Saturday, November 02, 2002

I was in the Forbidden Planet science fiction bookshop in New Oxford Street on Thursday. After wandering around and browsing for a few minutes, I found myself vaguely watching a couple of other customers. In particular, I noticed a middle aged man and a red headed girl who looked about eleven, obviously his daughter. The father was holding several books and he and his daughter were earnestly discussing them. At least they were earnestly discussing something. I only think it was the books, because the conversation was in what sounded like Dutch and I therefore couldn't understand it. However, the father was the one doing the consulting. He was asking questions of some sort, and the daughter was replying in a friendly but oh so serious manner. Buying science fiction novels while on a trip to London was obviously a very important matter, and a great amount of scholarship and intelligence was necessary to get it right. There is a certain intensity that certain really bright people have. This girl had it in spades. Plus I was struck by how unapologetic about it this girl seemed.

My mind had a couple of thoughts. One is that the world does not contain enough eleven year olds like this, and we should treasure them all. (Often, though, we don't). The other is that I probably need a daughter of my own.

Update Perhaps I am imagining things. It was a cute little scene though.

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