20th November

November 20, 2003

A pleasant and uneventful flight to the ‘fake’ Dusseldorf, Niederrhein.

A much more interesting time on the train to Stansted, however, where my former dealings with the elderly mentally and physically infirm came in very handy.

A confused woman with no stockings, no bags, a solitary five pound note and, it must be said, a slight whiff of men’s toilets about her, boarded at Norwich. On the basis that she or her daughter would pay in full within the next fortnight, she managed to persuade the ticket collector to sell her a ticket to Peterborough (I hope you’re keeping track of the English geography, here!).

As her story varied from seeing her son to seeing her daughter, I was pretty amazed it got so far, so at Ely I suggested the ticket collector ring around the hospitals and homes in Norwich to see if someone had flown over the cukoo’s nest.

Inevitably, ward 12 at one of the local homes for the mentally ill was missing one of their finest.

I expect my public service award from the Queen very shortly.