Good, so the chair of t'board, who was coming to see me today (gossip? pay rise? summary dismissal?) has cancelled - plenty of better things for him to do on a beautiful morning like this - and I have time to moan and whinge and bore for Ruritania. Many posters - most recently the oldgit, who raved about junkets and hookers - think that the recruiting trip is a frightfully jolly little excursion for those overpaid, incompetent and devious fat cats, school 'leaders'. Would it were so. This last time, RurAir boarded an hour after schedule, then blithely said we'd missed our 'slot' at Heathrow, which allowed passengers to get thoroughly familiar with the interior of the aircraft for another hour before taking off into a bouncy head wind. Fighting this for just under three hours before sighting the fairest isle, we settle into a holding pattern, the same green and pleasant expanse visible eight or nine times as we circle. Eventually thumping down on the remotest runway - possibly somewhere in Yorkshire - we taxi for an eternity. The stairs take a similar time to arrive, and once the buses are crammed full of people and noxious fumes they glide away on another tour of the tarmac, decanting us only a forced march of a kilometer or two from passport control, where the sullen automata at their desks are invisible behind line after snaking line of passengers. Beyond this maze, the baggage handlers have the case on the belt in less than half an hour. The Heathrow express (only Other Ranks travel by tube) is plagued by signal failure and takes forty-five minutes to Paddington. Its driver, a cheerful, well-spoken woman, says "Thank you for your patience" eleven times and "Please bear with us" eight times. After a ritual pause for powerful childhood memories at Padders, the tube cannot be avoided, and a brief third-world nightmare among litter, i-pods, junkies and tabloids brings me to a cut-price hotel, where the tiny room is not yet ready. The first interviewee will arrive at a nearby rented office in just a couple of hours. Over the next day-and-a-half, Brilliant Colleague and I see candidate after candidate. But the field is not strong. Where are all those miserable or unemployed but superb teachers when we want to offer them €33,000 per annum plus rent and lunch allowance to teach gorgeous children in a beautiful city? (No, don't get smart and ask about tax, or cost of living, or the imminent likelihood of the Euro being worth 2p) We evaluate our victims earnestly in short breaks between tricks. There is time, on the second evening, for a pie and a pint with Distinguished Younger Brother, also visiting London for work and also exhausted - but no bookshops, no opera, no panty-raid at M&S... and then the travel rigmarole begins again. Sunday morning sees us mailing offers to three lucky people. By Tuesday, two have grabbed this chance of a lifetime, but the Historian takes a full week of resolute silence to reject it, by which time the only other good candidate has also gone cold. As if that were not fun enough for one week, the same period sees a Mathematician announce that her husband has been posted to Borrioboola-Ga, and a Year Six colleague decide that his mid-life crisis involves leaving the profession. An English teacher continues to 'dither' about joining this motley exodus, so we'll have to commit a Crime Against Humanity by touting a vacancy that may not exist. We will now disburse another fortune on advertising and look shoddy into the bargain, for it is common knowledge that only fourth-tier schools recruit in April and only tenth-rate schools have so many posts at once. And another funpacked journey lies ahead. I did warn you it was boring.