‘I think so,’ I lie, smiling brightly. ‘And he can always get me here if he wants.’ Now everything I say sounds like some saucy double entendre. I can just imagine how this conversation will be reported back to Tom. ‘She was asking all about your starter home. And she asked you to call her!’

Life would be a lot easier if conversations were rewindable and erasable, like videos. Or if you could instruct people to disregard what you just said, like in a courtroom. Please strike from the record all references to starter homes and limed oak kitchens.

Luckily, at that moment, Martin reappears, clutching a piece of paper. ‘Thought you might cast your eye over this,’ he says. ‘We’ve had this with profits fund with Flagstaff Life for fifteen years. Now we’re thinking of transferring to their new unit-linked growth fund. What do you think?’

I don’t know. What’s he talking about, anyway? Some kind of savings plan? I run my eye over the piece of paper in what I hope looks like a knowledgeable fashion and nod several times.
‘Yes,’ I say vaguely. ‘Well, I should think that’s quite a good idea.’

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