After taming a wild camel, following my compass, we spiral inwards until, after revolving on the spot for a week, I remember that, because I played my bagpipes in aunt Humperdink’s mine, they must be full of cobalt dust, which attracts the compass needle. This is irritating. The compass is no use if it just points at my bagpipes and, without landmarks, in unmapped territory, I have to navigate by the stars.
In the northern hemisphere, Polaris, the Northern Star, stays in the same position and, generally, indicates north; however, from the Desert of Angad, I can’t see Polaris, and, as all the other stars are moving, celestial navigation is too difficult to bother with, so I travel by day, and, although I have to spend a lot of time dragging my idiotic camel away from attractive mirages, we make good progress. To celebrate, I break open the barrels of Vintage Cragganmore, Bowmore, Aberlour and Strathisla Special Reserve, which I keep for such occasions, then, blowing up my bagpipes and, offering toast after toast to all desert travellers and regaling my camel with ‘The White Heather Jig’, ‘The Aberfeldy Reel’, and ‘Morag of Moulin’, we head over the arid wastes of the Unknown Region, enthusiastically following our nearest star, as fast as we possibly can.
Professor Humperdink’s Diary