Dot writes: back in Dublin, where it’s almost 3am, two little boys are sleeping (or I jolly well hope they are), and one Dad is storing his strength for a week of solo parenting. Here in Madison, Wisconsin, it’s just coming up to 9, I’ve been up for twenty-and-a-half hours, and my body clock is so confused I feel I may as well do a little blogging before finally collapsing into the extremely elegant bed that waits behind me. (It’s for one night only. Tomorrow I decamp from the posh conference centre to the student dorm, where I belong.) I took the coach from Chicago O’Hare Airport to Madison, so I’ve already gained an initial impression of this patch of the US. As we drove out of Chicago, the land was wide and flat, the fields were large, there were a few clumps of trees dotted about and lots of wide low light-industrial-type buildings, and I thought to myself, I’ve flown halfway round the world just to arrive in Peterborough. But it got a little hillier and woodier along the journey, and what I’ve glimpsed of the lake (Lake Mendota) is very pretty, and the buildings in Madison offer a pleasing blend of monumental and wooden-colonial. And it’s astonishingly hot. Fortunately all vehicles and buildings are ferociously air-conditioned.
I hope my little boys are OK. I hope Ken isn’t finding it too much of a strain. This is already the longest I’ve ever been away from Frank in his whole life. Sniff. Still, it’s a big adventure; and one I might start to enjoy once I’ve had a decent sleep. Night night.