Love at the cosmetics counter (Rousse)

My young charge and I ran a cosmetics counter in a department store. Customers were few so we enjoyed a lot of free time to get to know each other and – eventually – fall in love, despite our 36 year age gap.

I was determined that he not waste his life as a shop assistant so when AB came to visit (slim, in her black and white spotted conference dress), I invited her to sit on the bed with us and discuss university entry requirements. I knew that her son was about the same age as my young man so she would know all about the processes of making an application for higher education.

When AB told us that her son scored all A*s in his A levels, my young man looked despondent. It became evident that there was good reason for his choice of employment as a shop assistant.

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Dying gerbil mistaken for dog (Rousse)

Like all farming families, we had many pets.

In our household my Granny T was the one responsible for feeding and tidying up after them. So when LTP&S came to visit and P asked about the dying dog in the cage in the kitchen, I denied all responsibility.

(In fact it was a gerbil, not a dog – and P had also missed the pile of dead hamsters piled up in the corner.)

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A secret agent and a sacred text (Rousse)

My duties as a secret agent charged with recovering a sacred text were part-familiar and part-terrifying. As I stood on the pavement on Edinburgh’s George Street, I knew that the passing motorcyclist would slap me when he drove past. Then I would run into the Halifax bank to seek shelter. Everyone would believe that a terror attack was imminent.

The next day I walked along the banks of the River Thames at sunset. My assailant, carrying the quarry, had followed me to the capital. I almost fell into the water as I reached down to grab the precious book from him.

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Noel Fielding on a first date (Belle)

Noel Fielding picked me up from the office. We walked over a burgundy arts and crafts bridge, Noel pushing his bike one one side, had his other arm around my shoulders.  His quiet voice was a charm to me.  Distracted, we realised we were walking down the middle of a dual carriageway.

Later, I missed the ferry to the island where I was now living.

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Reptiles and serpents found at tropical wedding venue (Rousse)

DTJ and KJ were due to host their wedding celebration at a tropical hotel that was familiar to me and TPR.

We picked up our wedding present for them – a huge canvas – and walked barefoot to the venue. There we were the first to arrive and it didn’t look like anyone else was yet ready to party. DTJ, for example, was not in a party dress, but wearing a baggy man’s shirt. (I too was wearing a baggy shirt, but at least mine was brightly patterned with red flowers. It was just a pity that it made me look enormous.)

As early guests, we played with toddler J while waiting for the others to arrive. He was rather too heavy for baby sit-ups so instead we explored the local wildlife. I was impressed with J’s speech and the readiness with which he identified the reptiles and serpents that we found in the hotel grounds.

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Hostage clings to novel entertainment at end of ordeal (Rousse)

By posting messages about a conference that did not exist, FR arranged my rescue from kidnap by an American gang.

While I waited for my formal release, I begged my captors not to take away the two novels in bag – my only entertainment during the whole ordeal.

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Bubble ring valuation (Rousse)

Incorrectly identified as a jewellery expert, I was asked to value a bubble ring.

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