Tricks when parking a car in Edinburgh (Rousse)

I had been away from work for so long that a new boy had to show me around our office premises south of the Edinburgh city bypass.

First he took me to the car park that we shared with the pharmaceutical firm. I feigned interest in the strategies that he had devised for timing his arrival at work to guarantee a parking space.

However, I was really hoping that my companion might ‘help me out with my seat belt’ now that my hand had become inexplicably ‘trapped’.

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A furious fur-clad driver (Rousse)

I caught up with my former colleague KB at the other side of the till. She looked rather chic in a brown full-length fur coat topped with a black mink bolero.

She was, however, a reckless driver. She ignored the 20 mph limit in the village and almost took out two pedestrians.

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Murdered peat bog bodies (Rousse)

When I left the two bodies to rot in the peat bog, I thought that I had committed the perfect murder. However, I accidentally left behind traces of my involvement in the dastardly deed. These included two knives, and a couple of pages torn from the book that I had been reading.

No doubt the forensics team would soon seek me out. I would be charged with, and found guilty of,  the most heinous of crimes. Then I would be put away for a very long prison sentence.

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The world’s most versatile dog-themed kitchen gadget (Rousse)

The dog sculpture in jade looked good in MB’s new kitchen and I now regretted that the family had given it to her as a present.

The ornament was also much more versatile than we had first believed. The head was removable and inside was a selection of green plastic kitchen utensils. Without notice, these sprang to life and the whole object transformed into a food processor that liquidised a huge quantity of green soup.

I feared for the state of MB’s new kitchen surfaces as the green gunge started spilling out everywhere. I also hoped that her lunch guests, who included KJ, DTJ and one of their children, would not notice the commotion.

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Secrets between friends (Rousse)

DJ and AJ had supposedly downsized to a modern house on the mainland. When we visited their new place, however, we found that they were now living in a gorgeous mansion furnished almost entirely with Chinese antiques. We had clearly underestimated their vast wealth.

I pointed to a beautiful oil painting of AJ when she was young and asked about the artist. She was surprised that I had forgotten that we had given her the picture as a wedding present.

TPR wanted to tell AJ and DJ about our forthcoming trip to visit AH and CS in France, but I managed to stop him just in time. TPR had completely forgotten that AJ had once spent a night with AH. It was important that DJ should never know about this indiscretion.

To mention AH’s name would risk a distressing revelation that would embarrass our kind hosts immensely.

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Snowball tattoo shocker (Rousse)

I wasn’t too shocked when TPR tried on his sister S’s blue Liberty patterned bikini. The real horror was the sight of his tattooed shoulders and back beneath the strappy top.

When had he had the time to ruin his beautiful physique without my knowledge? And what did ‘Snowball’ mean, etched in Gothic script between his shoulder blades?

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Train trouble at Milton Keynes (Rousse)

The train had almost pulled into the last station on the route when it reversed direction. The guard announced that it would no longer be stopping at Milton Keynes, but instead would call in at all stations en route to the new final destination of Southampton.

The woman seated opposite me pulled out her mobile phone and angrily dictated copy to the local Milton Keynes radio station for the next news announcement. She was clearly appalled at this change to the service.

Meanwhile TPR had established that the best way for us to reach AH and CS in Milton Keynes would be disembark at the next stop and take a taxi into town. It looked like several other passengers had the same idea, so I initiated a discussion of fare-sharing.

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