Sunday, June 12

Arthur Returns

Arthur and I re-union at Track 18, Waterloo Station, to begin a four hour walk along the Thames Path ending up beyond the Isle of Dogs/ Canary Wharf.  It is always extraordinary to uncover different neighbourhoods and small plaques presenting history long forgotten.

Last we saw Arthur, he was retiring from TRW following 30 years of service. His last project : working on an anti-missile defence program targeting ICBMs in Iran, a project employing over 500 engineers from Fairfax to Irvine, California. In my mind's eye, I picture a bunch of bearded software geniuses arriving at a warehouse with an enormous rocket in the middle, allowing them to tinker. Instead, Arthur informs, it is one of the most sterile environments he has ever worked : silent rows of cubicles and offices bathed in unnatural light. His job to ensure the pieces operate together, also known as 'systems engineering.' This leads to a discussion the Wright Brothers and so on and so forth.

Author in California keeping busy rebuilding his house.