I’ve been off line for a while. We were down in Edinburgh from Monday afternoon to Wednesday, then catching up like mad, then the blog site was down. Why we were in Edinburgh was to witness the civil partnership of the erstwhile Tropical, now Edinburgh, Godparents. It was a terrific day from start to finish, what with a strangely beautiful late autumn day with a Lowryish white sky, Godmama’s chili prawns, the demented Edwardian splendour of the Lothian Chambers — coffered ceilings, silver chandeliers, sirens on the balustrades, gilt — where the event took place, tea in the eyrie on Calton Hill, dinner at the Café Royal, which has somehow managed to maintain its Sporting Heroes decor for a hundred years or so — stained-glass cricketers and rugby players, behind the bar, a mosaic of a paddle steamer (why?). All in all Edinburgh at its most romantic, weird, homely, and distinctive. Once returned to the Deep North, I continue to be inundated with squeebling students, lectures and so forth, and on a domestic front, the struggle continues. One nice thing: the Bishops’ Chair reappeared after five months at the upholsterer’s, who had sort of lost track of it. The Professor was firm, not to say eloquent, on the subject, and it has come back home. It has been reupholstered with bits of damaged Oriental rugs, and while this has been in some ways a great success, since it looks extremely handsome, as the Professor observed, the effect has rather curiously been to emphasise the bogusness of the chair — it’s 1835 bogus seventeeth century rather than the 192os variety, but somehow ripping off the nuns’ easy-clean Dralon and substituting this rather grand upholstery has made it look less so, not more so. Curious, and I’m not quite sure why.