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13.7.09

To Nesle


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It is always a lot of fun in London and, to celebrate being back in the city, we share out barrels of Vintage Glen Spey, Interleven, Lochnagar and Scapa Special Reserve, and offer toast after toast to all Londoners. Afterwards, Juan and Mahalath are desperate to go on the town, so we arrange to meet later and I go to my club to see aunt Humperdink.

Surprisingly, the club appears to be deserted; however, I do bump into Fred and Dona, the miserable, strange, couple who are always hanging about, pathetically trying to get an audience with aunt. They have a convoluted problem which they insist on telling everyone they meet, but they explain it incredibly slowly, including everything about who said what to who, and who promised who what, and why one thing didn’t happen, when it should have happened, and how another thing did happen, where it shouldn’t have happened, and it seems Fred and Dona had a country, but they lost it. Or possibly, they don’t have a country, and want one. Whatever the case, their problem is so complicated and boring that it is impossible to listen to without going into a trance.

I keep myself awake by drinking flasks of Vintage Caol lla, Glen Moray, Talisker and Linkwood which, washed down with Knockando Special Reserve, revives me enough to make sympathetic noises and wish Fred and Dona the best of luck. They say that they are very hopeful; as aunt Humperdink’s under secretary’s deputy assistant’s junior assistant’s secretary’s temporary assistant told them that aunt might find the time to see them within in the next six months. I assure them that it will be definitely worth the wait. They ask me to wait with them, as they want to tell me some more about their problem, but I explain that I am tortuously behind schedule and, leaving them a case of Vintage Auchroisk Founders Reserve, to cheer them up, I blunder around the empty club until, falling through a door, I find myself back on the street.

I urgently need to find aunt Humperdink but, after listening to Fred and Dona telling me their dreary story for days on end, I also need some action. Remembering that you can always get some action in the Somme, I immediately join my squadron and fly to Nesle, as fast as I possibly can.

Professor Humperdink’s Diary