A narcoleptic puffin hunter (Rousse)

I was a narcoleptic.

In some circumstances my condition was barely noticeable. For example, whenever I was late joining SL for our 09:00am yoga session, she simply concluded that I had slept in.

Otherwise it could be highly dangerous, as on the day that I passed out while hunting for puffins on the high cliffs above the North Sea near Whitby.

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Killer eggs of Hollywood (Belle)

The TV was on in the bar but the sound was off. It was the perfect opportunity to show off my knowledge of mid-century historical dramas filmed in technicolour. I took full advantage.

I explained that the gilded carriage was – in theory at least – simply transporting the fairy tale king around the land. His people were waving banners and cheering.  But all was not well. The camera zoomed in onto half a dozen eggs in a carton sitting next to the coach driver. Unbeknownst to everyone, these eggs were spreading an invisible fug of disease around the entire land and thousands were doomed.  Later a simple son of the forest will find the cure and marry the king’s daughter. It was a little known classic.

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To Hexham for celebrities, and to Perth for the pantomime (Rousse)

A crowd of posh pensioners carrying cameras obstructed my way as I attempted to drive my little buggy (illegally) along the pavement of Temperley Place, Hexham. They had their long lenses fixed on a doorway, in eager anticipation of snapping a celebrity couple.

‘Who are you waiting for?’ I enquired of an old lady who was almost bent double by the weight of her camera.

She named a distant member of the royal family, and former consort of the Queen, who  (with her ancient husband) was on her way to a reception at the cinema. I had never heard of this woman. I didn’t even recognise her when she eventually emerged into the daylight.

A member of cinema staff later repeated my description of the supposed celebrity couple as ‘So old and decrepit they might have stepped out of the Thriller video’. She put her job at risk by saying this within earshot of the elderly photographer fans .

Meanwhile, in a section of the cinema that was partitioned off from the main event, TMcE was chairing a meeting of the British Computer Society. He explained to a less than enthusiastic audience of programmers that the next event to be sponsored by their professional body would be a trip to the pantomime in Perth.

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Failing your finals (Rousse)

Now that we were in the second term of the final year of our degrees it was high time that I started work on my dissertation. I caught Mrs S heading into the staff room and confessed to her that I didn’t have a topic.

This, apparently, was ‘No problem at all’, and she told me not to worry. I considered her advice very irresponsible: the deadline was fast approaching, and it was probably now impossible for me to research, write and submit anything of value in time.

Then I paid HB a visit. She was lying flat on the floor, very straight and still, like a mummified body. GG was watching over her.

We all felt terribly sorry for HB. She had suffered an accident on the ice rink when the blade of another skater’s boot had sliced off her nose. It would be some time before she would recover, and highly unlikely that she would take her finals with us.

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Dr Who companion travels back in time in vain attempt to stop Brexit (Rousse)

I travelled back in time, unseasonably dressed in furs, to a country fair on a warm summer’s day in 2010.

I found the yellow and white striped stand at which I was to deliver my message. I leant over the hardwood counter and declared that I was ‘from the future’. The man in charge of the stall barely acknowledged me.

‘I can prove it’, I boasted, hunting in my handbag for my iPhone, confident that it would show the date in 2018 from which I had travelled. When I pulled it out, however, it had transformed into an old-fashioned mobile phone and displayed a date in May 2010.

Nevertheless, I issued my warning at the top of my voice. ‘Brexit is coming!’ I shouted. A few people turned to look at me, but not one of them understood my message. Now that I had their attention, I explained that there would be a referendum in June 2016, and I begged them to vote ‘Remain’. My instruction was met with more blank looks.

Then a woman official glanced over at me and whispered under her breath ‘I think that’s the transport coming’.

I heard the TARDIS before I saw it. I was very much looking forward to seeing Dr Who again, but disappointed at the failure of my mission.

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A floppy disk photograph of Trump’s London parade (Rousse)

President Donald Trump was in London to visit the Queen. I watched him parade up the Mall in a black armoured car, accompanied by mounted members of the Queen’s Guard.

I was not there in person, but saw this all on television in an old-fashioned electrical shop. I mentioned to the shop owner that had I been in London myself, I would have liked to have photographed this spectacle.

‘No problem’, he replied, pushing a small box across the shop counter towards me.

‘I’ll put a 3.5 inch floppy disk in here. You press the button when you want to take a shot, and you’ll get your picture. If you could make a copy of the disk at home and then return it to me by post, I would be most obliged.’

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A messy office Christmas party followed by seaside coffee and cake in Aberdeen (Rousse)

A mixture of colleagues from all stages of my career came to the staff Christmas party. These included: my old boss JH; the wife and eldest daughter of my old office-mate SM; current colleagues DB and LD; a tall, skinny, moustached new member of staff who seemed to take a fancy to me; and a couple from another university (CO and AM).

Everyone was so exhausted after the meal that they lay down on the floor to sleep (allegedly – the moustached man had other ideas). The next morning they headed off without a thought for the mess of the previous day.

Since FR and I were the last ones left, we felt it was our responsibility to tidy up. Then we changed our minds: we would leave an apologetic note for the cleaners instead.

We quickly gathered up our things, then set off for morning coffee and chocolate cake at a seaside café in Aberdeen.

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