There was barely half an hour before the opening keynote speech and I still hadn’t finished preparing the chicken curry that I had promised for dinner for day 2 of the conference. As soon as the sessions started, I would have no time for anything other than attending and participating in the lectures, panels, and workshops.
There was only one thing for it: to leave the diced meat to fry in the pan on a low heat and hope that another member of my family would finish cooking the dish for me. The more urgent priority was to reach the conference venue next to Edinburgh’s Waverley station as fast as possible. I took up my father’s offer to drive me there in the white Volvo.
We left the car in a free parking space outside the hospital, then I dashed into the lecture theatre just as the first keynote speaker took the stage. It was rather embarrassing that members of the audience spoke over him, including my colleague JB, loudly extolling the virtues of doctoral research in an Indian accent.
I decided that there were perhaps time, after all, to return home and complete the cooking. However, this plan came to nothing when I found that the car had been clamped and my father was arrested. His crime was to have left the Volvo in a space reserved for high priority emergency vehicles.