An unwanted mushroom sofa (Rousse)

I was anxious that TPR had parked the car too close to the cliff edge, but he was actually well within the white lines, so we left it there.

As we walked back to the house, I spotted my Auntie M in the distance. Several small children followed her. When asked, she explained that she had taken in the children as part of a European English language programme. With a finely honed RP accent, little Erika told me that she was 9 years old, came from the Netherlands, and missed her parents.

We invited everyone back to our house for coffee. The children ran on ahead, let themselves through the front door, and found themselves seats in the sitting room with my mother.

When I came through the door I was appalled to find that nearly all the space in the sitting room was taken up by a vast mushroom-coloured sofa. My mother mouthed a one-word explanation for its sudden appearance: the name of my youngest sister.

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