Interview again

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  1. Where have you lived in your life? Belfast, until I was 17, apart from a year when our family lived in Massachusetts and another year in the Netherlands. County Down for my last year at school. During my year off, Northamptonshire, Armagh and Germany. For five years of BA, students union and M Phil, Cambridge. For another five years of PhD and political activism, Belfast again. Sixteen months in Bosnia; eight months in Croatia. Then the last six years in Belgium (two and a half years in Rhode-St-Genese, since then in Oud-Heverlee).
  2. What’s the last cd you bought/listened to? I don’t buy music as often as I’d like. I think the last one I bought was a set of eight cds by the Finnish composer Sibelius, and I’m sure the last cd I listened to was the one out of that set with my favourite piece, The Swan of Tuonela.
  3. Describe yourself in 20 words or less? Husband, father of three, Irish, European, UK citizen, liberal, Catholic, political analyst, science fiction fan, psephologist, lapsed medievalist, aspiring polyglot.
  4. Worst injury suffered? Surprisingly difficult. I’ve never had to spend a night in hospital, thank God; I’ve had an ingrowing toenail cut out, but that’s not quite an “injury”; I think the pathetically minor incident that counts as worst must be when I walked into a lamp-post one night in summer 1988 at the Royal Greenwich Observatory and they took me to the local hospital to be checked up. But I don’t think that even needed stitches.
  5. Favourite type of food? Indian. One of my aunts is married to a Bengali, so as children when visiting we were introduced to the authentic cooking of the sub-continent; also my wife is from Birmingham; also absence makes the heart grow fonder, as it’s very difficult to find a decent curry in Belgium. (God bless , for introducing me to the delights of the lunchtime buffet at the Grapevine on Place Luxembourg. But it’s too far from my office to casually drop in, and not sufficiently up-market for a business lunch, which means I can only go there if meeting actual friends for whom the location is convenient.)
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