Space travel, trains and boats (Belle)

I returned from outer space with a streaming cold.  I arrived at a train station in Edinburgh and got engaged. All I wanted was a cup of tea, but I was forced to drink champagne. Before going to bed, I bought a radiogram for my sister and installed it too.

Standing on a busy train, my exit was blocked by a cigar-smoking Gerard Depardieu. We sang a song together before I boarded a dinghy with a friend and her dog.

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Shark danger in Lake Ontario (Rousse)

Within hours of landing in Canada I boarded a yacht at the behest of my cousin NT. Suddenly the wind picked up and threw us from the craft into Lake Ontario.

Sharks fins circled. I considered whether I would prefer to be eaten alive, or to die first by drowning.

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A French language refresher course in Paris (Rousse)

I accepted the offer of a place in Paris to undertake a six-month long refresher course in French. Although downhearted at the prospect of a long time apart, TPR kindly accompanied me to France to help me settle in.

The temporary hall of residence was an overcrowded tower block slum, brimming with squatters, drug addicts, prostitutes, illegal immigrants, and other unfortunates who had set up camp in the cold concrete corridors. There was even a group of Chinese men who were warming themselves by a raging camp fire built into a lift shaft. I was grateful that TPR was there to protect me.

If these were conditions in which I was expected to live, I was going off the idea of learning French again. I discussed this with TPR naked in the back seat of a car not far from the airport. Here we saw Air Force One overhead, accompanied an anti-terrorist escort. We continued the discussion along a cliff edge in the pouring rain.

Then it dawned on me that the reason reason for not taking up my place should be that I had promised TPR that I would never leave him again. However, I would use the excuse of my PhD students when I confessed to SL that I would not, after all, be her fellow student in France.

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Theresa May shares priority email address with complete stranger (Rousse)

It was only when I sat down in the cabin that I realised that I had left my green file of work under a seat in the airport departure lounge. I would need to pull strings to ensure that it was returned to me speedily.

It was just as well that Prime Minister Theresa May had recently given me her priority email address. She would call the secret service just as soon as she received my request.

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Rousse has her wicked way

We pushed the door open and behind it found a set of steep steps. Below us was a vast rural landscape of hills and lochs, and a river delta that ended at a massive white sandy beach.

In his excitement, QDX rushed ahead, leaving me behind with CEX – alone, at long last!

For years I had fantasised about this moment. CEX took one step down and turned to face me. As he drew me into his arms, I reached down to release the buckle of his belt…

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Seaside town wins BBC Food and Farming Award (Rousse)

The winner of the BBC Radio 4 Food and Farming Awards was the a seaside town on the south coast of England. The prize recognised the elaborate ‘sandcastle’ complex that included a working roller-coaster and mechanical dinosaur.

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Pugs, police and a miniature sports car (Belle)

I developed an internet search training course for pugs and their owners and left my colleague in charge.

Meanwhile, I set out to buy some ribbons but ended up as the passenger in a chrome and burgundy sports car. It was a thing of great beauty that couldn’t be properly secured when we parked it on the high street.  While we were away hundreds of strangers queued up to climb into the car and take selfies. Angry I complained to a police officer who jumped into the car and took me on a terrifying joy ride. This included driving at roadwork barriers (“I’m a police officer darling, trust me”) and – for a horrifying minute – cutting his toenails with one hand and steering the car with the other.

When I returned to work, the bunk beds were unmade and the training room was full of dachshunds and not pugs.  Something  had gone wrong.


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