‘Sussex?’ I say.
I tell him the nearest town. ‘Well, we live in the middle of a field, not far from it. We do have a house in the field!’
‘“We live in a tent!”’ he says, in a silly voice.
He goes on. ‘We have a house in North Norfolk, so I know the whole East Anglia bit fairly well.’
‘Sussex isn’t in East Anglia, is it?’ he says, catching the expression on my face.
I laugh. ‘Err no, it’s… south west of London?’
He looks thoughtful.
‘You’ve got Kent,’ I say, drawing shapes in mid-air, ‘then East Sussex, then West Sussex – very imaginative – then err Surrey…’
‘Oh OK. I don’t know why I thought it was East Anglia. That’s a bit embarrassing.’
‘Nah, I’d be concerned if you had an intimate knowledge of the counties of England. So long as you know Wessex – as in, Hardy country….’
We both read English at university – which doesn’t make my comment any less weird. I change the subject.
‘What’s Hampton Court like? I’m guessing you live in the palace – I mean, that’s the only house there, right?’
He chuckles. ‘Sure, sure…’
I join in laughing.
‘No, it’s nice,’ he says, ‘a bit like Richmond.’
‘I like Richmond.’
I like you more.