Thank you for the honour of being your president. Being such was not an ambition of mine – it was not even considered as a possibility. However, I have enjoyed the experience, and will for the few more hours which are allowed to me.
In the course of preparing this address, I looked at the article about presidential addresses written by Mary Bradburn in the 1996 Centenary Issue of the Mathematical Gazette. That was a mistake – too many different models to follow, each sounding more interesting than my own ideas. One odd thing, to my mind, and something not special to the MA, is having a President give the presidential address at the very end of the term of office. I always feel that hearing someone give a lecture helps me to find out a bit about them; so a presidential address is a chance for all to learn about their President – but too late, too late!