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University of Leicester

Morning came earlier than I expected with higher latitude light streaming into the room about an hour earlier than it would have back in SLC. This turned out to be just fine as it was helping to set our circadian rhythms instead of shutting out the light with dark curtains. We breakfasted downstairs to delicious fruits and cereals and better coffee than we had the day before, but still not quite up to the coffee standards we have been used to back home.

After breakfast it was off to meet more faculty, talk with the chair Pierluigi Nicotera and deliver the talk. Things went well I guess as after the talk and some great questions, I got a chance to tour the facility and meet some more of the faculty as well as see some of the infrastructure of the department. They are rather well equipped for a variety of scientific investigations and Professor Nicotera has done an admirable job of making some significant changes to the department to grow the department and bring on more researchers. It was an impressive tour with an exciting diversity of imaging modalities including the electron microscopy suite with both TEM and SEM solutions.

The really surprising thing about all of this was that I was offered a job to head up the digital imaging effort here at the University of Leicester Department of Toxicology. It was totally unexpected of course, but most welcome as University of Leicester is doing some really exciting things in science right now and the Leicester area is quite nice, not to mention being much closer to all of Europe. It will require some thought of course and I’ll have to wait for a formal offer in writing before putting too much effort or thought into the personal, professional and scientific logistics required to make such a move. Of course in terms of personal logistics, one’s wife/partner tends to affect these sorts of decisions, but after getting back to the hotel in the afternoon and discussing this with H, she said that she would not be opposed to such a move, though she never considered living outside the US before. So, we’ll see how this plays out in the near future.

We had a couple of hours to rest before heading out to dinner with Professor Nicotera, so we thought we’d take a little walk around campus and explore where we came upon Victoria Park after walking along the Queen’s Walk nee New Walk we came to Victoria park.

Just off Victoria Park is this memorial to the Royal Leicestershire Regiment. It was dedicated by the very reverend John C. Hughes, M.A., provost of Leicester, on 21st June 1975 at the time of the laying up of the colours of the 1st battalion in Leicester Cathedral and those of the 2nd battalion in the Regimental Museum. It is an inspiring monument inscribed with a particularly memorable quote from William Blake:

I will not cease from mental fight
nor shall my sword sleep in my hand
till we have built Jerusalem
in England’s green and pleasant land

The evening ended with Professor Nicotera picking us up to go to dinner at a wonderful little Italian restaurant named Cini outside of Leicester in Enderby. My meal began with a rather well formed prosecco and a compliment of the chef, a bloody mary followed with a beautifully fresh salad and bistecca with a triumphant sauce of leeks, celery and peppers. It was most tasty and H had the most delightful seafood risotto of her life that apparently reawakened a love for the culinary form. Professor Nicotera, if you are reading this, thank you once again and I look forward to talking with you soon.

Categories: Travel.

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