scenes from a conference

30 June 2006

The train tilts, from Euston to Coventry and I’m back in Warwickshire, at the University of Warwick for the National Housing Federation’s Development, Regeneration & Maintenance conference.  A function of the spectrum of activity represented by the D, R and M is an interesting mix of people settling down to enjoy the opening plenary session, that included Kevin McCloud enthusing about expensive timber buildings.  Plenty of burley maintenance surveyors in garish polo shirts gently snoring through the riveting tour of government development policy by a teenager, sorry, Senior Policy Advisor from Cabe.

Being back on campus is fun as well.  The undergraduates have all gone home to mum’s overstocked fridge and washing machine, but there are enough postgrads lounging around in the sunshine banging on about Heidegger and Marx (no, really, complete with 5-o-clock shadow and Converse) to remind me why I’m probably better off having left it all behind, despite the occasional yearning for an afternoon in the library searching through social policy journals.

Then there are the conference herds, distinguishable by size/shape/colour of the oversized badges we all have to wear and cheap branded bags.  This year the NHF is clearly feeling the pinch and has splashed out on nasty drawstring-rucksack-type-things whilst another professional body disseminating the latest policy thinking to its people has kitted them out with natty red shoulder things.

Another bonus of attending a university campus conference is the spectacle of purple clad students scowling at silent microphones in their attempts at impersonating AV technicians.

And the conference?  Less said the better.

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