Smart graduate cycles to the Belgium via the Channel Tunnel (Rousse)

The best way to avoid the job of painting the new staff common room was to arrive on campus dressed in a suit.

I also had a good excuse that would get me out of this unconventional academic duty: I needed to pop over to Belgium to attend a graduation ceremony with my family to collect my degree.

I therefore popped a bottle of white wine in the office fridge for the later celebrations of the redecorated room, then set off for the Channel Tunnel on my bike.

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Joe Keery lookalike is a Stranger Thing (Rousse)

Following three decades of no contact, during which one of us had moved to California, I was reunited with my school friend JB. Although we had never been best buddies, our friendship stretched back to infant school. Now that she was back in the UK to visit old haunts (including her old Oxford college), I was determined to see her.

The years had not changed JB. However, I barely remembered her husband, who had also been at school with us. I couldn’t help noticing his resemblance to Joe Keery, the actor who plays Steve Harrington in Stranger things. I was just one of many who had already pointed this out to him.

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A maniac mother Volvo driver and a missing party invitation (Rousse)

I clung on for dear life in the front passenger seat as my mother drove like a maniac along the Roman roads. She was showing off to FR, who was sitting in the back of the Volvo. My last attempt to persuade her against taking even more dangerous manoeuvres was to invent the narrative that I would be forced to relate if/when she caused a serious accident (provided that I survived it, of course).

Eventually we reached the hotel at our final destination (still intact). We recognised some of the couples with small children who were checking out. We’d met them before at DT-J’s wedding. They admitted that they had spent the weekend with D and K, celebrating their wedding anniversary. I felt a bit aggrieved not to have been invited to the party myself.

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Contaminated vodka jellies and an unwanted lover (Rousse)

My sister J and I shared the same wedding day. One would be married in the afternoon, and the other in the evening.

The vodka jellies to be served to our guests were less appetising after I watched a waiter stick his finger into one.

I was also rather disturbed by H’s uninvited declarations of love, especially since I had only met him twice before in my life. How did he know so much about me?

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Edinburgh tram extension stretches to Newcastle-upon-Tyne (Rousse)

The Edinburgh tram line extension stretched all the way to Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

I sat at the front of the vehicle with a Chinese man, his baby and his toddler. He was very impressed with the at-seat baby changing facilities.

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Man shot seven times not an ‘urgent’ case (Rousse)

TPR believed that he had magic powers, so when he shot himself seven times with an air rifle he didn’t expect to be hurt.

I was beside myself when the operator told me that the ambulance crew refused to treat my emergency call as an urgent case.

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A false friend betrayal (Rousse)

Led by LL, a bunch of my former students ganged up on me. First they stole my silvery white suitcase. Then they forced me to wear a slogan T shirt that mocked my jawline. I felt ugly and useless.

My only supporter was my University friend SH – until the day at the station when she revealed that her friendship was false, and that she had been working for the other side all along.

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