I promised I'd come clean today so here goes. (Drum roll)
I really was a Northern Ireland champion judge of dairy cattle when I was 16 and a member of my local Young Famers Club. This organisation was a great social outlet for young people in a rural area and provided opportunities to try lots of different activities, public speaking, group debating, quizzing, and of course dances and discos. I remember I was flabbergasted when I won this competition. I though it was hysterical.
Apparently the Russian Minister of Culture did fall in love with me when he heard me singing in the bar during a European libraries conference in Bonn. I was told this a few months afterwards by one of the other Russian delegates whom I met at another conference in Paris. I was quite the jet-setting librarian in those days! From what I remember, the Minister was small, bald, fat and rather inauspicious looking. The handsome young Estonian who went on to be a high flyer in their diplomatic service was much more appealing!
So, I have never been in a hot air balloon, though its something I would like to do, but I doubt if I would ever get my husband to join me, given his fear of heights.
I'm delighted so many of you have entered into the spirit of this silly game and it's been great fun trying to sort out your facts from your fictions. Keep them coming.