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Chris disarmed by the Yankee curse

One of the Diary's favourites, Chris Waterman, chief executive of the children's services managers' association, Confed, seems to have a Yankee curse on him.

Only last year, while attending the Council for Chief State School Officers in New York, he had a laptop stolen and was forced to spend hours in the local nick in the company of drug-dealers (in order to file a report). Last month, he returned for the same annual conference, this time in Oregon, before heading off to Boston to meet his wife for a family holiday.

While taking a suppertime stroll, he tripped over a paving stone outside a restaurant and wrecked his elbow. It required a seven-hour operation, complete with metal pins, plates and screws, as well as 36 stitches.

"The restaurant staff were brilliant. They took me in, put an ice-pack on it and called an ambulance, but were at pains to point out the pavement belonged to the City of Boston, not the restaurant."

Our fearless hero is planning to return to the States for another business trip in November. We'll keep our fingers crossed.

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