University reunion surprises (Rousse)

At the university reunion one girl complained that her breast reduction surgery had not been worth the bother, another seemed unable to sit still at the table (until we realised that she was popping out for cigarettes every ten minutes or so), and two of the supposedly most successful members of our class (AR and SB) were now working in the kitchen of the restaurant where the event took place.

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Heart disease stunts growth (Rousse)

Somehow I had to extract myself from under the sand dune before the tide came up any further, then swim across the bay to join the others on the island. The tricky part was to push my way out of the sand without dislodging it and accidentally suffocating myself.

My parents were very interested to hear about my adventures when I returned to dry land. I was more curious to discover the nature of the illness that had reduced my father to a height of 3 foot. He told me that this was a symptom of heart disease. I found this hard to believe.

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Student graffiti attack on west end Edinburgh flat (Rousse)

We had access to a huge flat in the west end of Edinburgh. Its owner was a young man who worked in finance. I got the impression that he hardly used this place at all. The vast rooms were almost empty of furniture. The only clue to the personality of the owner of the flat were the contents of a large cupboard. This contained piles of cycling clothing and other gear. Much of it, however, was in its original packaging.

I returned to the main reception room from the cupboard and noticed that the walls were now covered with graffiti. I was furious that my colleague ES had allowed the students to deface the flat.

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David Cameron’s red cod piece (Rousse)

David Cameron was due home any minute so I popped out into the street to greet him. He came around the corner dressed in a bowler hat and cut-out modern business suit Monty Python style, complete with red cod-piece. I wanted to photograph him for my journal, but he escaped into the house before I had the chance to snap him.

Afterwards I went to see the Nelson arches – both the natural sea stacks, and those on the bridges in central London.

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John Craven and the Yellow Brick Road (Belle)

My attempt to join former colleagues for lunch in London turned into a quest. Firstly, I accidentally attended a country festival. It was here that I learnt that veteran broadcaster John Craven was an original member of the Dave Clark Five.  The news stunned me and I had to sit down in the tea tent for some time.

As I got closer to the restaurant a sinister actress in a wheelchair twisted her magical umbrella cane and the Yellow Brick Road, which had been stored there, shot out and overlaid the Farringdon Road.

I dashed into the restaurant – late – and ordered spaghetti and meatballs.


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A failed family get-together at Newcastle-by-the-sea (Rousse)

Newcastle city centre was packed on the first Saturday after the January pay-day. We should never have agreed to meet my mother and sister S there.

As things turned out, we didn’t manage to find one another. This was because TPR and I ended up wandering through the terraced streets of Jesmond then spent the afternoon in a biology student’s flat on the beach.

My mother and S could not contact us because TPR had (as usual) forgotten to pack his mobile, and my iPhone was out of power. Even if they had got through, my mother would not have managed the walk from the city centre to the beach to meet us.

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Delicious dead dog pâté (Rousse)

When the dog failed to respond to neither the cries of its owner, nor my whistling, we first assumed that it was lost in the forest. Sadly, we later discovered its little corpse on a bed of autumn leaves.

Keen not to waste the body, we butchered the animal. Then we cooked the meat in an elaborate process using four glass chambers to create the most delicious dead dog pâté.

We were unsure whether to serve this delicacy to dogs only, or whether it would also be fit for human consumption.

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