Professor Humperdink III

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29.4.08

Leaving Liverpool






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Stopping off in Liverpool, we can’t resist visiting our studios and, with most of the members of our old dance band in town, grab the opportunity to broadcast some music to our loyal fans, who haven’t heard from us for some time. After the broadcast, Juan produces some excellent bottles of Glenfarclas, which helps the party swing. Unfortunately, after finishing a few bottles, Bakulebe determines that he is not in a fit condition to drive our train. Accordingly, we load it aboard one of Juan’s ships and carry on in my car. My driving ability, however, is horribly impaired by the Glenfarclas and we immediately crash. Ferociously behind schedule, we quickly requisition two bicycles and pedal north as fast as we possibly can.
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Professor Humperdink’s Diary

28.4.08

Leaving Oxford


Peter's present
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Before leaving Oxford, I deliver a present to my nephew, Peter, on the occasion of his eighth birthday. Despite the urgency of our mission we are, again, delayed by visiting friends and attending an extraordinary amount of parties. Fortunately, Bakulebe turns up with aunt Humperdink, in a new train and, fathomlessly behind schedule, we set off for the Highlands as fast as we possibly can.
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Professor Humperdink’s Diary

24.4.08

Leaving Neddy


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Because of the deteriorating world situation, we urgently need to train new agents. Before meeting the new recruits, we leave Neddy with some of Aunt Humperdink’s adopted children. In the last couple of years, Neddy has walked across Australia, Europe, Antarctica, North America, Africa and Asia, so we know he will enjoy a few weeks quiet holiday with the children before we head to South America for jungle survival training.
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Professor Humperdink’s Diary

21.4.08

Wailing


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Arrive in Palestine crushingly behind schedule. We just have time to visit the Wailing Wall where Juan, unsure what to wail about, starts keening loudly about the lack of decent single malt whisky in this area. I remind him that this is a holy site whereupon Juan, misunderstanding the exact nature of this particular form of holiness starts chanting verses from the sacred Koran, this upsets everyone in sight. I try to explain to Juan that the Jewish people don’t normally do this, and certainly not in this location. Juan, embarrassed by his mistake and, in a misguided attempt to put things right, starts weeping and wailing about the crucifixion of Lord Jesus, this irritates people even more and, followed by an angry mob, we leave this holy place as fast as we possibly can.
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Professor Humperdink’s Diary

18.4.08

To Palestine





Dendera
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Azibo
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Azibo's farm
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To Palestine
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As always, it has been wonderful travelling through the Egypt, although we are somewhat sick of sphinxes. Juan’s cousin, Azibo, turns up and asks us to lend him our camels in order to plough his new farm. We are delighted to help as our camels are tired and Azibo’s farm has light, sandy soil, which is easy to plough and, we have no doubt, will prove to be extremely bountiful. However, we are distressingly short of drinkable supplies and, in order to continue, we have to collect Juan’s secret cache of Bowmore Islay from Dendera. This diversion, although vital, hideously delays us once again and, insidiously behind schedule, we head for Palestine as fast as we possibly can.
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Professor Humperdink’s Diary

16.4.08

A detour


Juan with our two camels, Lumpy and Bumpy
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Jumpy
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Storage depot
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Although it is very beautiful travelling across the desert, we have very little to drink and have to make a detour to our storage depot. Jumpy, Juan’s nervous Jerboa, his only companion when he served here in the Legion, is still living here and it is lovely to see him. Unfortunately, we discover that, although our holding tanks contain thousands of gallons of water, Juan’s stock of whisky has been plundered by the French troops. This is very serious and, although we find a few old Glenkinchie and Auchentoshan bottles deep in the bowels of the depot, travelling huge distances with only Lowland whisky to sustain ourselves is going to be very difficult. Verminiously behind schedule we carry on, as fast as we possibly can.
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Professor Humperdink’s Diary

13.4.08

Biskra


Zindelo
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Khmu and Neddy, arriving at Biskra
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Stop, briefly, to see Juan’s brother-in-law; Zindelo. Zindelo came here originally as a teacher and to study the Bisharin language. However, he was requested to stay on a Bishari warrior, a role more in keeping with his violent nature and skill with weapons. On the way to Biskra, we notice that Voinovich and his private army have been vandalizing our statues. We quickly rebuild them, and manage to arrive in Biskra at the same time as Khmu and Neddy. Khmu reports that, despite frequent bandit attacks and having nearly died of thirst on several occasions, they have had a very enjoyable trip. Now, corrosively behind schedule, we travel on, over the sun-baked desert and sweeping arid lands, singing Tzigani revenge songs and fighting over our desperately small supply of single malt.
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Professor Humperdink’s Diary

