Inadequate research council accommodation and a couple of dead whales (Rousse)

The EPSRC put me up in a reasonable hotel, but my room did not have enough storage space. I would make a request for a corner cupboard and some shelving for my books above the radiator.

In the meantime I popped down to the harbour to see what was happening. I was nearly washed away when the latest boat came in with two enormous dead whales in its wake.

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Forgive, forget, and return to the fold (Rousse)

I kept quiet when XYZ entered the room carrying a tray of home-made cakes. She offered one to each person as if she had never been away. They each happily accepted a cake and carried on their friendly chat.

Everyone gladly welcomed XYZ back to the old familiar friendship set-up. I was delighted that recent events had seemingly been forgiven and forgotten.

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A six-inch, straw-armed, baby (Rousse)

Motherhood was new to me and I was not taking well to it.

I misunderstood the need to be near my baby at all times. I also found it difficult to explain why my baby (a) was only 6 inches tall and (b) sported a plaited string of straw (rather than an arm) from its left armpit. Indeed, I did not think that either of these unusual features were worthy of comment.

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Guests who overstay their welcome (Rousse)

It was a Monday morning and I was desperate for our weekend visitors to leave so that I could get to work.

My plans were thwarted by my sister-in-law SMcC who insisted on cycling to the outskirts of the city.

I followed her with AS in his borrowed silver open-top BMW. Our job was to tempt S back into town via Leith so that she and AS could gathering their belongings and set off home, and I could get to my office.

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Swimming lessons for six year olds (Rousse)

My 19 year old niece BMc had reverted to a six year old and begged me to take her swimming.

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Masters supervision without Margaret (Rousse)

When I came out of MR’s office I found a Chinese student waiting for me in the corridor. Once we had cleared up whether or not she was Margaret (she was not), I led her to the room that I shared with ST.

Someone had ‘decorated’ our office door with cut-outs of men and women, and with ransom note lettering that indicated that I had sexist male colleagues. We ignored this and joined AA and PC at the table in my room to go through the student’s draft MSc dissertation.

AA annoyed me by hopping from one random page to another and issuing unhelpful comments. I was also cross with the student for copying and pasting someone else’s contents list into her drat work. She thought that with just a few edits she could use this as her own. This, of course, was not acceptable.

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Advice on sexual harrassment at work (Rousse)

XY arrived at work in a foul mood. He huffily dumped his bag and coat in his office. Then he came out to find me in the corridor. He cast me a quick glance, then ran his hands up and down my stockinged legs.

‘That’s better’, he said, then wandered off.

Was I a victim of sexual harrassment at work, or was this just the price of peace? I sought the advice of AJ.

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