The Plastic Hippo

September 30, 2015

Fresher`s week

Filed under: Education,Faith,Media,Politics — theplastichippo @ 3:00 am
Tags: , , , , , ,
Pokemon zodiac via Arkeis

Pokemon zodiac via Arkeis

On long road journeys, only two rules apply when driving along in the family car with the squeaking breaks. Firstly, anyone who asks “are we there yet?” is immediately ejected and made to walk and secondly; the driver decides on the CD or radio station. Thus, on the long Saturday morning drive to deliver the Neanderthal that formerly occupied an upstairs room to his seat of tertiary learning; the airways were given over to Richard Coles and Saturday Live courtesy of BBC Radio 4. The people not driving retreated to their personal audio devices only noticeable during the reassuring moment of silence before the news when the sibilant hissing was loud enough to cause a olive grove full of cicadas to drop down dead from the trees.

Successfully processed and installed in his academic cell, we enjoyed a rather wonderful weekend with the evolving Neanderthal as he embarks on three years of running up a sizable debt. Monday lunchtime brought our final involvement as his guardians at a Q and A session for undergraduates and parents. After 10 minutes of listening to questions demanding to know if Giles will receive value for money for his tuition fees and what steps the university are taking to ensure that Jemima does not get drunk and then fall into the splendid lake and drown, I dragged the Neanderthal out and we went in search of the Student Union bar. Over a couple of pints, I cruelly abandoned him to adulthood.

This rite of passage and the taking of strong drink ensured that the prepared and final fatherly advice was dispensed and had the added bonus of disqualifying me from driving the long road home. After hugs and tears we left him to his own devices and headed home in the car with the squeaking brakes. Having abdicated control of the radio, I was forced to endure the woefully bland output of BBC Radio 2 on a weekday afternoon. After about 10 minutes I retreated to my personal audio device and the welcoming comfort of Thelonious Monk.

Inevitably, we arrived at motorway road works and came to a dead stop not because a lane was closed for repair but because some drivers are too stupid to realise that two lanes travelling at 50 is faster than stopping the traffic by merging far too late. I muted Monk and offered the driver a boiled sweet. On the radio, an astrologer was offering horoscopes and stated that the lunar eclipse was about to “change everything”.

The Earth signs, it seems, will undergo a change of circumstances. The Fire signs will undertake a period of study. The Water signs will be involved in relocation and Fire signs will face financial challenges. Good heavens, the astrologer hit the nail on the head and addressed the entire Radio 2 demographic who just happened to be sitting in cars after depositing offspring at various academic institutions. In earlier times, the fortune-teller would have had to face the Inquisition on charges of witchcraft due to his unerring accuracy in predicting the future.

Quite what the charlatan soothsayer will make of the discovery of flowing water on Mars is anyone`s guess but, like the rest of us, I imagine he didn`t see that one coming. A super saline solution might not be water as we know it and may not be conducive to the creation of simple, bacterial life-forms but looking into a crystal ball might result in the necessity to take a second look at the certainty of some very old holy texts sent by Almighty God.

In a fresher`s week that has seen the leader of the Labour Party talk of Socialist principles and a new politics and a Conservative Prime Minister not denying some extremely disturbing allegations of behaviour in a former life, the lunar eclipse might be the cause of a fundamental change in the movement of the spheres. On the other hand, the change might be more Earthly and rather than looking to the night sky for clues, we might be best advised to look to each other when attempting to predict the future.

The traffic eventually began to move and after offering another boiled sweet and before returning to Monk`s Dream, I asked the driver;
“Are we there yet?”

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