A half-written report, a lazy student, and a planned death (Rousse)

WM sat at the kitchen table with her half-written report in front of her. Another couple of students were milling around, but not the one that WM was after. When her quarry eventually appeared WM shouted at him for not pulling his weight.

I escaped to the study where X sobbed uncontrollably. Between gulps for air she confessed the plans for her death.

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Irish politics and star of the Voice Fionn Gardner (Rousse)

My companion was a highly intelligent Irish woman. When she started talking about politics, I was grateful that I had paid attention to the radio news that morning. She seemed impressed that I was able to pass on some information that she had not yet heard.

I also drew her attention to the progress of talented singer Fionn Gardner in the current series of The Voice of Ireland.

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Ski innovations (Rousse)

My brother-in-law MF invited me on a ski-ing trip. I hadn’t taken to the slopes for years so was interested in the new form of ski-ing on short stumpy blades that were held together across the front by a small black plastic token.

I turned down the invitation to join MF and the others in their accommodation. My hotel room was a lot cosier than an old-fashioned dirty white canvas tent pitched in the snow.

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Getting creative in the garden and the office (Rousse)

Creative KT spent the whole day in her narrow sloping garden, tidying it up in anticipation of the arrival of J’s grandchildren. She even pitched the huge embroidered tent that I had bought in the charity shop. TPR had told me that this was just an old tablecloth, but he was now proved wrong – and me right.

Meanwhile SC was also exercising her creativity. I found her cutting up white cardboard at a long table. She was making laminated name place cards for a meeting. I wondered why she was doing this herself. What had happened to her PA?

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President suffers a blow at Peebles library (Rousse)

The head of Peebles public library service was furious with me. The CCTV footage revealed the reason why. When I had run out of the reading room and into the concourse to my unguarded Mac I had allowed the glass door to swing into the face of Jane Baker, the small dark-haired President of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals, and distinguished guest of Peebles public library service.

She was now lying on a bench, nursing a big bruise on her head. It didn’t help that I was grinning like an ape in the stills captured by the CCTV.

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A novel solution to shortage of office space on campus (Rousse)

Space was at such a premium on campus that they converted the ladies’ toilets into a staff office.

Then they split the tiny school office in two: one half housed desks, and the other a fully functional bathroom. All that divided these two areas was a low wall.

I couldn’t imagine anyone ever wanting to use the bathroom in full view of our colleagues. Nor could SC.

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A double birthday surprise – with Moomins (Rousse)

The first part of my birthday treat was an afternoon spent in the luxury top apartment of the block. We simply did a switch with our landladies (one of whom was friends with David Bowie) for the weekend. While we were upstairs enjoying the huge bedroom and the views over the garden, they were crammed into the basement flat below.

The second part of the treat was a surprise visit. When I went to the door and found A,C, N and S I finally understood why we needed all this extra space. I could now look forward to celebrating S’s PhD success as well as my advancing years.

A was the first to settle in. Within minutes he was unpacking his Moomin T shirts and putting them away in a chest of drawers.

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