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“Surely you don’t expect Dr O’Mahony to make it on his own to the Isle of Wight on the right day and the right time! He’s as likely to end up in Jersey or Guernsey as he is the Isle of Wight.” This was Dr Foley’s dire warning to Julia the conference organiser on the Isle of Wight. Stung by such criticism I resolved to make sure I would be there in very good time; calm, cool, collected, and with a well manicured talk. I had a carousel collection, unparalleled in its depiction of the papilloma virus in all its glory. I had small ones, big ones, soft ones, hard ones, fleshy ones, keratinised ones, Axminster carpet-type, and even cauliflower. This would be a tour de force through wart territory leaving no stone unturned.
I set off dead early in the morning on a typical south of England July day. It was bucketing down with rain, …