(It's 12.37am and my heating is off. Thanks, College. Thanks so much. It's not like the insulation in the UK is crap as hell or anything. It's also not like it's 4 degrees outside right now. It's, of course, completely normal to switch off the heating at the coldest time of the day when people are in their rooms, sleeping, and have it turned on in the day when it's warmer and when people usually aren't around. This makes complete sense; so much sense that I ought to be ashamed for not understanding it a lick.)
I just need to say that Dominic made my day. Instead of eclairs which would probably go bad really quickly (an important point, considering he got back to Cambridge sometime past midnight), he bought me a box of Pierre Herme macarons. Being a not-fan of macarons, I didn't know what it was except that it sounded familiar. I consulted Mag and she said it was her favourite; then I realised that she'd mentioned it to me before.
On Sunday, he'd already messaged me to say that he bought me some macarons as he really wanted to bring me something. I thought it would be from some random patisserie; somehow, I assumed that the average patisserie in Paris will have macarons (maybe they do; I don't know). He left it in my pigeon hole in the Porter's Lodge in the morning when I was already in the law faculty. In the afternoon, when I was not focusing at all on editing my conference paper and feeling hungry and thinking about my macarons, I decided it was time to get out of there.
He put it in a Sainsbury's plastic bag. I got home and took out the box, and it was so cute and fancy-looking. When I realised what it was, I was all, 'Omg! He really shouldn't have.' This thought was amplified when I went online and found out how much it costs.
The macarons are amazing. I've had random ones in Singapore and I was never really a massive fan and didn't see the big fuss. The texture was always a bit off and the filling was always too sweet. I kind of liked a couple I had from Lauduree, but that was pretty much it. The TWG ones were meh, and I don't remember what else I had.
These Pierre Herme ones, though, are just heavenly. It's virtually a piece of heaven in my mouth. The crust thing is the right degree of crumbly, the filling is perfect, and everything just went so well together. IT'S SO GOOD! The next time I go to London, I will definitely buy some.
As I am not entirely without a conscience, I felt really guilty about shamelessly asking Dominic to buy me things from Paris (of course I didn't envision them to be gifts); and so when I went to Hummingbird Bakery at Angel (in London) to buy cupcakes to bring to Edward and Daphne for dinner, I bought a couple of cupcakes for Dominic too. See, I can be nice once in a while too!
We went to the Punter at 9.30. He said that he liked the red velvet and that he will have other one (salted caramel which I've never tried and it was even more expensive than the red velvet, which I found out only when I got back to Cambridge and saw it on the receipt before I threw it away) for breakfast tomorrow. He then started analysing the best way to eat the cupcake so that the sweetness of the cream cheese frosting blends perfectly with the saltiness of the vanilla sponge cake. He's such a nerd - and I mean that in a good way, of course.
It drizzled a little. I was alive to the fact when I left the house but I couldn't be arsed opening the back door, stepping back into the house, and opening my room door for an umbrella. Dominic had one. He said it was 'shabby'. I didn't know the extent of the shabbiness until we left and he opened it and I took one look at it and literally doubled over laughing. It was broken. He had to twist a prong (?) back into position before it could resemble an umbrella - and even then, it was still all twisted and messed up. He closed it again and said, 'I will use it later when I walk home, but not now because I don't want to embarrass you.'
The goodbye was not awkward at all and without a hug. I can't really figure him out, but whatever; I like the way things are now. He makes me laugh and I enjoy his company, and that's great. I like the pleasantness. It is rather nice.
I am SO tired. I took a nap after dinner and totally failed in my quest to finish editing my conference paper. I think I ought to take out my 500-word long footnote correcting the Court of Appeal on its misuse of Dworkin's 'rights as trumps' imagery to question whether the minority's rights should prevail over that of the majority. The essential point is that the majority does not have a cognisable right - legally AND morally - in this case, and certainly not under Dworkin's conception of rights at all. Dworkin wrote about this exact thing, this idea that the 'balancing of rights' can meaningfully involve a balancing between an individual right and a 'right' that the majority claims to possess. According to Dworkin, balancing can only occur between two competing individual rights and that the majority does not have a right to be balanced this way. Dworkinian rights stem from two basic principles of equality and dignity; rights serve to protect and advance some dimension of these two principles. It is therefore incoherent to speak of the majority possessing rights in this sense because the majority as a collective cannot be thought of as having some quality of equality or dignity that needs to be protected from assault by the state; in a democracy, the majority is the state.
I'm not sure if that's precisely Dworkin's argument, but you know, all the stuff until the part about why the majority doesn't possess Dworkinian rights is correct. I made up the rest. I hope it sounded plausible. Anyway, the point is, the long footnote is about this. It does not fit into the main text but it is important to me because it drives me crazy when the language of rights, especially of balancing, and especially when Dworkin has been referred to, is misused. I think it is both intellectually lazy and rather irresponsible: the language rights has a moral force that's capable of superficially inflating the cogency of an argument. Some people may read the judgment and be swayed by the Court's use of rights language and then believe that the majority has a right not to be offended or to enforce its moral views through the criminal law. I genuinely believe that there isn't a coherent conception of rights that is meaningfully committed to rights that could support this view. It is contrary to the purpose of rights because it violates the rights of the unpopular group against whom the majority is biased.
I am having a headache so I will cut to the chase. The point is that I ought to remove this footnote because it's too long, or cut it short, whatever. I know that I should and it will make my life easier cutting down the word count...but oh my god, it hurts. It really hurts. I also had the most fun writing this footnote, so this really freaking sucks.
I am too tired to sound intelligent and it's too cold to keep being anywhere but under my blanket, so I shall post this now.
(PS. I told Dominic, 'The ma-ker-rons are amazing.' He corrected my pronunciation of 'macarons'. He speaks pretty good French. Actually, I'm quite happy to be corrected.)