My Weird Email Inbox

I have a pretty eclectic set of emails today. Here is a sample:


European Quantum Flagship

Post-quantum cryptography

France sends first post-quantum encrypted diplomatic message

                On 30 November 2022, France transmitted a ‘quantum-safe’ diplomatic message for the very first time, sent to Paris from its embassy in Washington. The post-quantum encryption – securing the message against decryption even by quantum computers – drew on work by CryptoNext Security, a spin-off of INRIA, CNRS and Sorbonne University. The actual content of the communiqué was a Memorandum of Understanding signed by France and the US that day, aimed at supporting quantum cooperation projects between the two countries.


News From The Loop!

So, what’s been going on? We can hardly keep up, here’s just some of the main highlights…

We achieved charity status!

The Loop is now officially a charity, having operated for the past 10 years as a Community Interest Company (CIC). The Loop Drug Checking Service will continue to operate under the original name.

It is fantastic that the Charity Commission has recognised and agreed that drug checking in the UK is a legitimate charitable activity, a true moment in history that will provide greater opportunities to expand and develop funding sources for our leading work. We will continue to work collaboratively with different partners across the country and look forward to what the future will bring under charity status.


Myeloma Matters

Dear Alan,

The Autumn/Winter edition of Myeloma Matters is ready for you to read!

This issue is a special 25th anniversary edition marking 25 years of Myeloma UK. Featuring a timeline of milestones and articles from the myeloma community.

You can download Myeloma Matters on our website or copy and paste the following into your browser:

All the best,


Pip McFadden

Services Administrator


Dear Brouwlander,

We would like to extend heartfelt end-of-year good wishes to you, with delicious, honest crafts under the Christmas tree, on your table and in your glass. How do you fancy taking advantage of a cool gift voucher, a Kingdom Christmas beer kit or a uKeg? Tip: put your own favourites on your Christmas list to give your loved one(s) a hint.

Need some inspiration?

Then take a look on our gift page.

Your package under the Christmas tree in time

It goes without saying that you want to receive your carefully selected gifts in time. Therefore, take the following into account for online parcel orders:

Do you want to receive your order before Christmas? Then order before midnight on 18 December.

Do you want to receive your order before New Year? Then order before midnight on 23 December.

If you are a last minute shopper, you can always pay us a visit at the shop in Beverlo. Keep in mind that the store closes at 5:00 PM on the 16th of December, and at 4:00 PM on the 24th and 31st of December.

We hope you and your family enjoy the holiday period!

 Brouwland Team

Times Higher Education

Good morning,

Protest comes in many forms, but our lead story today involves a few you might not have heard of before – as we look at the ways Chinese students have expressed their frustration with the country’s strict zero-Covid policy. Elsewhere, Harvard University names its first black president, we have news of the Westminster government’s latest in its battle with the House of Lords over freedom of speech, and hear how a groundbreaking AI system might impact academic writing, for good and for bad.

 – Patrick Jack, reporter


The Chinese government’s recent 180 decision to end its zero-Covid policy came as a shock to many around the world, and the relief of many students within the country. This U-turn came after dozens of campuses took to the streets to demand the end of the harsh pandemic measures imposed by Beijing, and months of slightly less obvious forms of protesting. In recent months, footage has circulated online of Chinese students crawling slowly in circles, making cardboard dogs and writing nonsensical literature. Academics, including Ed Vickers, a researcher in the contemporary history of education in Chinese societies at Kyushu University, say these strange acts are a way of voicing boredom at a never-ending lockdown but are also a form of depoliticised protest. “While a few brave souls may chant for Xi Jinping to step down at the risk of arrest and incarceration, more will try to find ways of expressing dissatisfaction without directly challenging the regime and thus triggering draconian sanctions,” he says.

Military 1st

Alan Taylor,

Thank you for your order from Military 1st. You can check the status of your order by logging into your account. If you have questions about your order, you can email us at

Your delivery confirmation is below. Thank you again for your business.

Delivered By       Tracking Number

MetaPack            XXXX

The status will be updated once the parcel is received by the courier.

De Fret-Boers Dream 26-08-2012

Although I am prone to vivid dreaming, this one takes some beating. Not because of content but via its juxtaposition.

