The Day It All Began

The Stranger In My Life

21 January 2010

I was standing in the queue at Marks and Spencer’s, waiting to return a dress.

I was about to start a new job, sharing an office with a bunch of graduates only slightly older than my daughter and the last thing I wanted to look like was a 40-something freelance writer who’d just finished a temporary job stacking shelves at Waterstone’s – which was exactly what I was.

I’d spent too much time recently on possible ghost-writing projects that had come to nothing and my husband had begun to comment on my ‘ever diminishing hourly rate’. The dress was supposed to help my self esteem – but, to be honest, no dress, not even a Vivien Westwood, had that much power.

My mobile rang. I didn’t recognise the caller but the girls at the counter were busy so I took a chance and answered it.

“Is…

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