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Roly, refusing to understand that we are stravaigishly behind schedule and don't have a moment to lose, tells us that he has to paint some jays. Juan says that, at least, he won't be painting another stupid bird, and painting letters of the alphabet should be quick, but Roly explains that the jay is a bird; it's a kind of noisy crow, with a coloured plumage. Juan says it would be easier if Roly just caught a normal crow, threw some colours on it and then painted it; I tell Roly that George Rankin painted an excellent jay, complete with a jay's egg, and painting more jays seems redundant, but Roly says George painted a jay while it was standing on a branch, which is something that any dunder-headed buffoon can do. Roly, however, wants to paint some jays while they're flying, and that, he says, takes genuine talent. There is no dissuading the man so, while he goes off to paint jays, Juan and I break out our Vintage Glenordie, Interleven, Knockdhu, and Talisker Private Reserve, offer toast after toast to gaudy, garrulous, birds, and fall around in muddled circles, as fast as we possibly can.

Professor Humperdink’s Diary