Constantin Roman was a lucky man - lucky to have escaped Ceausescu's Romania with a degree in geophysics, a three-piece suit, a five-pound note and a pack of visiting cards to his name. Incredibly he defied communist restrictions by coming to England in 1968 on a Nato travel grant. He was lucky to be encouraged by Keith Runcorn in Newcastle to stay on in Britain for a higher degree and lucky to receive a scholarship for a PhD at Cambridge. But above all he was lucky to have studied under Sir Edward Bullard when plate tectonics was in its infancy. Roman arrived in Britain at a time when the concepts of continental drift, sea floor spreading and transform faults were galvanising geology. Plate tectonics concepts were little known in Eastern Europe where access to western scientific journals was limited. As a continental student 'adrift' on English shores, Roman soon staked his claim on the plate tectonics map with his work on the deep earthquakes of the Carpathians. But the stakes became higher with a race against the clock to be the first to publish tectonics solution to the Himalayan earthquakes. Roman is a refined observer of his adoptive country - of the contrast of cultures between East and West and his encounters with scientists, artists and embassy officials. This personal account will delight earth scientists, physicists and general readers with an interest in earth science, whilst historians of science will find a wealth of personal recollections of key figures in the continental drift story.