Travel Weekly columnist Maureen HillI’ve said it before – reps are like buses. You don’t see one for months and then they all arrive together.

The first to visit us was Lucy Thurston of Seasons in Style. We hadn’t seen Lucy since her days with Fred Olsen so it was a pleasure to have a chat while she updated us on her company’s products.

Lucy brought along some Love Hearts sweets, and she is now footloose and fancy free and looking for love herself. Lucy says her potential beau should be aged between 30-40, a driver, quite rich, with his own teeth and hair, quite fit and toned, and with a ‘GSOH’.

I had missed a previously scheduled meeting with Anna Baccanello, Azure Collection director of sales, as she was marooned abroad by the volcanic ash, so it was a pleasure to have her sitting opposite me, along with Ami Neve, sales manager for the Red Carnation Hotel Collection.

Romance follows this pair around. Anna hails from a village in southern Italy called Maratea and she took her managing director Jane O’Gorman there while putting together the new Italian programme. Jane fell in love with the place and has now arranged to get married there.

Meanwhile, Ami regaled us with her romantic story of a Mr Tolman, who bought the Oyster Box Hotel for his wife because that’s where they went on their first date. Ain’t love grand!

Speech lost on Tunisian guests

It was great to catch up with Balkan Holidays sales and marketing manager, Rupert Diggins. Being best man at a wedding is always a daunting responsibility, as Rupert found when he recently undertook this role for his friend.

The wedding was in Tunisia, but Rupert’s speech to 500 Tunisians did not produce the response and laughs he had hoped for. He had been advised not to use certain English words and phrases as these could be misconstrued, but he feels many of his jokes were lost in translation.

The wedding guests stayed at a beach hotel on the beautiful island of Kerkennah. Being on the beach, the hotel manager obviously felt there was no need for sun loungers by the pool so provided only four – two of which were broken. Reserving a lounger by draping a ‘midnight’ towel on it was of no use; to ensure you got one of these two loungers you had to sleep on it!

Miracle cure for funny tummy

During his stay Rupert was stricken with a dose of ‘Tunisia tummy’ but sometimes the environment that one inhabits can have a curative effect.

Racing to the loo in a Tunisian cafe Rupert found himself in a toilet with swinging Western saloon-bar type doors from which one could order a coffee while sitting on the throne.

Privacy was obviously not a priority in this establishment and this proved too much for Rupert, who fled back to his friends. They remarked how much better he looked, only for Rupert to announce that he hadn’t needed to go after all!

Maureen Hill works at Travel Angels in Gillingham, Dorset