Dad stitched me up like an otter on April Fool’s Day – Lesley Keating

April Fool’s Day was always fun when I was a child.

Lesley will never forget the prank her dad played on April Fool's Day.
Lesley will never forget the prank her dad played on April Fool's Day.

I don’t remember exactly what I got up to each year but I do remember my dad once yelling from downstairs in great excitement when I was still languishing in bed one April Fool’s morning: ‘Quick, get up! Come and see the water otter!’

I scrambled out of bed and almost fell downstairs in my haste to see where this otter could be. We lived close to a river bank, so it was feasible. But when I skidded to a halt in the kitchen, my mum was laughing while dad merely pointed at the recently-boiled kettle and declared: ‘Water ‘otter!’

So, enjoy today; and, no tricks after midday or you’re the April fool!

Being an airborne vegan is anything but plane sailing

As a sometime vegetarian – and frequent vegan – eating out can be difficult. Locally there are a few places but in London the whole city has everything I could ever possibly want.

I’ve even managed to persuade Mike the Carnivore to try a few vegan restaurants for Sunday nut roasts or dishes which purport to be fish and chips… but aren’t. However, venture farther afield and you’re in big trouble.

We’ve just been on holiday and stayed at a Gatwick hotel the night before our flight. The easiest, quickest option was to eat at the hotel’s buffet.

Mike was in his element. He returned from his trip to the servery laden with chicken, vegetables, two different types of potatoes and a rice pilaf too. But when it was my turn, I realised, rather rapidly, that it was definitely going to be a vegetarian, not a vegan, day.

Wandering the length of the counter my heart sank as I surveyed my options.

My choice was an insipid looking pasta with tomato sauce or a violently-coloured chickpea curry. The former was more suited to a five-year-old and the second was probably created with a toothless octogenarian in mind.

I wandered up and down three or four times hoping somehow they might bring out another dish or that something else would magically materialise.

I loitered for so long that one or two passing waiters probably assumed I was casing the joint or planning on doing a runner with the salad servers.

Eventually, I plumped for the curry making a mental note not to bother ever having one again.

I felt way more confident about the ‘meals situation’ on our holiday flight though; after all, I’d wisely ordered ahead and chosen a vegetarian option. I know better than to ask for vegan choices on planes as most airlines seem to assume that all you eat is salad.

I knew I may be condemned to an eight-hour flight fuelled with nothing more inspiring than a goat’s cheese tartlet but, nevertheless, was intrigued to see what I would get.

I didn’t have too long a wait to find out…

It was a chickpea curry.

Relaxing in the Caribbean sun made me lose the plot

We’ve been holidaying on the sunny island of St Lucia in the Caribbean.

Every morning we’d get new beach towels from a stand and drop the old ones through a hole in a locked container where the used towels go.

One morning Mike realised he’d rolled our sun products in one of the towels and dropped them in too by mistake.

So, we had to traipse for about a mile to the main hotel reception to get a man with a key to come all the way back with us.

That was fun! Even more so when we eventually realised – while he was rooting about in the bin to no avail – that the stuff was actually in my bag!

Wonder if I should have tried shouting ‘April Fool’ to diffuse the situation…