Last Saturday I got off the ICE, i.e. quick train, in Cologne main train station and walked out into the sun-baked city. Down on the street it all looked so different from my Google-Earth printout, posted by Martin a few days before on the forum. For one, that aerial view did not show the massive steps leading up to the gigantic and awe-inspiring cathedral. Rather than scale the latter, I skirted them at ground level as this seemed the way on the map. But when I rounded the giant church instead of the clear path to the hotel on the map I was confronted with a confusing junction where cars sped into a chaotic tunnel. None of that was apparent on the map. Thus disoriented, I took a wrong turn and overshot the target area. In a calmer pedestrian area I could check the street names and thereby regained my sense of direction. I doubled back through the atmospheric old town to arrive at where the hotel Dorint was indicated on the map. Again I had to scan around a bit before spotting it, as it was not like the photo of the facade on the web-site - a major scaffolding cum road-works occluded it. The advantage of this was that traffic was banned and I could walk on up to the entrance without looking left or right. The hotel was considerably grander than I had imagined but I had no trouble slipping past the uniformed doorman. Inside, I cast my eyes round the spacious lobby. Some guys were hovering with papers in hand as if waiting for someone but none of these fit the bill as regards pattern recognition as primed from prior mug-shots. Then I spotted a familiar face and walked over to where Henk was resting on a comfortable sofa. We had a nice introductory chat and it soon became apparent that he was a very pleasant person. Soon after that another gent approached with his wife. Henk knew him as Frank, and introductions ensued. The new arrivals also showed themselves to be very warm personalities. Frank immediately asked me where I stood on the Stoern issue. I stated my position as being nearer to the camp of the proponents as to the sceptics, following on the revelations that we of the SPDC had been privy to. Then came Martin, looking a bit different to his forum handle, but still recognisable. He turned out to be very nice, gentle person and soon we were all engaged in pleasant introductory conversations. Kai had phoned to say he was delayed by a traffic jam. So we had to wait for 30 0r 40 minutes. But the time melted away as we discussed developments in the forum and in and around Steorn. Meanwhile a large tourist group arrived and were meeting at the same central sofa quadrangle at which we were seated. If these had included agents of Big Oil we could not easily have spotted it. Eventually through the throng came a form the matched Kai’s JPG – and indeed it was he. He turned out to be another civilised person with no chip on his shoulder, thus confirming my impression that the SPDC only attracted nice clever people. The rest of the afternoon was a great success.