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It was bound to happen sooner or later. Well now it has happened and all the fears I previously had have been fully realised. It is not easy being up there doing an after dinner talk and realising that it isn't working. Fervently wishing you were somewhere else, but yet trying to keep the note of fear, embarrassment, and panic out of your voice are incompatible.
It had all started grand enough. I had left plenty of time to get to the venue in Leeds and indeed was even looking forward to a dip in the pool once I got to the hotel. However, the absurd complexity of the traffic “loop” system in Leeds meant that although I knew where the hotel was and could at times see it, access was just impossible. I finally ended up parking in whatever NCP I could find and set …