While we are of course very concerned for various friends in the north-west, I can report that as far as we are concerned, the weather did not repeat its heroic performance up here, which is just as well, since with the days of rain which have come in between, the countryside is saturated and a further dose of God’s Bathwater would have been terrifying. The Professor and Dr Brennan found themselves fleeing North up the A68 last night with a sort of monsoon dumping on the road as they drove — conscious, though, that the Romans were no fools when it came to road building: even though one’s memories of the A68 focus on the great swoops up and down. the swoops down do not, at any point, descend to valley-bottom, and the foaming rivulets diverted to either side and ran harmlessly away. The Tweed was thinking of bursting its banks, but didn’t. I found the two of them eating a frugal vegetarian supper around eleven, since I had been entertaining for the Uni. I had also, as it happens, spent a most peculiar hour with an Aberdeen taxi driver who had been hired to take me home. Conversation started with its being on the University account, he had two daughters, one’s through now, the other’s still studying (not with us, but at the ex-Poly in town). This veered off via students’ notions of a really fun evening to a bleak but fascinating insight into the prostitution scene in the city: of course, as it occurred to me as the conversation developed, a taxi-driver is one of the very few people who gets to see anything of the world of vice without necessarily being part of it or complicit with it — the girls take taxis to and from work as a matter of basic prudence, and of course, answer their mobiles without thinking particularly that there’s someone perfectly sober, not spaced out on drugs, and intelligent, who is driving the cab but has not thereby switched his ears off. There was nothing very surprising about what he had to say, but it was still one of those odd, rather chilling moments when two worlds swim within visibility of each other.