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Tumbling into a laboratory to ask directions, pleased and surprised to come across our old friend Dirk, from Buchanhavan. Juan says he thought everyone from Buchanhavan was called Angus. I ask Dirk what the machine does. Dirk tells Juan that Angus is his middle name, and he explains us that, as time is the same as malt, he was inspired by Wilhelm’s vatted malt deblending methods. Many single malts, which make up the past, merge together to form one blended malt, the present. His device simply reverses the process, singularising the blended present back to it’s original, unique singleness. I ask him what effect that has but he says that he doesn’t know yet as it requires a great deal of calibration before it can work. Juan said that some women are like that. Dirk explains that, before it can work properly; it has to be synchronised to Angus’s pendulum. Juan tells Dirk that, when we last saw him, Angus was trying to glue whiskers to his face, for the Buchanhaven Play. Dirk says that he knew Angus had landed the role of Mrs Mouse in the play, and had seen him scampering around the corridors and gnawing cables and, no doubt, he will be an inspired Mrs Mouse, but his negligence in measuring the swing of the pendulum was slowing down the research.

Dirk asks us if we would like to stay and watch him calibrate, we tell him it is all very interesting and that we would like to stay, but we have been schlepishly delayed so many times we are chronomaniacally behind schedule so, lifting our glasses, we salute Dirk’s wonderful efforts and weave our way onwards, as fast as we possibly can.

Professor Humperdink’s Diary