Susan Calman’s lover (Rousse)

Susan Calman was determined to make me her lover. Sadly for her, I wasn’t interested in her offer.

I tried to fight her off by telling her how much I admired her – ever since I first caught her show in a small venue at the Edinburgh Fringe many years earlier.

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From Chad to Croydon via Disneyland and Australia (Rousse)

TPR set up a summer-long ‘book’ group and called it ‘Chad’. The participants ranged from his friends to a couple of my undergraduate students. Somehow JS had managed to inveigle herself into the men-only meeting.

Meanwhile I visited drab, rainy Disneyland. The only ride of any interest was a roller-coaster. Otherwise the ‘attractions’ simply didn’t deserve their label. When I started to feel the cold on my bare legs, I decided to turn back. This allow presented the opportunity to hunt for my lost handbag.

Along the way I found old University friend BN playing a woodwind instrument in a Disney orchestra. She’d spent so many years in Australia that her speech had lost all trace of her Croydon credentials.

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UK Research and Innovation style (Rousse)

I put on my 1940s red and white gingham tea dress before setting off by train for Swindon.

My outfit impressed the one member of research council staff who was interested in fashion. As she complimented me on my style, I admired her choice of a turquoise robe topped with a wraparound turban.

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Self-defence cabbage (Belle)

The Girl Guides had set up camp in my street and I found it enchanting and irritating in equal measure. I decided to take my rubbish out to the bins so I could spy on them.

As I walked towards the bin-shed, it became pitch black. Yet I could still make out the figure of a mugger riding towards me on a bicycle. We got into a tangled fight which I was losing until I started to beat the man hard around the head with half a rotten cabbage. “Don’t mess with me!”, I screamed.

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Detective David Tennant distracted by kittens (Belle)

We were trying to watch a film in an open space in the motel/conference centre but were interrupted by the foul-mouthed language of two lads pushing prams down the corridor.

Sensing trouble I followed them and (spying through their keyhole) witnessed an incident of domestic violence. I called reception and asked them to contact the police. Then I remembered that David Tennant was actually a police detective and I simply had to knock on his door and ask for help.

We got on our tricycle and set off to the scene of the crime until David noticed several kittens gamboling around the walled garden. He jumped off the tricycle and ran off, determined to “coochy coo” with them.

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A green Bentley, an angry ginger cat, and a visit to the anti-gravity stadium (Rousse)

PM collected JC (but not me) in the new Bentley that her husband had mentioned the last time that we had met. The car was long, sleek and green. It’s most distinctive feature, however, was a most unusual personalised number plate that included the @ symbol.

With a call of ‘See you on Tuesday when we are all meeting at your house to cook Huku!’ P took to the road with her favoured passenger. I couldn’t remember ever issuing this invitation. What on earth was Huku anyway?

With nothing to do, I trudged around town, looking for JC’s house. Although I recognised some of the shops, I was soon lost.

After several attempts, I finally reached my destination. I let myself into the lower flat with JC’s keys, and walked straight into the cat litter tray, just as JC had predicted. The cat itself was not happy to see me. Ginger and extremely bad-tempered, it made several attempts to jump up and bite me.

Just as I was wondering how I would get through the locked door at the back of this lower flat and make my way into the larger section of the house on the floor above, a young girl with a a fading purple bruise on her temple appeared with a key. Now I had a run of the whole place.

Later I met JC in the stands at the anti-gravity stadium. There we watched the anti-gravity enthusiasts who had paid the steep entrance fee to learn all sorts of fun tricks while dressed in Superman outfits. Some simply floated in mid-air, while others took pleasure in dropping from small aircraft into the stadium, secure in the knowledge that their fragile bodies would never fall to the ground.

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Uncomfortable beds and cold porridge (Rousse)

I was a terrible hostess. I forced my overnight guests to sleep on spin cycles, then made them wait for hours for the cold porridge that I served at breakfast.

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