Platform Zero and the Marble Coffee Table

So, after a summer break, Yours Truly is back at her keyboard.
Now conferences at the Geological Society, in London’s Piccadilly, are usually – if not always – very interesting, and several over this year and last have been even more so than usual.  Last year’s conference on Early Ecosystems and last week’s one on Deep Earth Processes were particularly excellent.
I will also remember a couple of things from just getting there and back from them.
King’s Cross station has undergone some major work over the last few years while I have been travelling to and fro, and an extra platform, adjacent to Platform 1, is in service.  I have to say that there is nothing quite as surreal as leaving from Platform Zero.  Yes, really!  It always makes my day, as it did for instance on my way home from the Geol Soc’s conference on Communicating Contested geosciences earlier this year.  Oh - I should add that I wasn't in the 1st class carriage under the sign, I went home in standard class.  Just like I'd travelled down.

On the way to the Deep Earth Processes conference, my train had got me to London a little early for the doors of Burlington House to be open, so I popped into a local coffee shop (which takes its name from a certain Roman emperor) for a bucket of coffee.  Our local branch, on the edge of the Fens, has wooden tables but the Piccadilly branch has rather fine little tables of a beautiful marble that a friend rapidly identified as ‘Pakistan Black and Gold’.  It was well worth a quick photo and a bonus before the day’s geology had even started.




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