WAGN and GNER permitting we should be back to the Merse later today embarking on a hectic week which includes two trips to Embra for more lectures. THe students were a kindly lot and for the first time in my 8 years of teaching at the uni I got a warm round of applause when I finished-well second time to be absolutely accurate as I had a standing ovation after my last lecture on Iraq at the end of the 2005 Spring semester-but students like the rest of us feel strongly about Iraq and it was more surprising to get enthusiastic endorsement for remarks on Suez and Aden fifty years on. And in the case of Iraq I had run rather late and the students may well have been standing to get out of their seats and possibly clapping to warm up their hands. So perhaps I can't claim that one. My next lecture on King Abdullah the First of Jordan may just keep them awake but that is the limit of my realistic aspirations.