So there I am, returning to the Sydney Jones library with a clear case of Stockholm syndrome after having already spent the entire day there. I went home for dinner, obviously – one great lesson the Italians taught me, there’s always time for a pasta break – but back to the grind I go. I blame my personal tutor, who also happens to be the head of the Italian department and resident slave driver. I’m not even sure I can speak the damn language.
Having belted it out to Adele in the car journey here (and being laughed at by a guy in a Volkswagen Beetle at the traffic lights – really dude? In that car?), I cough as I walk through the wet leaves that gloss the pavement.
It’s a Monday-bloody-evening. Monday-bloody-evenings are for chocolate-bloody-biscuits and David Attenborough (no bloody for David, the lad). Not Sydney-bloody-Jones. And then it hits me.
Literally. Right in the face. A nearby tree launches a three –branched (weeey) on my head and face and manages to entangle itself in my hair. “Arrrgh…shit-what-th-bastard-” is all I can manage I struggle with my leafy foe, he isn’t letting go without a fight (or a clump of my hair). My glasses fall to the floor and i’s game over. I have lost my sight. I flail my arms around in an attempt to disentangle myself but only manage to get smacked in the face. My bag starts slipping from my shoulder – I’m so glad it’s dark and no-one is around – and I feel a sharp scratch against my neck. Good god, I’m going to lose my head to a Horsechestnut!
Finally I break free. My hair is in a sorry state and my dignity lies in tatters at my feet. I locate my glasses and push them back up my nose. I take a deep breath to recover from my near-decapitation and pause for thought. I fumble for my follicles – still intact, but only just.
I’ve had enough, I can’t live like this. Never again will I look at that tree in the same way; never again will I feel safe when the wind blows. My options are few – and I get really bad hat hair. The everyday danger posed by coniferous criminals must be nipped in the bud – Henry VIII styley.
It’s off with the hair.