I have one more lecture to give this week and then I can go home. Generally speaking, I try and approach my work with a bit more in the way of positive attitude, but the mobius Upper Respiratory Infection which has been with me for the last month has morphed into its most tedious version yet — I am perfectly all right during the day but as soon as I become horizontal, an uncontrollable irritation seizes upon my tubes, and I cough and cough and cough. All night. I am sitting here between lectures having had about two hour’s sleep, ditto the night before, and beginning to feel as if there is a thin pane of glass between me and the rest of the world. It’s all rather a shame, since old friends have turned up for a long-promised visit. Also, rather less expectedly, our old friend the Bardeen, who rang on Wednesday night to reveal that she was not on Skye, where she lives, but in Turriff & heading our way, due to she and her son having missed a plane at Aberdeen Airport and having nowhere to stay. So once more, we have been in receipt of a charm, or murmuration, of poets: apart from the Bardeen, who by now is in Holland (I hope), we have two English-language poets of different generations under our roof. Also Mr Brennan the Artist is turning up on Saturday. One way or another, I am going to have to stop coughing.