The reason that I'm over here is that tomorrow I must go to New York and board the Queen Mary 2.Then anchors away (although I'm sure that doesn't apply to today's maritime technology) and eastward ho, back to Southampton. During the course of the week's cruise I will regale the passengers with three talks on sand, yes, up to three hours of me telling stories of all things arenaceous. This is thanks to an arrangement between Oxford University Press and Cunard, a programme titled "Science at Sea." My main concern is that the casino might prove more seductive than sand, but I shall carry on regardless ("stay calm and carry on" being the current catchphrase in the UK, channeling Winston Churchill when times get tough).
I'm not sure how posting over the coming week will work, but I will hope to do something (I'm assured that, of course, Wi-Fi is available on board). In the meantime, here's the graphic I put together for the talks, a thematic journey from one plate, one set of cultures, to another.