It was only a 15 minute drive from the University of East Cheam Campus to Professor Sir Pontypine MacFarlane's little house in Railway Cuttings, an area beginning to become gentrified in the 1970s and already what had been divided into flats were being restored as one-family dwellings with a relentlessness like the vog from a volcano that settles far from the mouth which expelled it; although Sir Pontypine didn't have a family, he had the house to himself now, having managed to get rid of the rather strange ménage which had occupied it from the late 50's right through to his purchasing it in 1973; they had claimed to have 'rights' as sitting tenants, but MacFarlane's barrister, Horace Rumpole, an old School and University chum, quickly disabused them of that notion, by offering them £100 each to move out quickly and settled on £50 for all but a lugubrious Australian who haggled his way to £10 plus a crate of Fosters; so now MacFarlane had it for himself – and his Daily Woman kept it spick and span, neat as a pin, with everything in it's place – except, of course, for his Playroom, which was kept securely locked and he had the only key! to Lady Visitors (although in Sir P's case, they were mere slips of girls) the house was edenic: cosily warm in winter and freshly cool in summer – except, of course, in the Playroom, where sweating was the order of the night – with book- and painting-lined walls demonstrative of his culture and refinement, copious amounts of expensive alcohol, and a well-appointed (as Estate Agents would say) kitchen and well-stocked fridge/freezer so that there was never any need to nip along to the corner shop during an assignation; it was a place made for lollygagging, away from the cares, trials and tribulations of the world, and when Ethel le Neve entered, she gasped with a mixture of awe and envy: this was the antithesis of her student flat, shared with four other girls and a cat which had adopted them, knickers draped over radiators, books and papers scattered on the floors, fast-food containers congealing in corners, empty bottles under the couches until no more could be pushed in without others rolling out, and a constant queueing and wailing for admission to the bathroom, which also contained the only toilet! she walked into the lounge and admired the comfortable sofa, with it's throws and cushions, and the real fire crackling in it's grate! which Mrs Evans had set and lit before leaving in the afternoon: it was perfect! so Ethel sat on the sofa and thought that she could easily live in a house like this; she was slightly surprised when the Professor lifted her feet and placed them at the other end of the sofa, so that her body turned and she was lying, stretched out (she was actually rather petite and fitted just right) and again, when he gently lifted her head and placed a soft cushion under it, but she didn't object – how could she, he was the Perfect Gentleman, obviously born with good manners and consideration for others; and when he asked: "something to drink, to relax you after a day at Uni?" she could only murmur: "oh, yes please, sir, thank you very much," and smile to herself, thinking: "this is the life and I could get used to it!"