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Travel, they say, improves the mind.  It can also paralyse it. One of the results of too much travel is being continuously reminded how much there is to know. No bad thing in itself, but you do have to stop and absorb at some point. I accept one final invitation, to speak in Tbilisi at "European Week". Georgia wants into the EU, just as everybody else wants out, though it has understandable reasons.

While in Tbilisi I take the opportunity to visit the South Ossetian boundary with a group of fellow speakers. We pass the vast new settlements built to house the thousands of families "displaced" by Russia during the 2008 war. At the demilitarised zone we see the vast military bases still shooting up on the Russian-occupied side.

While walking along the demarcation line, I strike up conversation with Lord Harries. I always thought him a rather wonderful man when he was Bishop of Oxford and this is confirmed when I hear him speak later in the week. Sullen boundary guards watch us. I cannot avoid a shiver of pleasure at this strangely Anglican moment: standing in no man's land, reminiscing about Oxford with the former Bishop.


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