Ask not for whom the bell tolls. Participants in the Slovenian studies day held on Saturday at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies in London's Senate House found it tolled for them, and at a most inconvenient moment as the Senate House fire alarms went off during the speech by the Slovenian ambassador.
Our on-the-spot observer records that participants left the building "with some reluctance" - it wasn't so much that they had been intoxicated by the ambassador's oratory as that they were looking forward to comparing his qualities in this direction with that of the wine which had already been poured for the closing of the conference.
It seems to have been an odd day all round. Having had to sign the special register used to record weekend visitors to Senate House, participants were a little nonplussed to find Tamil demonstrators, assembled outside for a protest march, passing in and out of the building to use the hot drinks machine and toilets.