Fashion for homeless apes (Rousse)

I felt sorry for the homeless gorillas and other apes who lived rough on the traffic roundabout.

Now that it was winter they had somehow managed to fashion themselves a form of clothing from discarded grain sacks, but I feared that this was insufficient protection from the cold, wet and wind.

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Pit bull rescue goes over the edge (Belle)

I was sitting in the back seat of the Land Rover as Craig of the New York Bully Crew drove us down to the cliff and straight over the edge. I saw it was about to happen, regretted I hadn’t put on my seat belt, but was pleased at how cool I acted. We landed on the beach and carried on driving. “Like the good old days”, said Craig. I agreed, although I hadn’t experienced those good old days.

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A murderer on the Holy Island of Lindisfarne (Rousse)

We had a couple of hours to spare so crossed the causeway to Holy Island. In the distance on the headland we saw JS. We called ‘Broken bone!’ at her and she responded with a wave and a smile.

When we reached the house we expected to find everything in order, just as my sister J said that she had left it earlier in the day. However, we spotted evidence that the house was still occupied, and could hear voices on the top floor. I shouted up:

‘If you’re coming downstairs, please make sure that you are decent!’

A family of four descended to the first floor.  The older woman recognised my mother as the party that had been sending her solicitor’s letters with a demand to no longer illegally visit the house on Holy Island. I couldn’t understand how the family had access until she waved a key at us and mentioned a ‘friend’ who had given permission.

I announced that this would not do, snatched the key, photographed the woman’s contact details (from a sticker on the base of a vase that she was carrying), and chased the foursome out of the house.

As they climbed the stone spiral staircase up to the courtyard I witnessed the woman scold her husband, ‘This would never have happened if you had not committed murder. I’m going to turn you in to the police!’

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Jack and the Beanstalk party time (Rousse)

The first person to mention a Jack and the Beanstalk themed party was RG-J. It was at a party that I was hosting that I overheard her mention this to some mutual friends. Only a couple of minutes later another woman told me directly that she was planning a (separate) Jack and the Beanstalk party.

I introduced the two hostesses to one another in the hope that I would be lucky enough to receive two invitations.

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An Italian bathroom shortage (Rousse)

I was in Italy for a week, staying in a room within a hall of residence block. The space was so tight throughout the whole building that I doubted that anyone even slightly overweight would manage to move around it easily.

I thought that my ensuite bathroom was private, so was rather surprised to find 1995 graduate PG in there first thing in the morning.

‘Don’t you know that this is one of just two bathrooms in the entire block?’ he explained to me.

I vowed to lock my bedroom door securely from that point onwards. I wasn’t prepared to share by space with anyone. They’d all just have to use the other bathroom.

Later that day I returned to my room to find that yet another person was in ‘my’ bathroom. This time it was the cleaner. I started speaking to her in Italian, but she struggled to respond. When we realised that we were both native English speakers she explained that she was busy running a special ‘Italian’ bath for me. The bubbles at one end were white. At the other, beside the taps, they were bright red.

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A private performance by the Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre (Rousse)

Edinburgh’s East Claremont Street was closed to traffic for a performance of the Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre. We all gathered on the northern side of the road against the high hedge of Claremont Crescent Garden. The performers lined up opposite us. The stage was much longer than usual. This was to accommodate some ‘guest’ socks.

There was an obvious problem from the moment that the show started. The socks’ voices weren’t amplified properly, so the spectators from further along the street couldn’t hear a single word of the dialogue.

‘Not to worry, we’ll fix it. All with be sorted within 30 minutes’, declared Kev Sutherland.

‘Is that really how long it will take?’ I asked.

‘No’, replied Kev, ‘It will take two hours – but I don’t want to lose my audience.’

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Racial identification and job changes (Rousse)

After two weeks in the sun, C looked like an African. I asked if he was looking forward to experiencing racial prejudice first hand. Meanwhile I became more and more distressed as I realised that it was impossible to pull on a pair of lime green patterned cycling shorts that used to fit me.

Beside us C’s wife A was busy listing all the recent UK job moves. Did I know that BB was moving to Loughborough? (Had BB let slip to A my own recent employment near miss?)

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