I feel I owe it to my small - yet undoubtedly extraordinarily witty, erudite and loyal - readership to advance some explanation for my failure to make any report on today's events at the Krep Proti's conference. Before doing so, however, I should remind them that today's main speaker was to have been Fanatik Loon, Albia's Home Minister, whose speech - I am sure - would have contained Mr Loon's usual references to the need to protect the inviolable and ancient freedoms of the Albian citizenry by locking up terrorists, persecuting asylum seekers to such an extent that they will gladly return home to be tortured by people who at least have the virtue of speaking their language, and summarily executing anyone who might consider the possibility of looking at a member of the government in a funny way.
In any event, I was sadly unable to make my report, having - following what might have been viewed as a somewhat intemperate exchange with regard to the validity or otherwise of certain expense claims I had submitted - been directed by the Head of News to "cool myself off" by taking a brisk perambulation along Ghei's renowned West Pier. I confess that I may have partaken a little excessively of the potato-based alcoholic beverages offered at the conference hall bar earlier in the evening, and this may be the reason why I failed to recall that the larger part of the pier had been welcomed into the arms of Oceanus in the mid-1970's (though how the Head of News could have forgotten this vital fact escapes me). In any event, I was eventually removed from the sea by a group of passing deep-sea fishermen, and am happy to tell you that - after making my excuses to those brave (if somewhat lonely and overeager) mariners, and following a lengthy stomach-pumping operation - I am now ready to return to the fray.
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