297: Played by men with funny shaped balls …

DearHeart: Oh, they’ve got a penalty kick
Me: *watches ball sail between the sticks
DH: that puts them ahead
Me: *watches score go from 25:23 to 25:24 to 25: 26 to 25:27 to…
Me: But their score is just going up and up and up……
DH: I think you’re looking at the time.

I have so got a grasp of this game.

296. #wide awoke

It seemed so straightforward when Helen explained it yesterday.

I’m to wear this watch-type thing which tells me the time – so, in fact, a watch – but it also collects data about sleep patterns. A bit like my FitBit but much clunkier, less useful and a horrid institutional grey. I’m to wear it continuously for two weeks, day and night, and then send it back in the prepaid Jiffy bag together with the sleep diary. In a year’s time, they’ll call me back and I’ll do it again.

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295. You’ve got your traboules, I’ve got mine…

“So, are any of you English?” asks Annaliese. There are a couple of dozen takers for the English Language tour of Lyon’s Old Town but we’re a pretty cosmopolitan lot. ActorLaddie and I mumble a bit. I suspect we’re not about to be congratulated on our Good Governance.

“I’ve been reading the news,” says Annaliese. “About Boris Johnson.” Everyone chortles – apart from us. Then the tour begins.

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294. Sunday in the Park with ActorLaddie…

Our digs overlook the River Rhône although to get the full glory, you have to kneel on a table and lean out of the window. Here’s the view right now:

Not Seurat, I grant you, but, if it wasn’t for the houses in between, you’d be able to see the turquoise of the Rhône, behind which there is a sort of office/restaurant complex, behind which there is the Parc de la Tête d’Or. This is where we went today to lick our wounds – and it is magnificent.

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293. A Saturday on the Rhōne…

“I’m afraid we don’t issue refunds on the Lyon cards,” says Eloise in Tourist Information.

Well, I’m not actually wanting a refund. But could you get the card cancelled so that she can’t use it? Or – even better- so that, if she tries to use it, the card explodes and covers her with indelible blue ink which, as it drips down her treacherous skin, tattoos her with the phrase “I am a thief.”

OK, I don’t say the last bit. But I think it really loudly.

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292. Will these bricks ne’er be clean?

Oh what a beautiful morning! We’re forecast for 33° later today – gorgeous drying weather; so the soundscape of birdsong and imaginary church bells (it’s Sunday) is currently overlaid by the romantic clunk of a pillowcase-worth of Lego churning away in the washing machine.  (Other brands of construction bricks are available.)

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291 Swipe right

We’ve been given Persona 3 to look at. He’s 41, single, works in IT. He likes sport and he drives. He’s not much of a reader, likes to travel and is umbilically attached to his phone. He doesn’t want anyone to know that he’s just been diagnosed with Parkinson’s. Especially not his mates; especially not his work.

Our task now is to figure out what would help young PeeThree get to grips with his diagnosis. Apart, that is, from a cure, which would obviously be everyone’s first choice.

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290. Game of Thrones

If ever a plumber was needed
in the town,
the people said, “Send for
Mrs Plug!

And if ever a class of mixed infants is in need of winning over, I would also recommend sending for Mrs Plug.

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289. Sweet dreams are made of this….

After lunch, we hunker down and share scary stories…

“And it’s only when we get to the theatre that I realise Robin’s actually expecting me to go on tonight.

“‘I can’t! I don’t remember the words!’

“‘Nonsense – you did eight shows a week for nine months. It’ll all come back.’

“‘But that was nine years ago – I don’t even remember the first line!’

“‘I’m sure you’ll be fine. Your dresser will sort you out.’

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288. Passing it on…

Grannie Chapman could neither read nor write, Pa tells me, so she signed her name with an X.  But around Industry Terrace and Beehive Place in Brixton, it was, often as not, Grannie Chapman who saw people into the world, if you didn’t want to bother the midwife or incur the expense of a doctor.

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