Arthur Lowe and the Penis Olympics (Belle)

It seemed I had – at last – achieved my lifetime goal.  I was the passenger in a sweet, vintage car and it was the 1970s.  Arthur Lowe was taking me to the shops in Catford, having proposed to me earlier on that day.  He lifted up my hand and licked the inside of my wrist.  I thought, “That wasn’t too awful”.

Later I settled down to watch the Penis Olympics on TV.  Broadcasting live from a remote south American jungle, two competing villages were wearing their distinctive red or blue wooden  ‘gourd’ uniforms and displaying their muscly lower halves.  When the whistle went, each villager sat down with an opponent and the competitors began to discuss whose penis was best.  A winner emerged from each bout by mutual agreement.  The Reds won!

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A creepy Cotswolds hotel and a fight for fish fingers (Rousse)

The reviews for the Cotwolds hotel were amazing, but the longer that JC and I stayed there, the less inclined we were to recommend it ourselves. The two owners were rather creepy, following us around everywhere. When they complained about the state of our bedroom I was tempted to reply that they should worry less about guests’ clothes lying heaped on the floor, and more about the damp coming in through the mouldy walls. It was also ridiculous that I had been obliged to wash my hair using the bottom drawer of chest as a basin.

We were just going into dinner (very late at 9pm) when we bumped into LF and two friends. I pulled L into the ladies to warn her about the hotel and its poor service.

Later, while trying to catch a bus in the middle of nowhere, I got into a fight over the last two fish fingers offered for sale by a roadside pedlar.

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Clever words win Russell Crowe (Belle)

The dog and I stood at the top of the hill, admiring the view in front of us – lush green valleys and emerald green woods.  The view behind us was a complete contrast – the whole of London was visible in the sunlight.

I wondered if the Australian ‘park ranger’ sitting on the bench realised just how lucky she was to be here?  I turned around and said something so profound and astonishing to Russell Crowe that he immediately fell in love with me.  It was inevitable – we were ‘meant to be together’.

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A missed reservation at the “best restaurant in the world” (Rousse)

We arranged to meet in Paris at 1:30pm. J chose the venue: a beautiful white stucco-fronted hotel, opposite a formal park. When I arrived (just a couple of minutes late) J greeted me enthusiastically. Although we hadn’t seen one another for years, we soon slipped into the pattern of our old friendship.

I had expected that we would eat at this hotel, but J had other plans. He led me to his car and then we crossed the city to where he was staying. At one point I got the impression that we might be dining at the Pigalle restaurant just named “best in the world”. J confessed that we’d arranged our meeting at too short notice to get a table, but perhaps this could be arranged for next time.

He spent the rest of the trip complaining about Teesside accents. I pointed out that he would have to get used to them quickly now that my school friend M had been appointed to chair all the important meetings of our main professional body.

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An under-resourced conference (Rousse)

Even though I had passed the duties on to another colleague months ago, I was getting the blame for the failure of the conference. I couldn’t help it if I spent the afternoon cosying up to P and playing with the children rather than preparing the conference dinner.

I ran up to Northfield to avoid our boss, but she soon tracked me down. When I explained that you couldn’t run an event without resources she seemed to understand my dilemma.

As we were discussing how to retrieve the conference BR interrupted the conversation to say that he and EH were using their bikes as collateral against bus fares for visitors to the “Computers and food” exhibition. He added that if the bus fares weren’t paid, he and EH would lose their bikes, and possibly also their homes.

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Direct flights from Edinburgh to Boston (Rousse)

We’d never flown in such comfort before. The economy seats folded down into beds complete with soft fleece blankets.

“This is a bit over the top for a flight to London” I mentioned to TPR, just as it dawned on me that this was not a domestic flight, but a non-stop service to Boston. We had to disembark asap!

Meanwhile fellow traveller JF was delighted at the opportunity to visit family members in the US for the price of an internal flight.

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The Hashtag of the Devil (Rousse)

When I first spotted the blue flash on my heel I thought it was a trick of the light. Then someone pointed out that it was a tattoo called the “Hashtag of the Devil”.

It was well known that this symbol was inked into the skin of anyone with a public declared hatred of body art, entirely without their knowledge. I was just the latest victim of many.

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