Errant father drama (Rousse)

I picked up the phone.

‘Where are your nephew and niece?’ shouted the person at the other end. ‘They are in mortal danger!’

‘P’s here, and A is in London (I think)’, I replied.

‘Well their father is on the loose and they need to get to safety’. From the office buzz that I could hear in the background, I guessed that the caller was a journalist or police officer.

This was yet another episode in the drama that all started when, aged 18, my middle sister secretly married a criminal from her hall of residence in London.

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Boris Johnson’s secret farm house tryst (Rousse)

Boris Johnson needed to distract the press and the general public from his latest misdemenour. He roped me in to help him.

We met in an old barn full of discarded furniture. From here we took a set of connected Victorian school seats and desks and carried them across the field to a deserted farm house. Now we at least had somewhere to sit and eat in our temporary ‘love nest’.

In an attempt to get to know my ‘lover’ I asked him about his five children. He denied all knowledge of them. ‘I am not a father’, he insisted.

Sure enough, his distraction plan worked. The press soon found us, and not long afterwards the whole country was agog at the news of Boris’ latest ‘conquest’.

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Jumpers for huge heads (Rousse)

There were plenty of jumpers around my size on the shop rail so I was confident that I would find one to fit me.

What I didn’t appreciate was that they also had head sizes – and that my head was far too big to fit into any of them.

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Keeping distance from a research council meeting groper (Rousse)

It was rather inappropriate to be invited back to rejoin the EPSRC committee that I left in 2018 – especially since many other ‘new’ members were my former colleagues and friends.

I disgraced myself by falling asleep in the first meeting. When I awoke in the auditorium, I couldn’t work out where I was nor what had happened. Then I remembered that there had been some talk of break-out groups.

I left my seat to look for my group in one of the break-out rooms. Another slumberer followed me through the double doors. He thought that he would get away with steering me along the corridor with his hand on my bottom. As soon I realised that he was a groper, I hastened out of his way.

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Redneck American tourists impressed by British physique (Rousse)

My mother-in-law’s step-parents – elderly, redneck Americans – and their extended families blew all their savings on a trip to visit their relations in the UK.

We organised a boat trip for their entertainment. The women instantly fell in love with the ‘captain’, not realising that this was TPR, and a distant relation of theirs. ‘You could cut the waves with those arm muscles’, said one to another.

I feared that everyone would hate me after I accidentally killed one of their children – until I learnt that the unresponsive toddler was really just a wooden doll on a string.

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Fear of forgetting social engagements (Rousse)

MH organised two leaving events to mark her departure. The first was a party in her flat on Saturday night. For the second we were invited to join the audience of her latest show.

Since both invitations were verbal and last minute, I was terrified that we would forget to attend either one, or both, of them.

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In a stone maze with Griff Rhys Jones (Rousse)

I was stuck in a three-dimensional stone maze, unable to navigate a route upwards and out. Ahead of me, Griff Rhys Jones was doing rather better than I was.

The big surprise, however, was my agile octogenarian mother, dancing over the blocks of pink sandstone straight up to the light above.

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Mystery P grid (Rousse)

I nodded sagely when IH told us that we needed to use the p-something or other grid in the (now late) report of our study. In reality, I had no idea what she meant at all.

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Motorist caught driving backwards through Edinburgh city centre (Rousse)

TPR interpreted the ban on cars on Edinburgh’s Princes Street as applicable only to vehicles that travelled forwards. This gave him a clear conscience to put his black BMW into reverse and head west along Princes Street with his eyes firmly fixed on his rear view mirror.

The police eventually caught up with him on a country road on the outskirts of town. He was taken into custody to a room crammed with other miscreants.

Meanwhile I petted a friendly fallow deer while considering the purchase of a roomy turquoise patterned bathing costume ‘for the older lady’.

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Green checked shirts and Bible study (Rousse)

EH and I set up camp in a comfortable three-seater with another colleague for our all-School work trip to the US.

Occasionally our male colleagues – each dressed in a different take on the green checked shirt – would call by for a chat. Otherwise we entertained ourselves with our books.

I was shocked to see that EH’s preferred reading material was The Holy Bible.

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