Apropos of nothing else, but in sheer parental exuberance, I wish to announce that Miss Paine the Younger took a first in her Politics & History degree from LSE. Given her upbringing in post-communist Eastern Europe, it's somehow right that her favourite subject of study is the Cold War. For myself I am delighted that awful era has just become something for historians (not her of course) to get wrong.
The degree ceremony is on Thursday and we will have in mind amid the celebrations the sad fact that the late Mrs Paine's last ambition was to live to see it. She had even, as Miss P reminded me this week, bought a dress in preparation. If her own religious faith was right, she will be there. As to that, atheist that I am, I have never wished more strongly to be wrong.