It’s been a busy several days, even though the accelerator hasn’t truly begun yet. We have spent a great deal of time getting our apartment cleaned up, and getting basic items purchased. It’s given us an opportunity to do a lot of walking around town and exploring the beautiful city of Cork.
We live on Blarney Street, and that makes both Keira and I happy. It is an old street, incredibly narrow and steep, with beautiful houses, shops, and pubs shoulder to shoulder along the length of it. So much of the city center of Cork is pedestrianized – you can walk anywhere you need to go – and there are shops of all sorts everywhere. There is a great temptation to purchase lots of things– I will probably walk away from this summer with a new tweed blazer– but we have limited money and can also foretell that our entertainment budget may have to be expanded because pubs can be fun.
We had a few meetings on Thursday and Friday with the accelerator program where we went over safety issues and the locations of things around the microbiology department. The main value in those meetings was finally meeting other participants in the program: the Austrians, working on low cost DNA synthesis technology, MuuFree, developing real vegan cheese by producing milk proteins in plants, Hyasynth, working on THC production in yeast, and UCC’s IGEM team, who will be working on a new biomaterial based on hagfish slime. Friday’s day of meetings and orientations of course culminated at a pub where great merriment was had.
This summer will be a ton of hard work, but I think it’s going to be really fun as well.