12.4.08

Esna


Smoking in Esna
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Column staring
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Juan's sphinxes
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Stop in Esna where we try out Ashirbu’s latest smoking mixture, there is general agreement that, with the recent addition of some rare psychotropic herbs Ashirbu collected from the Congo, this is possibly his best mix yet. After smoking with our friends, I sit and stare at a column for a few days while Juan manically carves sphinxes for no obvious reason. Remembering that we are due to collect Neddy from Khmu, we leave the sphinxes with our friend Anhur, and head on to Biskra, as fast as we possibly can.
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Professor Humperdink’s Diary

10.4.08

To Egypt


Samburu
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Bakulebe's new train
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Dropped in on Samburu, he shows us his new lion’s mane headdress, and invites us to collect some more, for Aunt Humperdink’s collection. As the Masai warriors believe that a lion will only attack a man if he shows fear, I offer to act as bait as, if I see a lion, I normally run away, screaming; this will cause the lion to attack, then Samburu and Juan can catch it in a net. Samburu does not think that this is a good idea as being caught in a net will annoy the creature and shaving the mane off an angry lion is irredeemably stupid. Juan suggests adding whisky to the pool where the lion drinks. The lion, he says, will behave violently for some time but, eventually, it will become maudlin and collapse. Fortunately, Bakulebe turns up in a new train so, risibly behind schedule; we abandon the lion hunt and head for Egypt as fast as we possibly can.
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Professor Humperdink’s Diary

Heading south

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Crossing the lake to Bismarck Rocks I, stupidly, drop some star-shavings into the water. Within five minutes, the entire lake is covered with water plants. The vegetation considerably impedes our progress. Villainously behind schedule, we abandon the boats and march south as quickly as possible.
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Professor Humperdink’s Diary

9.4.08

Off course





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Dropped Bakulebe off, to collect a new train. We are looking forward to Paris, the wonderful wine, the beautiful women, the fabulous restaurants. Unfortunately, caught in a southerly gale, we are forced to land in Timbuktu.
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Professor Humperdink’s Diary

7.4.08

Wrong train


With our schedule in disarray, we are delighted when Marisa offers to bring a train; unfortunately, she brought the wrong kind of train.
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Professor Humperdink’s Diary

5.4.08

Singing and Dancing


Dropping in
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The Duson Family
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The Sunshines
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The Hanging Judges
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Elephant band
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Shop opening parade
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Skeleton dance
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Flying on
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Drop in on aunt Humperdink’s Music Festival. The Dusun family, from Borneo, do a welcoming war dance, then, after The Sunshines, from London, and The Hanging Judges, the famous Edinburgh group, entertain us, our Ceylonese friends arrive, bringing their elephants, and, to celebrate the opening of our new gramophone shop in Warsaw, our Polish friends form a parade. We break out the whisky, join our colleagues from the Nandi tribe, and dance their traditional skeleton dance until we collapse. Now, our schedule in tatters, we fly on, somewhat befuddled, as fast as we possible can.
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Professor Humperdink’s Diary





3.4.08

Back to Port


My gittern
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Back to port
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New aeroplanes
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Although we make repeated attempts to save some whisky, we are only able to rescue eight barrels, two of which are punctured and disastrously diluted with seawater. We set sail immediately, very worried about our shortage of drinkable spirits. I pick up a piece of driftwood, whittle a gittern and play a rondo by Fernando Carulli. Sounding dreary and pointless, this fails to cheer anyone up. I always expect this dull response from that sorry composer. Rapidly switching to a quick waltz by Mauro Giuliani, some foul, loud, Scouse sea shanties and traditional, terrifying, Glaswegian football songs, the instrument brightens up considerably. To celebrate, we break out the whisky and head back to port, singing and shouting and fighting over nothing at all. It has been a very enjoyable trip but, as we are nauseatingly behind schedule, we drop off our companions, collect some aeroplanes and fly on, rather befuddled, as fast as we possibly can.
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Professor Humperdink’s Diary

2.4.08

Abandoning ship




Although we made good headway for a day or two we are, irritatingly, delayed as the whisky fumes ignited and we have had to abandon ship.
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Professor Humperdink’s Diary