in which i take the chip on my shoulder out for a pleasant walk

It is possible that we have been travelling for too long. Last night I dreamed I was pushing an airport trolley loaded with our luggage around Matthew and Kathryn’s wedding, which was for some reason taking place in Las Vegas.

In the waking world, we went to Cambridge for a look at Harvard. It felt necessary, since we’d been in the other Cambridge on Saturday without making it out to see the colleges or, indeed, anything other than Donna’s excellent compost heap.

Rach Honnery said: “Look, you can get Claire a onesie with ‘Harvard University’ written on it!”

I said: “Can you get one with ‘Actually, Mum and Dad believe that state-funded education is a really good idea’ on it instead?”

“I’m sure you can somewhere. This is Cambridge, after all,” said Michael, “but probably not here.”

We walked through the gardens. Harvard’s lovely, especially in the slanty amber light of sunset, and the students are all about nine years old with impossibly clear skin. I remember when I was young I fretted and fretted about my looks, and someone told me that young people are always beautful just by virtue of being young, and I thought that was tosh, but it wasn’t, they really are.

“There’s a gate up there with ‘Enter here and grow in wisdom’ written above it,” said Michael.

“I guess ‘Abandon hope all ye who enter here’ would’ve been a bit glum.”

“You’ll need to get a scholarship if you want to come back,” Rach warned Patrick.

“UC Berkeley’s an excellent school, and so cheap,” I told the children.

“Nah, Patrick’s going to be an Oxford boy,” said Rach. “He’ll win a scholarship and drink yard-long beers, like Bob Hawke.”

Patrick belched, in a very creditable imitation of Bob Hawke.

“These are all residential buildings,” said Michael. “The library’s over there. I used to know various statistics, so pretend I remember them, and have told you.”

“Cool. Where do they inject the sense of entitlement?”

“I think it’s a pre-condition of entry.”

“Do we turn right or left here?” asked Rach.

“Right, of course…”

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