After a scorching start to summer, today Sydney is cold and wet. The weather is only serving to emphasise the deserted feeling around campus. Semester ended a month ago, and it will be another two months before students return to class. The annual holiday shutdown of the university begins at the end of tomorrow, so academic and administrative staff alike will also be absent until the new year. Soon, the normally packed campus will be mostly devoid of people, with the exception of the PhD students, tucked away in our attic workspace in an otherwise dark and empty building.