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From the Diary of Professor Bernice Summerfield

Dear Diary,

I may have just had my first stroke of truly good luck since arriving on this ridiculous island. That's not to say it's been all misery and heartache, because it hasn't. I've met some wonderful people whose company I genuinely enjoy. And, of course, some people I can do without. But no one has tried to kill me yet, so that's already an improvement over most social situations I've found myself in. Well done me. (note: don't get too overconfident, it's still early days and you never can tell with death threats.)

But back to the important point of this entry. My good luck! I doubt I need to tell you how desperate I've been for a drink. Sure, there's been plenty of booze flowing at the parties, but those are few and far too far between for my taste. I was almost at the end of my sobriety rope. Anyway, I'd gone to the rec room to see what kind of diversions were available when the bookcase decided to take pity on me. It gave me a copy of Brewing for Dummies! Of course I apologized to it for any insulting names I may have called it in the past, and told it it was a wonderful, beautiful, kind and benevolent bookshelf. I...may have gone a bit overboard there. But can you really blame me?! I now have in my hands the means to control my own drunken destiny! Goddess, what a relief.

Now it's merely a matter of finding the proper equipment for beer brewing, or at least the closest island equivalent. I realize it's going to take some trial and error before I come up with anything even vaguely drinkable, but it's not as though I've got much else to do around here. My schedule is depressingly wide open. So, really, this kills two birds with one stone. Gives me something to occupy my time AND results in me having access to that transcendently magnificent brew I miss so, so much. Ahhhh, I can practically taste it.

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From the Diary of Professor Bernice Summerfield

It's funny what memories the mind dredges up when you have bugger all to do but think. This took place ages ago, during the whole affair with Holmes and Watson. (note: after all this time, I think I'm finally getting used to calling them that.) We were in the latter part of the 19th century and the Doctor had sent me on ahead to India to scout out the situation - moving us all around like chessmen in his usual fashion. On that particular day, I was waiting for him to arrive by boat, and it was stiflingly hot and smelly, as were most days in India in that period.

What strikes me most about that moment, however, was that I remember feeling scared to see him again. Completely terrified. If you'd asked me then why that was, I probably would have said it was because he always managed to bring trouble with him. But I know that wasn't it because I've managed to find more than my share of trouble without any help from him, thank you very much.

No, I think the real reason I was so afraid then was because of how much I missed him. How much he'd come to mean to me and how much I relied on him. I'd prided myself on never really relying on anyone but me. At that age, the loss of my father was still a profound influence on my life. I suspect a part of me was always waiting for the Doctor to disappear just as my father had done, to leave and never come back. (note: Given certain events, that sounds disturbingly Oedipal and, really, there is not enough alcohol in the universe.) He always did come back for me, though, that mysterious alien pain in the arse.

But seeing him here, now...I'm scared again.

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Extract from the diary of Professor Bernice Summerfield

But that's not the half of it. The truth is, I'm bored. I'm painfully, mind-numbingly bored. I'm more bored than I was during weapons drills at the Academy. I'm more bored than at any faculty function I've ever been forced to attend. I'm more bored than the time the Doctor took me to Xyyyrus and we had to sit through the 48-hour silent ceremony of supplication to the three-headed crocodile god.

I'm really bloody bored.

It's not that the island isn't beautiful, because it is. It's a tropical paradise. If I wasn't aware every second that it was a prison from which I may never escape, it would be the perfect holiday destination. Only, without the fruity umbrella drinks. (Note: It's quite possible someone here has started making those tiny umbrellas. It isn't as though we don't have enough free time.)

And that's the problem in a nutshell. I have absolutely nothing of any importance to do. Sure, I've been meeting people, trying to get the lay of the land as it were, I've even been to a few parties and had sex in the woods. (Note: I think I might be getting a bit old for that, depressing as it may be. I've got to learn to only shag on softer surfaces.) But I have no real purpose and it's driving me mad. I've got to work out what skills I have that could be of use to the people here or I'll go completely potty by the end of the month.

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smile with cap
Bernice Summerfield

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March 2009


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