BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page was last updated in March 2007We've left it here for reference.More information


Accessibility help
Text only
BBC Homepage
BBC Radio
TodayBBC Radio 4

Today
Listen Again
Latest Reports
Interview of the Week
About Today
Today at 50
Message Board
Contact Today

Contact Us

Like this page?
Send it to a friend!

 
Weekdays 6-9am and Saturdays 7-9am How to listen to Today
Latest Reports

Odd Book Titles

PRINT VERSION



This is a spoof opening created by author Alexander McCall Smith to a book titled 'Proceedings of the Eighteenth International Seaweed Symposium' writen by Robert J. Anderson, Juliet A. Brodie, Edvar Onsøyen and Alan T. Critchley.

Alexander McCall Smith

Alexander McCall Smith
USEFUL LINKS



The BBC is not responsible for the content of external websites

“Call me Kelpy,” said the man in the harbour bar.

I stared at him, trying to recall where it was that I had seen him. I was sure that I had encountered him before, but the tides of forgetfulness have their own ways of obliterating our day-to-day human experiences. In they sweep, washing our footsteps from the sand, carrying away the tiny detritus of our days.

Then it dawned on me, and it all came back: the sheer tedium of the first seventeen symposia, and then the eighteenth, with all the things that happened there.

“Kelpy!” I said. “The eighteenth international seaweed symposium ...”

His mouth split into a toothless grin. “There are some people who would like to forget what happened at the eighteenth,” he said. “But not me! I’m not going to forget in a hurry!”

I bought Kelpy a drink; it was the least I could do, in the circumstances. As I handed him the glance, I couldn’t help but notice that he took a small bottle of iodine out of his pocket, measured out a few drops, and added them to the drink.

“Some people wonder what we get up to at those meetings,” said Kelpy. “If only they knew!”

“That’s why we publish the proceedings,” I said.

“Ah,” said Kelpy. “But that’s only half the story, isn’t it? It’s like the tips of the seaweed on the surface: most is down below.”

What a striking analogy, I thought.


Back to Reports Homepage

Latest Reports

Back to Latest Reports Homepage

Audio Archive
Missed a programme? Or would you like to listen again?
Try last 7 days below or visit the Audio Archive page:

Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday

Today | Listen Again | Latest Reports | Interview of the Week | About Today | Today at 50 | Have Your Say | Contact Today



About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy