Just over seven years ago my good friend, mentor, colleague, political buddy and academic sparring partner, John Fitzmaurice, passed away suddenly and unexpectedly. A memorial lecture was established in his memory and this year I received the great honour and privilege of being invited to deliver the lecture. It was supposed to take place this coming Wednesday. I wanted to have something to say, rather than having to say something, and I wanted it to be relevant to John’s memory as well as being relevant to the audience in front of me (which would in any case have had many of John’s former friends and colleagues among it). In other words, I did not want to wing it on the basis of a few ideas, but rather to develop a sustained argument and to deliver it with some passion. So I have not only been working hard but I have been feeling increasingly strongly about the things I wanted to say. Put another way, I have been building up to the big moment. But yesterday afternoon, quite suddenly, the big moment had to be postponed; the venue is no longer available. It is a novel and strange experience. In part, it feels like a postponed exam or interview (I always approach such events with what I like to believe is a healthy degree of trepidation), in part, there is a sense of frustration. But now there is all this passion in me and there is nowhere for it to go in the near future (the lecture will probably not now take place until January). I suppose it will just have to leak away slowly. It’s a strange feeling.