…is very much enjoying his bug book, sent by Grandma, and made me take a picture of him pointing to his favourite bit.
The creature in question is a bombardier beetle, which, according to the book, defends itself against its enemies by producing in a chamber in its abdomen poisonous chemicals which explode, causing a jet of noxious gas to shoot out of its behind. In essence, it deters its enemies with nature’s nastiest farts. Hugh, a little boy through and through, thinks this is wonderful.
This evening Hugh was telling me about his two new pretend friends, who are twins called Allan and James. They wear red jumpers and like colouring and sticking and hunting for bugs. I think bugs will definitely be a bit of a theme on our New Zealand trip.
P.S. Meanwhile we have had the first part of the budget presentation and the news is, of course, bad, including the cessation of maintenance grants to graduate students. I’m grateful for the small mercy that fees will still be covered for those in most need, but it will still have a bad effect on recruitment of graduate students and on the range of social backgrounds among those graduate students, with an impact in turn on university funding and teaching. For us personally there is some relief in that there do not seem to be further attacks on public sector salaries, though we’ll see what the taxation section of the budget brings tomorrow. I know the government have to cut something, but we are now well past the stage of “efficiency savings” and into the realm of doing obvious damage to services, and in a way that will have serious long-term effects.