Monday 25 February

The European tour is imminent and what timing! The January uprising against the Russian bear means our arrival in Polonia couldn't be worse, or better, timed. As Bateman is fond of saying, it is best to live and gain experience first and foremost and then write it all down later, when getting your long (we shall see) grey hair tangled up with your double-headed quill is quite enough stress for an old man of letters. In times of change we should thank our lucky stars for being placed on the spot, tied to the mast by the accident of our birthing as the sandy winds of time whip all about us, tickling the more sensitive amongst us into action of our own. Across the Atlantic (I have not been, no rope being strong enough to tie me to that particular mast) there is conflict. Lincoln confirms the abolition of slavery as a war aim and so gains further support from the streets of this town. After all, it was here that just momentum did not cease with the 1807 act but gathered no moss until ties with slavery became severed in the colonies as they had on home turf in that year. On a more practical note, I am reminded that when the Austrian Empire began its steady decline, and the currency creaked and then crashed, there was almost simultaneously evidenced British 'doleites' lodging in Vienna's very finest hotels and guesthouses (scousers I imagine). Whilst not wishing to mimic their opportunism, I expect the beer to be significantly cheaper over there and the common folk perhaps as capable of seizing the day as they are of seizing the night in Manchester (after 12 pints/12 Bacardi Breezers at a Deansgate boozer and a steady succession of short skirts/flexed muscle). Whatshallever we find, barring dial-up yarn incompatibility and excusing the use of pigeons with only Pidgin English, I shall endeavor to post updates from this new Europa upon the mechanical journal.

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