Sadly, I had to cry off the official evening dinner on a cruise boat in order to pen a speech for the next day’s proceedings. My consolation was to meet up later in the evening with an old Turkish friend and his Austrian wife, a diplomat, in their Buda residence. We have known each other since 1979. Though we see each other rarely, we stay in touch through the internet, and when we do meet up we always go straight to the essentials. In my friend’s case, once we have got the gossip out of the way, those essentials consist of an improbably large collection of wonderfully filthy jokes and scurrilous cartoons, frequently with a political tinge. My favourite on this occasion was a cartoon from a Turkish newspaper depicting Europe as a lady of dubious morals opening the front door of a house and Turkey as an eager and thrusting (if you see what I mean) young man who has clearly just knocked on the door. The lady is saying to the man ‘you can enter, but you can’t come inside.’ I would give my eye teeth to be a political cartoonist. I never cease to admire their ability to sum up complex situations with a few strokes of a pen and a simple play on words.