Several days after I had this dream I had a tuition inquiry from a family who are connected way back and parts of that family are well known. They have a very nice big house. The young man I was to tutor had had a difficult time of it growing up and had been unwell. He had a very lively intellect which jumped about all over the place. And he did inded have an entertainment / games room.

I helped him with his American AP exams, which from the point of view as an educator I thought were excellent and stretching. They contained many first year undergraduate style questions.

The young man in the dream looked like the young man I was to teach.

I am, as a teenager, at the side of a hospital bed. I am dressed in a school uniform of a dark suit. In the bed in front of me there is a young man with dark hair. He is slim and tall.  He is on a drip and is unconscious. I briefly turn my back. He falls off his bed and onto the floor. I bend over to pick him up and he wakes up in my arms. He does not know who or what he is. He asks me who I am. I say that I am Alan and a friend from school. He faints and together with a nurse we place him back into bed. He is no longer in a coma, he is simply in a faint. I leave him for a while.

When I return a very well dressed upper class woman is sat with him, it is his mother whom he does not recognise. She says that he has been asking for me each time he surfaces. It has been decided that he should go home to recuperate and he has been adamant that I should stay with them  for the rest of the school holidays.

Before we go to the country I visit him again at his bedside. For some reason I am speaking with him in a Welsh accent. He says;

“Does that mean I am Welsh too?”

“No, I have just been with some of my Welsh relatives. As far as I know you are sort of English, though I do not believe that your family is entirely, English.”

“Phew!”, he says.

We are now in a massive country estate, to which he is heir. Everyone is concerned about his health. There is much behind the scenes chatter amongst the family and staff.

Time passes.

His father comes to sit with him. He shows Tom a picture of Sir (something) de Fret – Boers. Tom looks at the picture and says that is you, pointing at his father.

“I am your dad and this is our house. One day it will be yours. “

Tom faints again. I move over and hold him until he re-surfaces. He is calmer now. The family members repeat this technique for various of them.

There is now a small picnic / garden party. It is all very Brideshead Revisited. Although I am welcome it is clear that the family think I am of the wrong social status for them. Whilst they are all chatting I wander off over a fence into a meadow field.  I am just within earshot. I can hear their chatter. I wander further into the field towards a gate which is at the other end. As I get nearer I can see within the long grass a number of large birds of prey standing. They look like a cross between an owl and a large eagle. There are half a dozen of so of these large birds. I have to walk through them to get to the gate. They observe me silently and in a welcoming manner. I pass through their midst and not one of them moves. I climb over the gate and carry on back to the garden party.

Later I find Tom in his games room. It is equipped with all the latest toys and arcade games. It is in the basement of the big house. Several children and teenagers are playing there. It is his den.

Now several years later and I have been away. Tom’s father has now died. This is to be Tom’s first big event. Everyone is arranged around a Greek style whitewashed courtyard. There is a stage upon which a small orchestra is playing. Tom’s family are all gathered on one of the house’s balcony. It is a large open balcony. I can see Tom and his mother. Tom is dressed in a black suit / dinner jacket. I am dressed in a colonial style, lightly coloured and lightweight suit. I wave at Tom. In my jacket I have the speech which he has asked me to write.

There are steps down from the balcony to the courtyard. Chairs are arranged theatre style so that everyone can look at the stage. People are all very smartly dressed as if they are going to the opera. After the orchestra has finished their will be speeches.

Tom wanders off to exit the balcony and go into the house. The time is nearing for him to give his speech.

I go to follow him but his mother points to another way into the house. Instead of doing this I climb down a drain pipe into the courtyard. As I get there I bang into an overweight balding man. A light green pamphlet falls out of his jacket and onto the floor. I recognise this. I get a similar one out of my jacket it was next to my speech. We compare these. They are publicity flyers for the de Fret – Boers estate. They have a coat of arms and yellow writing on the green background.  We comment on the name de Fret Boers. He says it could simply be De Beers dressed up.

Anyway I continue on to find Tom. I know where he will be. He is in the games room hiding.

He says;

“I knew you would come for me. I am scared. Can you go on first , to set the scene?”

“Yes, Of course..”

We embrace fraternally.

The dream ends.