I’ve spent sooo much time sitting around in airports! A pal drove me to Exeter on Sunday afternoon, getting there at about 4.30 for an expected take off at 6.50. There was a delay of an hour and so it didn’t leave until almost 8pm. The other passengers can’t have been paying proper attention to the air hostesses as they went through their well-rehearsed mime of what to do in case the plane crashed as I was the only one who applauded! The pilot took a short cut and got us to Dublin by 9. By the time I had picked up my bag and found the bus stop, I was just in time to miss the 9.20 bus, so I sat around for another hour and caught the 10.20 which deposited me at The Huntsman at about 11.
I wasn’t sure whether the pub would be open at that time on a Sunday evening. It was, and it was packed with beekeepers, many of whom greeted me. I fought my way to the bar, towing my case and ordered a pint of Guinness. I was invited by Aksel Jorgensen to sit at a table with a posse of Danes, including the guest lecturer, Flemming Vejsnaes (no, I don’t know how to pronounce it!). I was pleased to note that all the Danes were drinking, not lager as one would expect, but Guinness. We had a pleasant natter. Aksel reminded me that I had put him in touch with Norman Carreck concerning some hive temperature measurements he had made years ago.
It was soon the Danes’ bed time and they left and so I joined that cool couple, Ben and Jerry. They told me off for drinking draught, rather than bottled, Guinness as I would have done if drinking with Dave Cushman. They said Dave would be turning in his grave and come and haunt me!
We walked to the College together, me towing my suitcase (I’d like to shake the hand of the man who had the idea of putting wheels under suitcases!) and Jerry kindly carrying my knapsack, while Ben (Harden) flashed his torch at approaching motorists. We got there ok and soon found Gerry Ryan, the organiser. I knew my room number/bed space (Dormitory 2L no 214) as I had got it by email from Mary Ryan a few days earlier when I realised I wouldn’t get there until after the offfice had closed. Gerry had no idea where the dorm was and so we hunted through the college until we found it. I was only a few cells down from where I was last year when I was dormitory prefect (according to the label of the cell).
The lights were off and some people were asleep so I had to unpack and prepare for bed in the dark. Luckily, experience and taught me to have a torch handy and so I was able to do so without waking Dan Basterfield in the next cubicle. It was a hot and sticky evening so I dispensed with the duvet and, instead, slept with a towel draped over me to keep the draught off. I was in bed by midnight, which is early for me.