David Tennant depressed (Rousse)

David Tennant was amongst the great and good brought together by the UK research councils to serve on the horizon-scanning committee. I guessed that he was qualified to join the academics and industry futurists thanks to his experience of time travel as Dr Who.

I couldn’t help being rather star-struck when I found myself allocated a seat to the immediate left of the famous actor. I had admired him for so long, and wondered whether it would be impolite to ask him for his autograph?

However, over the course of our discussions it became apparent that David Tennant was not in the best of mental health. By the end of the meeting he was hiding under the white IKEA table, refusing to speak to anyone. I crawled between the chairs to see whether I could coax him out to join the rest of us again, but he gruffly declined my invitation.

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Sofas, snow, and singing on Edinburgh’s Broughton Street (Rousse)

Two new shops opened on Edinburgh’s Broughton Street while we were away on holiday. As an avid reader, I was pleased that one was a book exchange. The other was a posh furniture store full of University of Edinburgh students. They were testing out sofas for the New Town flats that their parents had purchased for them.

Out on the street again I ran into US academic DC. I hadn’t seen him for years – perhaps not since he gatecrashed my 30th birthday party and nagged me about getting ‘terminal degree’. He had a list of questions about Scotland for me, but I refused to answer them. All I wanted to do was play in the snow.

When it started to rain, a gay men’s choir started to sing madrigals outside the Apple pharmacy. I spotted BW-H first. When he saw me he rushed over and offered his neck for a kiss. Now it really was time to go home.

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Pearl earring makeover (Belle)

I wondered how an amateur choir from St Albans had managed to fill out this central London venue. People were packing in to hear them sing highlights from Oklahoma.

If only I’d realised that tiny pearl stud earrings would make me look so fabulous, I would have started wearing them years ago.

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Naval engineer in smoking disgrace (Rousse)

My father organised a big birthday party for me in a social club. TPR and I would be a little late joining our guests, but we knew that JM (who was bound to come on time) could look after those who arrived early.

When we eventually emerged, I noticed the social awkwardness of my work colleagues, especially those who were more junior and unaware of the free bar. As I encouraged them to choose whichever drinks they desired, I was appalled to see that the two female bar staff were smoking.

I challenged the smokers. The elder of the pair claimed that their behaviour was excusable on the grounds that the other – her daughter – was a naval engineer.

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Eminem’s fiancé (Belle)

My relationship with Eminem (or Marshall as I was now calling him) was going from strength to strength. Although marriage hadn’t been mentioned, and no formal proposal had been made, Marshall helped me fashion a wedding headdress out of costume jewellery and old perfume packaging.  He’d brought a famous singer with him on our date but I wasn’t sure if it was Lady Gaga or Taylor Swift. She said to Marshall “…we really should do a duet” and I rolled my eyes. “That ain’t happenin’, honey”, I said to myself.

I carried a wriggling cat around the corridors of Goldsmiths College and the students thought I was a ‘happening’ piece of performance art.

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Chat show true crime tale (Belle)

I was appearing on a chat show, reminiscing about a gang of “bad ass true crime podcasters”.

“How bad were they?” I asked rhetorically. “Well, once they pulled me over and they weren’t even driving a car”.

How the audience laughed. I was hilarious.

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Tricks when parking a car in Edinburgh (Rousse)

I had been away from work for so long that a new boy had to show me around our office premises south of the Edinburgh city bypass.

First he took me to the car park that we shared with the pharmaceutical firm. I feigned interest in the strategies that he had devised for timing his arrival at work to guarantee a parking space.

However, I was really hoping that my companion might ‘help me out with my seat belt’ now that my hand had become inexplicably ‘trapped’.

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