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THINK of Bath and you think of Jane Austen. Miss Austen - like most young ladies of the day - came in order to be part of the fashionable society that would gather in town during the summer to take the waters.
THERE'S only one question on anyone's lips at this time of year. And it's not "Did you feel as queasy as I did watching Lewis snog Deirdre?" Nope, all anyone ever asks is "Done much on the Festival this year?"
NOT for the first time, it seems I'm at the forefront of current fashion. Yes, you may have thought that the cancellation of my holiday would have led to a great deal of wailing and gnashing of teeth here at Turner Towers (actually, you'd be right about that bit), but Mr Turner assures me that we will be taking the terribly fashionable option of a "staycation" instead. Tres chic, non?
IT'S getting to the end of the school term and everyone is starting to wind down. The great weather has meant hordes of schoolchildren are suddenly released from the tyranny of the classroom and can give free rein to their hay fever in the great outdoors. The Teen, obviously, finds all this sooooo boring. When your life consists of dressing head to toe in black and slouching around in darkened rooms, the bright rays of the sun and all associated summer activities are a complete anathema.
BONJOUR, mes amis. Ca va? And, er, that's about my full grasp of the mother tongue of our nearest European neighbours. Oh, fear not. Parachute me into any part of the Common Market and I would survive. An ability to ask for two beers and a cheese sandwich in any one of eight European languages from Spanish to Greek means that I will never starve or die of dehydration.
YOU know you don't really have time to read this. You know you should, in fact, be sitting atop the Samsonite trying desperately to squeeze the entire contents of a fully furnished three-bedroom house into a Ryanair carry-on friendly bag.
HOLIDAYS are stressful enough, but we women - as is so often our way - like to give ourselves an extra layer of pressure before we even set off.
A QUICK quiz for you. I know, I know, it's Sunday. You're probably only halfway through your coffee and starting to consider the possibility that shouting for that third bottle of wine last night is proving to be an enormous mistake.
'No matter how law-abiding you may be now, everyone's nicked something from a boozer'
A FRIEND is at the end of her tether. "Enough!" she texts me. "If I have to go into one more shop, or look at one more item of clothing, I will go mad." If I didn't know better, I would think she'd taken leave of her senses.
IT'S strange the things that are markers in your life. The personal milestones that you use to mentally tick off the years. Birthdays. Anniversaries. First days at school. Last days at school. It's only when you look back that they seem to have whizzed past in a blur.
MR TURNER came in the other day very excited. Very excited indeed. And when he told me his news, I was equally excited. A new tailor has opened up across the road from Turner Towers.
I WAS a bit late leaving the house one day last week and caught the beginning of the sparkling programming that makes up the current daytime television schedule.
THE past few weeks have been terribly exciting. Not that I've actually gone anywhere or done anything, you understand. Truth be told, right now George Michael is leading a better social life than me.
A WANDER around my favourite store last week had the effect of transporting me back to my childhood. This wasn't in the toy department (we didn't have toys when I was young, we were too poor, sob), but in the middle of the small electrical appliances department of Johnny Lou Lou's.
MOST of us are familiar with the story of how the world's press found out about Princess Margaret's affair with Peter Townsend - you are, aren't you? She was spotted at her sister's coronation picking a bit of fluff from his lapel - a touching and curiously intimate gesture that speaks volumes.
MR TURNER thinks he is Joan Fontaine. Or rather, he thinks he is Lina Haysgarth - the character played by the delectable Joanie in the Hitchcock classic Suspicion.
THE talks have reached a critical stage and could go either way. A certain intransigence is always to be found at these things, but I think everyone is big enough to realise that if there is to be any chance of progress, then pride has to be swallowed and compromises made. Have I strayed into the territory of foreign affairs and decided to cover the Middle East peace talks?