Dear Reader,

I am outside the SCR.

Inside, dear Reader, I hear another bang. I place my ear to the door.

Dear Reader. I hear cries and whoops. There is some sort of party going on.

I push open the door.

There, kneeling before a stout figure in black robes with a filigree lace trim, is Professor Mise. I watch as a tricorn is placed on her head and she is lifted high on the shoulders of Rose Madder, Salty Bob, Fu, Janice, and Darren. Freya is waving a jeroboam of champagne, and there is another bang as the champagne cork flies through the air.

‘Long live our new pro-Vice-Chancellor!’, cries Salty. There are more whoops and tears, and triumphant, ululating singing.

I step into the room, dear Reader.

I clear my throat.

My staff stop carousing, dear Reader, apart from Lu-Seal, who continues to sing the last verse of ‘what shall we do with the drunken sailor’, holding her mop high in the air while performing the can-can.

Then, as if in slow motion, the figure in the lacy robes turns towards me.

‘Put ’im in the longboat until he’s sober’, trails off Lu-Seal.

Dear Reader.

I incline my head graciously, and advance, my arm outstretched.

‘Welcome’, I say. ‘Dear, dear Ser Basil. What a pleasure it is to see you here at last’.

Dear Basil and I look at each other for a long moment.

‘Give us the room’, he says, not taking his eyes off me.

‘Earl-ay in the morning’, whispers Lu-Seal, as she, Mise, Rose Madder, Fu, Salty, Freya, Janice and Darren shuffle outside, taking their jeroboam with them.


4 thoughts on “Earl-ay in the Morning

    1. My oeil may have been tromped by the cruel Taizhou sunshine reflecting off the helicopter’s blades as it hovered outside, my dear. Was it really you, or a standard lamp with tasseled lampshade? So hard to see the difference at times.

  1. I am pleased to think that I can execute a can-can despite several foot-related mishaps with irons and chopping boards. Not to mention a little tumble I took while demonstrating the travelling step for Scottish dancing.

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