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‘The pieces are an excellent length . . .’

‘True story: I was rattling in on Thames Link from Luton airport and my Easyjet flight from Inverness when a woman of a certain age – OK my age, maybe a year or two older – got in at somewhere like Harpenden. Greying, lightly tanned (the garden in France, I expect), sensible shoes, firm step and firm jaw . . . 50 years ago she would have been the vicar’s wife, now of course of ‘someone in the City.’ Only at Finchley Road did I notice she was reading the Autumn issue. And very engrossed too. At King’s Cross, she closed it (the pieces are an excellent length for such journeys), gazed with firm (again) satisfaction at the cover and then put it away in her (sensible) handbag. There you go!’ P. Gill, London

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