Alas, no Dahlia yet.
One evening, Sophia wrote a letter and stuck it under the door. It said “I hate you. With warm personal wishes, Sophia.”
All the words were correctly spelled.
Sophia made a kite. The directions were in a newspaper she found in the attic, but even though she did exactly what it said, the kite did not turn out right. The tape wouldn’t stick and the tissue paper tore and the paste got in all the wrong places. When the kite was finished, it refused to fly and kept slamming into the ground as if it wanted to destroy itself, and finally it threw itself in the marsh. Sophia put it outside Grandmother’s door and went away.
What a smart little girl, Grandmother thought. She knows that sooner or later I’ll make her a kite that can fly, but that doesn’t help. That doesn’t matter at all.
It was on my mind that I should probably have apologised to Cassandra’s mother for my misplaced [when it comes to Africa] Western European guilt rant, as it was a bit more irritable than I probably intended. Or maybe less so, I forget, it was a few weeks ago now. I only mention it as she left Tove Jansson’s books for adults in our house, and for this I am immensely grateful.
‘Who wants to see the future? Who ever does? A man can face The Past, but think - the pillars crumbled you say? And the seas empty, and the canals dry, and the maidens dead, and the flowers withered?’ The Martian was silent, but then looked on ahead. ‘But there they are. I see them. Isn’t that enough for me? They wait for me, no matter what you say.’
And for Tomas the rockets, far away, waiting for him, and the town, and the women from Earth. ‘We can never agree’ he said.
‘Let us agree to disagree’ said the Martian. ‘What does it matter who is Past or Future, if we are both alive, for what follows will follow, tomorrow or in ten thousand years. How do you know those temples are not the temples of your own civilization one hundred centuries from now, tumbled and broken. You do not know. Then don’t ask. But the night is very short. There go the festival fires in the sky, and the birds.’
Another proud fathering moment, is when your child translates from Ἡρόδοτος Ἁλικαρνᾱσσεύς on the fly. Just by reading, no reference to dictionaries nor grammar books. Which section did he translate? We shall make the sky dark with arrows. Then we shall fight in the shade!. (I paraphrase, sorry, but you get the point.) Very cool.
Whyso with the quotes, you might think? Well, this not-Martin quote was pasted on NewNewWork’s noticeboard, to which I took exception, and printed and stuck up a few of my own. (Others followed, and it was a veritable philisophik paradise.) They all got removed, and was told to us that it wasn’t our noticeboard. And here was me, trying to engender cross-company communication, as themmuns sit way away from usuns. Fret not, gentle reader, subterfuge is my middle name. (So, solve the riddle on the noticeboard. All your bases are belong to us.)