Equestrian wear for Boris Johnson (Rousse)

Boris Johnson asked me to buy him a pink hunting jacket. I refused.

I told him that his PA (or wife) was better suited to such a task.

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Penguins suits and a smell (Rousse)

The twins made a huge effort with their outfits for the conference. They dressed in not-quite-identical penguin suits. The slightly larger one had also dyed her strawberry blond hair black, making it much easier for strangers to distinguish the two sisters.

We were just about to enter the conference hall when the slightly smaller twin detected a smell that displeased her. As she turned to stomp off, the other one followed. I hoped that they would return in their own time.

Meanwhile I made it to table 6 at the front of the room with some other PhD students. Here we waited for the opening address.

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Dunbar clears the sea for water tractor (Rousse)

On a Friday at the height of summer, day trippers gathered at the coast in Dunbar to sunbathe and swim in the North Sea.

I passed KT laying out a blanket in a suntrap on the grass as I made my way to the steps down to the narrow swimming channel. Then I dropped in the water and enjoyed the 100  metre tide-powered ride. TPR followed close behind me.

At the end of the channel I noticed a couple of men in academic dress. They demanded that everyone exit the water immediately. We all had to make room for a small tractor that was on its way to my next door neighbour’s house to start a garden makeover.

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High fashion for alcoholics (Rousse)

It was rumoured that Belle downed 16 bottles of red wine a day.

Perhaps that accounted for her weird dress sense? Today she was wearing a pastel summer dress over bright red tartan trousers.

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Kidnapped kept woman (Rousse)

I was kidnapped twice. On each occasion my kidnapper was one of my former drama teachers.

The first time TPR rescued me and took me to live in his white-washed bungalow in the countryside. Then one day I made the mistake of answering the doorbell in my pyjamas and was taken again. On this occasion my captor was disguised as a labourer. During the pursuit I managed to shake him off for a while, but he eventually grabbed me at Green Park tube station in London.

My second kidnapper adored me, showering me with jewels. However, I was very unhappy. I was constantly monitored, and never allowed any time to myself. Even shop staff knew never to let me out of their sight.

When I asked a jeweller if I could use the shop phone (because I had ‘accidentally’ left mine at home), she refused my request. I would never be able to tell TPR what had become of me.

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Wisteria excess (Rousse)

I had so many wisteria stalks, yet nowhere to plant them. On checking all round the garden to find a vacant patch of soil, I discovered that every inch of space was already taken – by wisteria stalks.

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Jennifer Aniston declares ‘English knickers best in the world’ (Rousse)

The cast members of Friends were easily recognisable when I met the actors in Milwaukee, although I was surprised that David Schwimmer (who played Ross) was so short in stature.

I asked Jennifer Aniston if she could arrange for Wardrobe to supply me with fresh underwear. She replied that their supplies were sub-standard and told me to use my own. After all, in her opinion, English knickers are ‘the best in the world’.

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Dinner with the Beckhams (Rousse)

‘You need to be ready at 6:30pm for David to pick us up for our evening with the Beckhams’, I said to TPR – just loud enough for everyone in the queue to hear me.

Many heads turned to see who deserved such an honour.

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Ramsey MacMahon and a whale (Rousse)

Before we headed to the ferry terminal, LM and I checked the birthday cards in the stranger’s flat. They were all for someone called Ramsey – most likely the BBC Alba presenter Ramsey MacMahon, who I had just seen in the street. How exciting: I was one of his biggest fans!

We saw Ramsey in person just before we boarded the ferry. Like us, he was heading to the islands for a holiday. As we queued to board the boat, we were all well entertained by a small whale that was weaving its ways in and out the struts of the pier.

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Tadpole hunting with a fishing rod (Rousse)

GK sheepishly walked back into my life when his marriage came to an abrupt end. I knew this immediately, the evidence writ large across the tan line on his wedding ring finger.

It seemed that GK regarded my parents’ house as a safe retreat. He hadn’t considered that other people would think the same, so was rather disappointed when he had to fight with African forced migrants for sofa space at bedtime. Nevertheless, the next morning (on very little sleep) he was a willing participant in family activities and came tadpole hunting – with a fishing rod.

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