Bedroom temptation and robots (Rousse)

TPR vacated the bed for B, who pleased me enormously by stretching over to turn on the World Service. ‘This is my kind of night-time companion’, I concluded, then rolled over onto my side in anticipation of sleep.

Unfortunately sleep did not come to B. He would not settle in this ‘unsafe’ environment.

All my hopes of slumber were dashed when B’s bedroom robots unexpectedly came to life. I first noticed an iguana walking across a chest of drawers. Then a group of cartoon characters sprung up from the gloom of night.

The most frightening automaton was a life-size five year-old girl who looked and sounded identical to my niece A. The only difference was her red hair. This was also the giveaway that she was not real: you could see where it was stitched to the plastic skull.

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Baby blue makeover for medieval tower (Rousse)

In a desperate attempt to use up the remainder of his grant, XY arranged for the repainting of room in which the symposium was to be held. The crumbling white walls of the medieval tower were no longer white, but now gleamed glossy in baby blue.

I wondered what XY would do now that the funding period was over. He surprised me by revealing that he had another £100k in reserve. This came from a successful application that he had kept secret from us all

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A Canadian pork pie picnic (Rousse)

We drove for miles and miles along Canadian single track roads. I doubted TPR’s navigation skills, but he was convinced that he knew the route to our cousins in Toronto – even without a map.

Eventually we reached our final destination: the hall of residence in which my cousin G lived. He lived in a huge dormitory with about twenty other young men, some of whom shared their beds with their girlfriends (despite the lack of privacy).

I laid out a picnic in the dining area to which we invited G, his parents N and D, and my parents. As we ate we discussed G’s forthcoming trip to Sydney, and baby O, the recent addition to the Australian branch of the family. I wondered whether he would have the family cheeks like my mother, Cousin N and me.

The food seemed to go down well, especially with my parents. However I was not happy at all when the dogs started stealing my home-made pork pies from the table.

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Rob Titchener escapes hospital with firearm and an intent to kill (Rousse)

Shula Hebden-Lloyd and I were out with the horses when we turned a corner and came face to face with Rob Titchener.

Wrapped head to toe in white bandages having discharged himself from hospital, he lifted the gun in his left hand and pointed it at us. We knew instantly that we were in serious, mortal, danger.

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Locked in the loo at Summerhall (Rousse)

I slept for the two hours that I was locked in the ladies at Summerhall. When I woke I climbed over the top of the cubicle door and made my escape into the street. Although by now it was 11:30pm, it was still light, and plenty of others were out late-night walking in the snow.

TPR didn’t sound terribly pleased when I rang him to say that I was on my way home.

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Finding baby (Rousse)

I was becoming increasingly frustrated with my school friend AL who asked me to meet her with her baby, then repeatedly failed to turn up at the stated venue. At last one evening at 8:45pm we found one another on the street.

EF, who was also there all dressed up in a green work suit, caused chaos when she ran across the street into the path of traffic. The tiny blue coffee cup in her hand smashed into the tarmac.

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Pet care information resource (Rousse)

My sister J had struck up a deal with the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals to create some information resources on pet care. She tried to keep it a secret, but I discovered the plan printed in red on a long roll of cellophane.

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