Christian Slater is a great rebel boyfriend (Belle)

The venue was hosting both a formal library conference and a small thrash metal event and I was unwilling to commit to either.

In the break-out room Christian Slater and I locked eyes and – without needing to speak – we had agreed to play a board game called Pirates. Christian convinced a member of staff we needed to set up the game in a library delegate’s bedroom and we needed cocktails and plenty of them.

By the time the delegate discovered us in her room, we had thrown a lot of glittery confetti and rock salt in her suitcase and in her bed. When confronted Christian gave a blatantly false name – Sir Ralph Richardson – and wandered off.  I followed him and boomed across the venue – “Christian Slater, get here right now and bring a dustpan and brush.”

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A visit to football HQ (Belle)

I was reunited with my former best friend AH for our visit to the Head Office of the English Football Association. While I was wearing a formal suit, she was wearing a mini-kilt, knee-length socks and an oddly bulky top. In the lift, AH began to chat to some Wrexham fans and began to flick through the hems of her many layered shirts. Eventually she found what she was looking for, lifting up several shirts to reveal a Wrexham FC football shirt.  She had dressed to please everyone.

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Mrs Thatcher goes to the loo (Rousse)

I came face-to-face with a giant Spitting Image style Mrs Thatcher dressed in grey tweed. Just beyond her, shuffling along in a blue dress, was the Queen.

It looked like Mrs Thatcher wanted to go the the ladies’ lavatory. I opened the door to let her through.

I was desperate to photograph her, but resisted.

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Standard Life National Library staff insult published author (Rousse)

Standard Life sponsored the National Library. As such, all employees were both librarians and insurance brokers.

I was in the library one day trying to get the last couple of pieces of information that I needed to complete a journal article. I was also enquiring about a job. Someone had made me a list of staff who might be able to help me, complete with character profiles. It was somewhat embarrassing when this fell into the hands of the librarian described as ‘hard’.

I didn’t finish the journal article, nor did I get the job. Instead I watched everyone pack up at 4pm so that they could all go home, get changed, and head out to a leaving do. I was insulted when one of them asked me in passing ‘Do you have ambitions to become a published author?’

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A drone pest comes up trumps (Rousse)

I was playing with Lego on the old drawing room carpet when a drone flew overhead.

‘I’m sure that flying at this level must be illegal’ I said to my small companion.

The drone then shot away – only to return directly to the window next to me.

‘Piss off!’ I mouthed at its beady eye through the glass.

My sister came into the room dressed in a tiny white billowing mini-skirt that resembled a Tudor ruff. It barely covered her bottom.

‘RH is here’ she announced.

Then I understood that it was he who was the pilot of the drone. I supposed that family members were permitted to snoop around whenever they liked.

I found RH leaning on a kitchen counter. He was browsing through a leather-bound sepia book. I glanced at the pages and saw a copy of my birth certificate and some old family photos.

‘What is this?’ I asked. RH replied that it was a present for me. He had three copies, one for each sister.

‘Are they identical?’ I asked.

‘Yes’, he replied, ‘although there a fewer mistakes in the second and third imprints.’

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Wedding party troubles (Rousse)

On the morning of the wedding of JMH and MCF the news came through that JF died in her car, just at the point of turning the key in the ignition as she was about to take the car down her drive on to the road. A decision was made that the ceremony would go ahead regardless, and all the arrangements for JF’s birthday party (including the quiz) would stand for her funeral instead. I urged everyone to stop crying: nobody would want red eyes in the wedding photos.

Before the wedding ceremony the family set off towards the tapas bar on the beach. I was late in joining them and got trapped climbing over the rocks due to my fear of heights. KT appeared with a a bottle of wine and managed to talk me down.

Meanwhile the rest of the family members had left the bar so our little party comprised only me, KT and an American boy. The latter was very boastful about his travels so we made sure that he knew all about KT’s VSO work.

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A paper on the informational content of food – rejected (Rousse)

SM agreed to leave the house and type an email to the conference organiser at Sunderland University.

‘If you ask for a start time of 4pm, I can attend after conducting a PhD viva’, I suggested.

When SM learnt that my paper would be on the informational content of food, he refused my request.

‘This is far too trivial to be the subject of a conference presentation’ he said.

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