away you go. I've got in front of me for browsing on the plane (in steerage class) hard reliance info, data, backround, analysis, summaries from dependable sources like The Economist Intelligence Unit, Datamonitor, the PRS group and IHS Global Insight.
.....and at least the food in Spain should be far superior to Hungary where this conference was held the last time. see back to posts from April 2008