Heavenly Chichester with Simon Mayo and Mark Kermode (Belle)

I wasn’t sure how I had been invited to the ‘writing retreat’ home shared by Simon Mayo and Mark Kermode but I knew enough to remove my shoes before I stepped inside.

In one office, Simon was typing his latest novel.  The French windows were open and I was astonished by the beauty of the view – a tropical sunset and a Cornish cove.  Who knew Chichester was this beautiful?


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VIP wedding guests on the Thames (Rousse)

KJD invited me and TPR to her son J and K’s wedding. Since we had never before met KJD, nor any of the rest of the family for that matter, we were especially honoured to be seated next to the top table at the reception in the long, low redbrick caravan.

Our VIP status was confirmed later when the best man (small, neat, grey-haired) was instructed to be my chaperone for the rest of the day.

The marriage ceremony took place in a vast auditorium next to the River Thames. The seating was so flexible that it periodically switched lay-out. Whenever we were flown through the air to our new location we felt like we were enjoying a fairground ride.

I met nearly all the family at the wedding: GG was much shorter than I expected; KJD looked marvellous in a tight red satin ballgown which showed off her neat waist; O was very smiley; and KJD’s husband couldn’t stop snapping photos of me. KJD’s sister was missing, but this was understandable given the recent family tragedy.

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Stephen Fry intervenes in University of Edinburgh gaffe (Rousse)

Even Stephen Fry could not put right the terrible insult that I had directed at the University of Edinburgh.

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Lego litter tidy-up (Rousse)

I suggested to my little sister (aged 47) that she might like to clear up the mess of Lego that she had dropped all over the house.

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Conference delegate agitation (Rousse)

Out of the corner of my eye I could see JM become more and more agitated with two other conference delegates. They had clearly upset him.

LJ wandered over to ask if he needed any help, but he said that he would be OK.

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Gorilla makes a fearful passenger (Rousse)

LF drove the car at 30 mph in one of the new Edinburgh 20 mph zones.

PS shrieked at her to slow down – not least because she was frightening our gorilla passenger.

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The velvet-clad cyclist choir (Rousse)

JS and her cycling friends founded a choir. Their uniform comprised navy blue velvet dresses adorned with huge 1980s bows.

Worse, however, was the ‘music’. None of choir members could sing.

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