OK, here we go . . . the next installment . . .

My initial suspicions were raised during the book-signing when Carline casually said to me, "How intimate a thing would you be willing to sign?" Now this is not a question I am asked every day at book-signings. Most definitely not by some nice mother-of-three who has slogged devotedly for weeks drawing sandals on sheep (although perhaps this activity alone should have alerted me to the level of sanity we were dealing with.) But as Carline was single-handedly responsible for getting me to the book-signing on time, I did not really fully take the import of this question on board.

Fast-forward to this pleasant Italian restaurant in the ancient, cobbled centre of Carlisle where 12 weary, noble charity walkers are coming together for an evening's celebration, when suddenly Carline leaps from her chair and . . . I kid you not . . . begins a striptease.




Do remember that we are in the middle of a restaurant on a Saturday evening . . .




And unfortunately, she's not actually very good at it. By this point, she realizes she is in trouble.



Ever helpful, Kat jumps up to help.



Carla helps by pointing out that the people at the adjacent table have begun clapping in unison to encourage Carline and her now-deeply-involved helper, Kat undress in the middle of a restaurant.



At last, the desired article is produced - a bra . . . or should I say a "bra"? . . . as it is not quite like any bra I have ever seen before. Consequently, I had to try it on. Unfortunately, it wasn't quite my size. (Note the man at the table behind me, now in such hysterics he's in danger of needing medical attention.)



And the purpose of this bra? Well, apparently the assembled crew felt that my signing a book just wouldn't quite be enough to make up for Lubey's missing the Sheep Walk this year. Somehow, it seems they felt getting all her friends arrested for indecent behaviour might be better. Anyway, so I signed it.



(And this evening isn't over yet, folks . . . )