Tuesday, 2 November 2010


we have been invited to a halloween party
at the house of one of woodle's new school friends
as the afternoon light fades
we enjoy carving a pumpkinhead lantern with a leering smile
then it's time for h to dress up as her current craze:
mildred hubble - 'the worst witch' in the school
i say she should dress up as a scary guinea pig
(h's much-wanted pet
which she currently insists on emulating by constant nose-twitching
but remember: 'a guinea pig is for life, not for christmas')
at the party the house is full of kids
schoolfriends of the girls
plus the families of some of dad's university colleagues
i am unfortunately rationed to one bottle of bishop's finger as i'm driving
i sip it slowly
mrs f gets embroiled in conversation
with the gregarious irish granny of two of the kids
over from dublin for a short stay
i get chatting to a bright and affable german linguist who was recently in korea
he fills in some of my many gaps about german history
occasionally pulling out his eye-phone to check his facts
woodle's classmate's dad and pals all work in the political science department
sounds like it should be quite radical
i ask them what exactly political science is
but am not much the wiser after the explanation
what about chomsky, i say
does he feature much in their courses?
i get a tepid response
academically he's best known as a linguist, isn't he?
doesn't he make normative judgements on us foreign policy?
guess i should have known better
the kids have strayed upstairs and are doing moonies at each other
it must be time to go
school day tomorrow
so we head home
through the haunted night

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