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» Encounters with Royalty

Prince William stole my job
I had just finished a Masters course & was desperate to get work experience on a research project called Shoals of Capricorn, based somewhere idyllic in the Indian Ocean. They were studying marine plankton ecology out there, and I had just received a distinction for my 6-month MSc project all about marine plankton ecology. My MSc group was a small one, so I have little reservation in saying I was probably the best qualified graduate in the country for the position. I am also a qualified SCUBA diver.

They turned me away, saying they wanted ‘someone better qualified’. Imagine my surprise then, when 4-weeks later, an 18-year old Prince William got the position as part of his Gap Year. He was the perfect candidate – the Sun newpaper told me – ‘because of his A-level geography qualification’.

But I’m not bitter. No, wait! Yes I am.
(Wed 9th Aug 2006, 0:36, More)

» Creepy!

Salvation lies within
I once had a nasty, protracted bout of food poisining. After a dozen trips to the loo each day for 3-days, I was pretty sore and bleeding from areas I shouldn't be bleeding - so I headed off gingerly to my local GP to see if there was anything he could do.

'Take your trousers & pants off, and lie down facing the wall', he says. Now, I could be called naive for not expecting what was gonna happen next, but without warning, he inserts a digit into my backside for 'a look around'.

'Jesus Christ!', I gasp.

'He can't help you now' comes the reply from behind me.

(Fri 8th Apr 2011, 21:32, More)

» Bad Dates

a movie disaster
I had arranged to go to the cinema for my first ever date at the tender age of 14. I met her as planned outside Sweet Centres in the Trocadero in London, and we proceeded upstairs to the cinema.

My 1st mistake was buying popcorn - I realise this as I unattractively munched my way through my first mouthful: letting your date hear you chewing loudly is not a good start.

My second, 2-hour long mistake was my choice of film: Alive. You know, the one where the rugby team crash in the Andes and resort to cannibalism to stay alive. I really wanted to see it, but now know that kind of film doesn't go down well on a first (ever) date. My poor movie choice began to dawn on me after 20-minutes during the very realistic and horrifying plane crash scene - think people being sucked out of the falling plane screaming and crying. I sank further into my chair as the story continued: I knew I was never going to get a snog when the man on the screen stands over a frozen corpse wielding a penknife and delivers the romantic line:

'I'll start by eating his buttocks.'

When it finally ended, I took her to KFC - a class act all round. Needless to say, our relationship didn't last but I get a great 1st date story which I still tell to this day.

Fast-forward 20-years and I by chance bump into my (now happily married) 1st date at a station. We get a drink and chat - turns out she's been getting mileage out of that story for the last 20 years too :)
(Sun 20th Oct 2013, 23:12, More)

» When were you last really scared?

Terror at 39000ft
Probably on a flight to London (from Aberdeen) last November when the cabin pressure failed at 39000 ft.
Nothing dramatic like at the end of Goldfinger, just a click as the masks dropped down. Bloody horrifying it was nonetheless - the crew were all sitting down so no-one knew what was going on - and all you could see were passengers swivel-eyed with fear behind their masks as a distinct burning smell filled the cabin. A woman on my aisle hopped into the empty seat next to me and held my hand while the looped tannoy announcment didn't reassure: 'Place mask over mouth and nose. The smell of burning is normal'.

When we landed the stewardess came out with the standard announcement 'Welcome to London Heathrow. We hope you enjoyed your flight'.
(Tue 27th Feb 2007, 20:40, More)

» Best Films Ever

Best 1/2 film I've ever seen
Zoolander - it was on the movie channel in the hotel but I only got 1/2 through it before I was being shagged senseless by the lovely Irish ex-beauty queen I'd met that night.

Is it a good film..? Probably not, but whenever I think about it, I smile.
(Fri 18th Jul 2008, 16:40, More)
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