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the slow ones/animal magic

What a morning! Tires fresh-pumped, the pain of the weekend receding, and what do I get? I am stuck, behind the slow ones. Knees pointing out, wobbling uncertain, veering wide, kerb-fearing (let anyone past, not us!) their unturned wheels clattering, each tiny rise and roughness slowing them still further, slow oscillation of legs round a big-big gear, for god's sake! This is Oxford! We have no hills, why travel slowly? In the end I had to undertake, which has a scary name for a reason.

Goodness. I was looking up the mysterious hole in Iffley Road on This is Oxford and discovered that we have a new High Sheriff. Brigadier John Nigel Ballard Mogg has taken over from Lady Sylvia McLintock. What does a High Sheriff do? -- apart from have a silly name, obviously. I don't suppose they hunt down outlaws anymore (in the wilds of Botley Village?). Apparently the nomination ceremony needed Lord Wolf, and the Lord Justice Mummery. England is weird.

I went into work and a lovely shiny lady with short spiky hair and a big tooth-filled smile held the door open for me. "Oh oh!" said the receptionist, "Mrs Fox! Could you help me? I need to forward this email, and I don't know how," and Mrs Fox leant over the the receptionists desk with another big, carnivorous smile ... the fox was instantly followed by a toad, a girl with a so young her face was barely formed on the stairs who rolled her wide-set eyes lugubriously at me on the stairs. The corner of her mouth gave a cold, amphibian, twitch in response to my smile.

Sunny day. This morning I dreamt I was house-sitting with a guy, one of my smaller male friends (the dream didn't specify which). It was dark, we were in the kitchen, the colours were brown and grey like my old Sapphire and Steel tapes. Everything went wrong, it started with the quiet noises, which turned out to be nothing, then spooky noises, which we didn't investigate (nothing, nothing), then loud crashing, so we had to see what that was. It was two huge burglars who chuckled like Mr T as they told us that we didn't want to see what had happened to this room, or that room, or the other room. They were out of our league, on another scale, practically giants. Presumably after that things got a lot worse, because the next thing I remember is that we'd finally decided to leave the house, only to discover that all the surrounding houses had gone and the house (a semi, it looked bloody odd on its own) was isolated in a vast prison-yard of flat grey stone, surrounded by a chain-link fence. The fence looked climbable, so we started to run, but even as we did, the fence suddenly flashed orange and bright, red and blue candy-striped bars materialised in the air above it, shot up maybe 3-4 metres, turned a right angle and shot over our heads to form a cake-tin shaped cage, with the house at its centre. We stopped running then. Was it us, or the house they were after?

Time-waster for the day: the inconsistently amusing Ask Mr Bad Advice.