‘Are you living in London at the minute?’
I wait. Nothing.
There’s a pause, in which I resist the urge to do a Lizzy Bennet and point out that it’s his turn to say something. Instead I ask,
‘Do you like it there?’
‘Yes.’ Another pause. ‘What about you?’
‘Yep – Earl’s Court.’
It would be difficult to say which of us was more relieved when the dance, and the conversation, came to an end. So on encountering him a second time I had misgivings.
‘I can’t remember what it is that you do?’ I say.
‘Ah.’ That explains a lot. ‘Do – err – do you have exams coming up?’
He looks surprised. ‘No.’
‘Oh, I just thought you might.’
This is fun.
‘I’m guessing you don’t have admin exams…?’ he asks.
‘No. I wonder what they’d consist of? Filing techniques, perhaps?’
He laughs and suggests some other possible modules, before asking after my brother.
‘He’s just had exams; and they went well, so we were really pleased. As in, my parents and I, not the royal ‘we’.’
‘Well, I’m sure the Queen was pleased.’
Next thing I know, he’ll be inviting my uncle to fish the trout stream on his estate… in Islington. I must stop reading Austen.