Not only were we struggling to make ourselves heard across a dinner table at a rowdy Red Cross fundraising dance, we were also attending with our respective partners. It’s difficult to say when we weren’t in a position to fall into each other’s arms.Michael had a girlfriend, while I was with my husband, though the marriage was coming to an end. But I thought of Michael a lot over the following few weeks. All I know is that several weeks later, when Tender Is The Night dropped through my letterbox along with a note from Michael saying I really should read the book, I was delighted.Of course, then it got very messy and horrible, with divorce and unhappiness for his wife.But there is absolutely no question that he fell in love at first sight.‘What do you mean, you’ve never read Tender Is The Night?’ he asked, aghast at the fact I was unfamiliar with his favourite F. But there was no question of a romance blossoming that evening back in June 1973.My wife Jane was my superior when I first met her in 1989.
But I felt entirely sure, and over the following four decades my feelings for Michael have only grown stronger. So much so that I hid the pearl necklace I had told Howard to look for in order to identify me as his date.
Brian, to her, suggested a middle-aged bloke with a paunch. (She trims them now.)I met Don at a May Day party in 1972. And, unbeknown to me, he was married with a one-year-old baby. I found making conversation, particularly with men, excruciating. We went out onto the balcony looking over Earl’s Court Square — it was a very hot night — and spent hours just chatting together. But then there was a move to another party (those were the days!
So she was pleasantly surprised to find that I was 27 — the same age as her. And his wife and baby were both at the party, which I discovered through a mutual friend halfway through the evening. ) and I ended up giving Don a lift (I think his wife had left earlier).
Perhaps it sounds strange, but I can’t remember the first time Michael said he loved me.
Nor can I remember him proposing — although we wed just two years later.Over the ensuing months, as I sat at her desk telling her what stories I had garnered from the previous night’s Haringey Council meeting, neither of us could possibly have guessed we would end up making three children together.