Bodies discovered after exercise class (Rousse)

Our elderly friends spent their days at their sitting room window watching the neighbourhood. I had a taste of this one day as I observed a group of local women practise yoga and pilates in the street. By the end of their session all the bodies of the members of the class were heaped along the pavement. This form of exercise was clearly extremely dangerous.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Champagne and caviar versus washing up and weight loss tips (Rousse)

IH called up the stairs to MS that she would open the Prosecco.

“Don’t”, he cautioned. “Rousse is down there and she’ll guzzle the lot. Just uncork a bottle of wine”.

They didn’t realise that I had overheard them from the kitchen until I joined the conversation with my offer. If we (I) finished the Prosecco, they were welcome to raid the fridge. There they would find two bottles of Champagne (both of which were mine), ready to serve with caviar.

I spent the remainder of the evening helping MS with the washing up, and learning weight loss tips from IH.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A missing slide deck (Rousse)

Although they said that it would never run again, I found that the conference was actually meeting in secret, and I was an invited speaker.

In the break on the last day I went up to the podium to upload my presentation to the computer. MW stopped me in my tracks. He took me in a ballroom pose, and started to waltz me around the lecture hall.

When everyone returned from the coffee break I took my seat next to JG-T to listen to the first presentation of the session. It was only then that I realised with shame that I had completely forgotten to load up my slides – and I was up next.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The complexities of catching a train from Carlisle (Rousse)

After a long day chasing over the hills of Northumberland, it was time for us to head north again by train from Carlisle. The taxi that we booked to take us to the station arrived late so it was an anxious journey along the A69. The views of late summer snow on the hills, and in some places even at the side of the road, provided some distraction.

It was twenty past the hour when we reached the M6. Our train was at half past. It looked like we would make it, but then we hit a traffic jam. The driver pulled into the fast lane, overtook a few cars, then bumped his way back into the sliproad signposted “Carlisle”. As we approached the railway bridge, we came across another line of stationary cars in front of us. I asked the driver to drop us off there and then so that we could make a run for it. He flung our suitcase on to the pavement, TPR gave him £36, and we scarpered.

I’d forgotten about the complexity of Carlisle railway station with its various Victorian staircases. There was one for each service. It took a while for us to find the staircase for trains heading north, but as soon as we did, we hared up the steps, praying that we had not missed our train.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Family entertainment (Rousse)

It was my mother-in-law’s dream: a house full of children of all ages enjoying one another’s company. The older ones were in the vast garden playing cricket under the guidance of my colleague RK. The smaller children were kept at closer range.

In the absence of her mother JR, I was looking after my beautiful newborn baby niece, swaddled in a soft cream blanket that matched her peaches and cream complexion. Her eighteen month old cousin sat patiently in his pushchair, overseen by his Indian grandfather.

But where was TPR? I went inside to ask my sister-in-law if she had seen him.

“He’s in my bedroom, trying to persuade the others to hire the Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre for our next family get-together”. This suggestion very much met with my approval.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Kitchen makeover decisions (Rousse)

Others found our living arrangements somewhat unconventional. TPR and I lived in the apartment on one side of the building, and MSB and her husband DB the other. We shared the massive kitchen.

It only became a problem when I decided that it was high time that we modernised the kitchen – that yellow woodchip wallpaper had to go – and the others didn’t agree with me.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

An illogical trip to Birmingham (Rousse)

I popped out of our Broughton Street tenement and down to the corner shop. I needed some extra milk because AMcN and her husband PP had just rung to say that they wanted to take a break on their journey south. They decided to call in for a cup of tea with us and I was, of course, delighted.

When I returned to our building I discovered that a great crevasse had opened just inside the door. There was no way that I could get back upstairs to my flat.

I managed to track down the millionaire who lived in the penthouse at the top of the building and told him of my discovery. He bundled me into the car and we set off to West Midlands to find out what had happened to Broughton Street. As he drove us the wrong way down the Pershore Road I began to doubt that we would find in Birmingham the answers to questions about a building in Edinburgh.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment