Fri, 13 Aug 2004

Oxford, day 4

I'm half-way into Friday and it seems I just arrived yesterday. I'm having a great time at the conference.

Yesterday was the most intensive day until now. As expected, I overslept a bit, just around 30 minutes. :) The program for the morning was interesting. It started with a one hour Desktop BOF which ended up lasting for around 4.5 hours. It was great to see the Desktop team discuss every single detail to an extreme, with some people saying "absolutely not!" and others "anything else would be un-con-sis-tent!". There are very cool ideas being thrown into this area of Ubuntu. I hope they can implement them all, it will plainly rock if they do. This BOF let me make up an idea of how the teams work at Canonical, I think I learned a lot just in this meeting. A website BOF followed, and Lulu and limi seemed to have things under control and very well thought. And at that time it was past 18:00 and I intended to go running. As I was heading to the stairs, Daf and Lulu grabbed me and I found locked up in another room, for the Translation BOF. Of course, I had entirely missed this one on the schedule, so I ended cancelling my plans and staying. The BOF involved all kinds of Debian translations, so I guess I was a bit helpful there.

And finally, it was 19:00, or dinner time. But I really wanted to go running, so I asked if I would be given food if I got back late to the restaurant, got a yes and rushed to change clothes and go out. Scott had suggested me that I went down the Thames Path which I had also spotted in my return during Tuesday's run. So I went out, barely warmed up and started running from the hotel road. Went down to the Trout Inn and the smell of nice food made me reconsider my decission of postponing food. I managed to defeat my stomach and continued. When I crossed the bridge, I understood that many of those gates I saw on Tuesday are actually not private property, and I could just open them. A few minutes after running along the canal I learned there's a zillion gates to open, actually. Every 200 metres. Luckily that was just at the beginning and soon I found myself running on a very nice path, after going past an old, abandoned church, with the Oxford Canal at my left. There were many people rowing in the canal, and others having walks or running too. The path was full of huge puddles, so I found myself practicing some obstacle jumps for Athens 2004. At some point the path widened and the grass was filled with lots of rabbit warrens. Lovely wabbits! I kept going on and on, delighted by the amount of animals that basically don't give a shit about you passing by half a metre away from them. There are cows, horses, ducks, some other aquatic black bird which is quite dumb and insisted in running ahead of me, and of course rabbits, which every now and then you found in the middle of the path before they slowly got out of the way. You don't see things like this in Spain too easily. Ahead of me there was a church tower which I decided to explore. I must have misscalculated the distance, because when I got there it was probably after half an hour of running (and after getting slightly lost, when I missed a signal saying that the path continued at the other side of the canal, going over a bridge), and the sun was nearly gone.

I went into the "town", saw it was probably bigger than a simple town (e.g, it was some part of Oxford, actually, but I didn't dare ask anyone "Excuse me, which town is this?", I prefer to spare the odd looks), found myself near the Westgate Hotel and The White House pub. This latter establishment made me think that if Mr. Let's Invade Another Country was inside I really wanted to get my ass out of there, so I started going back to Wolvercote. One hour after going out and 5 or 6 miles later I was back in the hotel, quite hungry, but it pays because discovering the Thames Path was great. It's perfect for running, as it's not a hard surface -- kilometres of soil and grass. I discovered the rest of people had either not started having dinner (Carlos' version), or were waiting for the second plate (Rob's). but in any case, I had a quick shower and joined the dinner, and managed to catch up with the rest as they started the dessert. A nice strategy to get rid of the waiting at dinner time. :)

After dinner, mako, jamesh, daf, Enrico, seb128, Carlos, fabbione and me started the tetrinet contest, which lasted for several hours, with seb128 winning, closely followed by me. For the first time, I went to bed at a sane hour, allowing me to get up in time for the 9AM meeting.