Backchat is off to Germany to visit the HQ of Allianz soon, if the coach driver can find it (see Backchat October 12). He had a call apologising for the lateness of the itinerary with the UK organiser from Cornhill saying "I know it's the eleventh hour but..."

Backchat's poppy was still lying on his desk after Remembrance Sunday and he suggested that talking about the eleventh hour when referring to a trip to Germany might not have been the most timely and appropriate choice of words.

"Ah yes, but that was 60 years ago and we're all Europeans now," came the response. In fact, of course, the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month saw the end of the first world war more than 80 years ago.