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On Wednesday I went up to Manchester to attend Figshare Fest, the annual get together of European users of the research data repository system Figshare. As I am Important Manager of the UAL Research Data Repository I was there to REPRESENT us.
The event itself was actually happening on the Thursday, but it had an early start so I headed up the day before and THUS got to relive a bit of LIFE ON THE ROAD. It's several years since I used to be Arriving At A Premier Inn At About 6pm at least once a week, back when I was doing 50+ gigs a year, and doing it again like this was weirdly NOT quite as exciting or fun as I remembered. I did get to go out and about - first for some Vegan Junk Food (vegan junk food is the JUNKIEST of all junk foods, it was ACE) and then a DELICIOUS pint of Atlantis Pale Ale at North Taproom, which was all GRATE, but then I had to go back and sit on my own in a ROOM at the end of it all, which was less so.
Figfest itself, however, was DEAD GOOD. After four or five years of DOING this job I know a couple of people to say hello to at these events now, and was VERY BRAVE and spoke to a few more, including one EXCELLENT chap who told me all about DMP Online. The nice thing about an event like this is that it is a SAFE SPACE where you CAN get over-excited about an online system that helps your researchers to put together Data Management Plans for research bids, but I realise that out in the wider world this is perhaps NOT quite as thrilling, so will say no more about it... but it was DEAD EXCITING!
The talks were also DEAD GOOD for much the same reasons, including one from Edge Hill about generating ARTS research profiles that made me want to jump up and shout "HECK YES!", although I managed not to. We also got some FREE SOCKS too, which is a Conference Freebie that I think more events organisers should look into.
It was a good day, and even MASSIVE DELAYS to trains heading home was not enough to dim my enthusiasm for what had gone before, especially because I plonked myself in Avanti Standard Premium and didn't get charged for it. HA! Take THAT, Doctor Beeching!
Then on FRIDAY I went to a WORK THING all about "Continuous Improvement". Continuous Improvement, as far as I can make out, is all about improving, but continuously. The benefit of this - and you may want to take notes here - is that things get better, and keep doing so. I know this is a lot to take in.
To be blunt, it was NOT QUITE AS ENGAGING as the previous day, but I was PROUD of myself because at no point did I THROW A WOBBLER or STORM OUT or MAKE POINTED REMARKS (well, not much of the last one anyway) and spent much of the day thinking to myself "Come on, you're here now, you might as well do it" so that I did ENGAGE with the TASKS. The best bit was making a big Lego model for one of those tasks where you do that, and when they asked our group to describe ours I got to say "We have REJECTED your BOURGEOIS NOTIONS of colour co-ordination". It's good fun sometimes, working in an Art College.
I also popped over to TATE BRITAIN, where I was v excited to see a) an installation made up of tonnes of RICE where you could see the paw prints of a MOUSE what had run over it and b) that the Turner Gallery is open again. I do love a bit of Turner, and I stood briefly in it going "COR!"
However, the big excitement of the day was yet to come, for LO! there was FOOTBALL ahead!!
posted 14/5/2023 by MJ Hibbett
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