I'm not going to EERA-ECER in Dublin which starts next week. It would have been good to see so many familiar faces, but I no longer appreciate sitting around all day (for several days) listening to people read their papers. In fact, physically, I find it hard to do; retirement has meant I walk around more, and I find I now need to do it.
I'll be there in spirit, though, and will be re-reading John Wyse Jackson's Dublin (a poetry of place) as a sort of vicarious attendance. It's as much a history of troubled Irish / English relations, as a collection of prose and poetry about the city that not much poetry has been written about. Tellingly, Jackson says that Wordsworth would never have been able to write a sonnet like his Composed upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802 in Dublin as he would not have been able to engage in the inner reflection necessary as somebody would have come up and insisted on talking to him.
Dublin slips into your pocket, can be read as you walk, and contains much to recommend it – and the city.
The one thing I will, however, regret (well, sort of) is not being able to see the Real Research Collective present their paper to the EERA-ECER Philosophy network. I think that ECER, had it been more entrepreneurial, might have been able to sell tickets to what will surely be the encounter of the conference.