Lovely to go on holiday with such good company to such a lovely place.
Good food and drink and a chance to talk.
Mostly civilised and sensible.
However, as has been pointed out, elsewhere, discussions were also held in which the participants robustly defended their positions.
One such discussion was on the subject of 'bad' language.
Frequently, the Beadle has had to rebuke certain Burrow visitors whose language would shame a sailor, and the Burrow host has in at least one book argued against the use of sexual language in non-sexual situations.
I approach language from a different perspective and defended my position with reference to Bryson, Pinker and others.
For example, the person who hits his thumb with a hammer will invariably make an exclamation which contains sexual language in this very non-sexual situation - even when in an empty room.
I was reminded of my extremely polite sister who, whilst recovering from anaesthetic, charmed the hospital staff with language which would have mortified a sailor.
I also pointed out that, in any event, I could swear in a foreign tongue and it would not be understandable while still satisfying my need to sublimate.
None of this cut much ice with my dear friend.
So, it was interesting to see that all humans do indeed have something in common in times of stress.
I had been held up at Security Control as the officer thought that the only way to avert the fall of civilisation would be for me to deposit the inside of my Zippo lighter in the rubbish bin.
Consequently, I was late in following my companions to Passport Control.
On passing through, I inquired of my Lavender as to the whereabouts of that dear friend who I had promised to protect.
She pointed down.
Imagine my surprise when I saw this frail old gentleman who, having previously refused a wheelchair, was now hunkered down on the floor emptying his bag with the rapidity of a professional burglar ransacking a bureau.
"Dear Boy, do help me, I don't have my passport. Do rummage about in my bag, will you?"
Having only just checked-in it did not seem likely that a pickpocket could have made it past the combined forces of The Merkin and LavenderBlue (whose colour choice also gives you a clue as to her mastery of the deleted expletive).
I rummaged and rummaged, with no success.
"Check your pockets, big man, and I'll go through the bag again"
As I was, again, going through the bag, unsuccessfully, it was apparent that the moment of ultimate stress had finally arrived.
The language said it all.
"Well", I said, "I can't find it in here".
He dived into the bag again with a ferocity and renewed sense of purpose akin to a Meerkat sensing a particularly tasty grub.
The reasonable man might, quite rightly, assume that a distinguished gentleman of such respectable upbringing would, in such a situation, say something like :
"Oh bother, where can my passport be ?"
"My word, I seem to have mislaid my passport".
Neither of these, as it happened.
Instead, the terse, muttered comment which came out was so revolutionary that I am forced to consider the possibility that My Dear Friend and Zola are, in fact, twins who became separated at birth.
However, . . . . . . .
Wild horses would not drag from me the exact words which have led to this view.
I will carry the secret to my grave.
No names, no pack drill.
Some things can never be repeated.
I would rather cut my tongue out . . . . .
More stories of our epic to follow, I am sure.
PS For those of you who don't speak Polish, the title of this piece translates as :
" Where the fuck is the passport ?"
Terseness is optional, and my case is well rested.
(Incidentally, the fucking passport was in his pocket, after all.)