Interview questions

From :

1) Your job seems to straddle the line between diplomacy, politics, thinktankery and NGO-ness. Where in those areas would you like to end up? That’s a pretty good description of my job as it is right now! Though while it is somewhere between all four of those categories, is closer to the think-tank/NGO side of the line. Some would question whether there is a clear division between think-tanks and NGOs, but I am not one of them.

At some point I would like to be on the inside, though. I would very much enjoy being an elected politician, but on the other hand am not yet geared up to the process of getting elected after my 1990 and 1996 experiences. If I could have some formal diplomatic role for a few years, perhaps then ending up in electoral politics, I would be pretty pleased.

2) Your kids are growing up going to Belgian schools (I think?). Will they be Belgian? They do indeed go to Belgian schools, and I suspect they will eventually be entitled to Belgian citizenship. Whether they choose to exercise that right is a different matter. I am inclined to feel we’ll keep them on UK or Irish passports, unless and until there is a compelling reason (such as the child’s clearly expressed wish) to get a Belgian one.

3) What positives have you gained from being in fandom? Good question. I almost wonder to what extent I am “in” fandom, though I suppose that participating in half-a-dozen panels at a WorldCon makes any argument that I’m not really that involved look pretty threadbare…

Of course, there’s the excitement that you get from any shared community; but more particularly, the feeling that others share my motivations for reading sf, that it is a literature of ideas, probing beyond the boundaries of this world (whose more sordid aspects occupy my working hours) and looking for new insights into the human condition and our relations with the universe. When I’m properly awake, I find discussing sf with like-mided people an extraordinarily stimulating experience. If I’m tired, I just enjoy reading it and reading about it as an escapist activity.

4) Have you found your faith has helped with accepting your daughters’ disabilities? (is that the right word? illness doesn’t sound right to me.) Your post about B’s first communion has stuck with me as a real and good change from the church as I tend to think of it. Well, thanks. disability is indeed a better word than illness, in that one usually either recovers from or dies from an illness.

I like to think that my faith helps me generally, and am a bit reluctant to single out the family situation in this regard. I have a happy marriage, three beautiful children, and a successful career; much to be thankful for.

I certainly wouldn’t want to go down the line of the worshippers of Our Lady of the Stone in Tienen, near here, who believe that mental disorders can be cured if the correct rituals are performed while wearing the sacred headgear.

5) Will you ever move back to NI? Dunno. A few months back I answered this question (when asked by ) by saying “only if I can afford it”. I should really add that the availability of adequate help with my children would be a big issue as well. Having said that, if all else were equal and I could do my work from in front of a computer screeen anywhere in the world, I think I’d rather do it there than here.

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