Wednesday, 4 February 2015


Four o'clock this morning. I'm on my way, via innumerable detours and delays, from city A to city B. City B seems to be Leeds. To cut a very long dream short, I arrive in the nick of time on a station platform where my boat is almost ready to leave. (It's a dream, remember.) But drat and dash it, I have no money on me. Fortunately, in the entrance just before the ticket barrier I spot my mate Christopher Hitchens, looking youngish and healthy in a smart grey suit. Great, I can tap him for a loan. Cheerfully he agrees to bale me out and gives me a pair of smart grey underpants. These I hand over at the ticket office, where the two Greek blokes that man it are amused but put up no objection.

'Ο κύριος είναι γνωστός στην Αγγλία! (The gentleman is well known in England!)' I tell them brightly. 'Δημοσιογράφος!'(Journalist!)'

On the boat are people known to me in the dream, colleagues and students all bound for the same unspecified purpose to Leeds. I cannot wait to announce to general mirth that I bought my ticket with Christopher Hitchens's underpants. But when I do, nobody's listening or interested, and the big joke falls flat as a fart.



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