Given the state of the news, I can’t help thinking of the visit I made to Cairo courtesy of the British Council about two years ago.
I was there for the Cairo book festival with fellow authors Anthony Horowitz, Margaret Drabble and David Almond. After a meeting with Mrs Mubarak, who talked about the importance of reading for children, we were invited to dinner with the British Consul and his wife at the home of the British Ambassador. The highlight of the dinner was the arrival (over dessert) of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, in ‘full archbishop bling’ as Anthony Horowitz described him.
Anthony and The Most Reverend Archbishop claimed a previous acquaintance (why did this not surprise me?) and so I had the honour of being introduced to His Grace. We actually shook hands.
He seemed distracted, having come directly (we were told) from a meeting with Muammar Gaddafi in a tent in the desert.
Egypt and Libya.
I wonder what they talked about that night.