By the time Sam reached the trees the storm was almost upon him. The forest floor was dark and thick with undergrowth, and he wandered between the vast trunks with little hope. He could feel the air around him tightening as the energy increased, and with it his senses sharpened so acutely that he was able to make out a rather quaint door set into the base of one of the trees, three steps down.
The door was a cleanly carved piece of wood on bronzed hinges with a porthole-style window just below head height. Outside the door a couple of milk bottles and a yoghurt pot waited to be taken in, resting on a mat woven with the words "Bless This Mess". A small copper plaque proclaimed this to be the home of "Mr and Mrs Beaver".
Sam wasn't about to take his chances with the storm. Instead he picked up the golden doorknocker - in the form of a lion - and knocked sharply. Approaching steps could be heard from within.
A large grey-metalled robot opened the door. It was slightly taller than Sam and has humanoid in shape except for the flexible arm protruding from its upper abdomen. "What?" it demanded angrily.
"I'm sorry if I disturbed you," said Sam quickly, taken aback. "I got caught in the storm, and just wanted to get inside somewhere."
The robot looked at him suspiciously. "All right," it said after a few moments. "You can come in. Just don't steal anything." With its three arms it picked up the yoghurt and milk bottles and inserted them into a compartment in its torso. "Follow me."
Thanks to the wonders of the Internet, I'm now married. Her name's Latifa and she's very small and nice. Hopefully we shall receive two little linguist bundles of joy very shortly. How gloriously happy I am.
You'd think my nose would have figured out by now that running like a tap and convulsing like a mad thing isn't the best way of dealing with little bits of pollen. Unfortunately, noses are not noted for their keen insights, and so I have to suffer through yet another hayfever season. It gets infuriating when one is in a situation where one is required to look one's best and to eat, such as at a formal hall. Plugging both nostrils with Blu-Tack might work, except that then the pressure would gradually increase to such a level that said obstruction would be messily expelled across the room, and then I would lose much of my credibility.
The day before yesterday I went to see my room for next year with Daves. It had a window, and a door, and was roughly cuboid in shape; pretty much exactly what I'd expected, then. Didn't get to see my room, but saw an equivalent at the other end of the building. A staircase in Castle House (note here that I refer to "A" staircase, not a staircase in the sense of any old staircase) is populated by a lot of very nice people.