I am in a dark place, dear Reader, and the walls are closing in.
I had returned from the Annual Prize-Giving Ceremony – detouring only to deposit gum in the pigeonholes and to knock fruitlessly at Prof Lucille’s door for a good half hour to insist upon the return of my favourite cheese cutter – to find that my key no longer fitted the magnificent double-fronted mahogany door to my rooms.
Dear Reader. I applied my considerable martial arts skills to the door.
After some seconds it flew inwards.
I managed to halt my slide across the parquet with a deft and graceful aerial Lotus kick, ending, behind my desk, in the pose known as The Crouching Horse.
I peered around my desk as far as my straining fetlocks would allow.
Dear Reader, my arrival had not been observed.
Asafetida lay on my chaise longue, her eyes closed as she sipped a Margarita, while Cordelia stood on a ladder, in her pinny and bonnet, hanging new curtains.
I saw that my acid bath had been turned into a potting tray. My various priceless objets had been swept into a box marked ‘bin or charity?’ My sofa cushions had been re-upholstered. My sky-blue wallpaper, with its delicate fleurs-de-lys embossing, had been covered over with posters of someone called Harry Styles.
Dear Reader. I reached for what few items I could, and departed as silently and gracefully as I had arrived.
I write to you now, dear Reader, from the broom cupboard my new office. It is a little bijou, but has a certain rustic charm now that I have just hung Jenny Haniver above the sink, placed the rifle in the mop bucket, and have put on my lecturing hat to ward off the damp.
Fear not, dear Reader. All is not lost.
The depth-charges are in place, and I have just written to the Vice-Chancellor.