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20.11.09

Hanging on





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Getting into the train is proving to be difficult. Juan, quickly drawing a simple diagram, suggests that we could get to the cab by climbing between the outer firebox and the brick arch. I point out that his diagram doesn't bear any resemblance to our train, Juan retorts that sketching a train, while hanging, upside down, beneath the train, is very difficult. I remind him that, in any instance, because we stuffed ourselves senseless on Captain Captain 'Fatty' Farquhar's amazingly delicious collection of biscuits and cookies, cheesecakes, sweet and savoury pies, scones, tartlets, rolls and strudels, we are much too big to fit into the inner workings of the train. Juan says that the heat and the steam of the engine will melt the fat off our bodies and then we will be slim enough to slither through the pipes. This is a very good point and, to celebrate such a good idea, we lower our flasks of Vintage Linkwood, Strathisla, Cardhu and Clynelish Special Reserve to our inverted mouths and drink toast after toast to all slimmers.

Alternately, we decide, after some more consideration, we could just remain where we are and hang on until Bakulebe stops the train. This is an even better idea and, to celebrate, we thrust our flasks of Vintage Duff's Defiance into a steam outlet and, enjoying the invigorating tang of steam-heated, greased, hot toddy, we hurtle down through the glorious hills, singing 'An dà Dhuin' Uasal òg' at the top of our voices, and swinging from side to side, as fast as we possibly can.

Professor Humperdink's Diary