If you ever have to go to Inverness from London, my advice is don't go on the train. There are regular and cheap flights, but for some reason I still thought it would be best to go by rail. Perhaps I was scared to fly, which is faintly ironic because I am no scared to confront a giant monster that lives in a loch and quite possibly breathes fire.
The projected journey time was about eight hours, but inevitably there were difficulties with our engine and there was a further delay of an hour and a half. I could have been in America in that time.
I passed some time trying to learn the Guinness Book of Records. I made a decent stab at the 20 or so facts on the first two pages, which were mainly tragic stories of people who had serious debilitating and fatal illnesses that meant they were very tall, very short or very fat. Adam Rainer of Austria was under 4 ft at 21 and nearly 8ft when he died at 51 (having spent twenty to thirty years bed-ridden). The book jollily proclaims that he is the only man to have been both a dwarf and a giant. As if this is some solace for what was clearly a terrible lfe. The tiniest woman ever died at 19 and was 24 inches tall. There was some elongation at death, we are informed, with no acknowledgement of the tragedy of this short and short life.
But I did at least learn which woman has the biggest natural breasts in the world and as with all this entry this is from memory. Her name is Annie Hawkins Turner (which I remember by thinking of a monster with the heads of Annie from th musical, Justin Hawkings and Anthea Turner with really big tits).
All this took me about two hours. I then flicked through the rest of the book and realised I was wasting my time. There is no way I can learn all this - not all the names, not all the statistics.
But I still haven't totally given up on the idea of trying.