Spaceship flies over Edinburgh and pensioners enjoy the Paris nightwear walk Pierrot-style (Rousse)

I was running very late when I bumped into MT near the Pleasance. I hadn’t seen him for over thirty years and had no idea that he was now working at the University of Edinburgh. I thought he was still in New Zealand. He invited me along to the seminar to which he was heading. Even though I really didn’t have time to go to this, I obediently followed him.

The research seminar was one of the most exciting I have ever attended. The highlight was watching the spaceship sweep back and forth overhead. How science had advanced in the past three decades!

Of course this made me terribly late for my dinner date at Restaurant Ruby. I would miss the appointed time by at least half an hour. I hoped that my ‘older man’ would wait for me as I struggled to repack my rucksack.

My next academic appointment was at a conference in Paris. I knew that I was in the French capital because coach loads of pensioners were swarming around the hotel dressed in their pyjamas setting off for the traditional ‘nightwear walk’. They returned with painted faces Pierrot-style, showing off that their walk had taken in Montmartre. Some, however, did not survive the trip. I knew this from observations of a hearse waiting outside in the street.

I found my own set of peers in the conference hall. Some us had brought old currency to share with our friend who collected coins. I would have been better off had I remembered to pack my computer so that I could tweet the sessions, and a cardigan in case they switched on the air conditioning.

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