Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Visiting England - it's a bug free world!

Reading Jules Verne is serous business
Andy and James at the park
Edward, James and I have often visited Portsmouth to see Andy who is a professor there.  He has a group with several students, postdocs and the university recently hired two other less senior faculty in the same domain. Andy is doing outstandingly well as far as we can tell.  Andy's apartment is relatively close to the sea. He started running weekly, but when it's below 15 degrees and raining and windy I find it's better to stay away.

a boat across Swan lake - *not* HMs Victory
We've been to the butterfly museum, which is the only place we've really seen bugs other than a few flies on the beach. They also have an old dockyard for which Andy and Edward have an yearly pass. They visited HMs Victory -- the ship on which Lord Nelson died after winning battle of Trafalgar against Napoleon Bonaparte.  Edward was most impressed by the bug stories. Apparently, back in the late 1700hundred England had lots of bugs. So many that they invaded food stores on board, and got into improperly stored milk. We've seen so few that I have almost forgotten their existence. They are also no mosquitoes to worry about. It's interesting how civilization destroys so much around it. Today's clean is equivalent to dead. But should it be so? Should we value order and death over life?

With so many cats at home (5 are left as of today), James was very disappointed that there were no cats to be seen on the streets in Portsmouth. Three days into our last trip we finally saw a very pretty kitty, but poor James was asleep. We've taken to feeding the seagulls. Andy succeeded in having them catch popcorn he threw in the air. James ran after the pigeons. The children and Andy also watched videos of goats that sound like people. What else are fathers for?

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