I am talking to Tricia. This is when we first met. It must be 25 years ago. How time does fly past.
She has just moved to this area from London. She is very attractive. I fancy her a lot. I try, in as casual a way as I can, to find out more about her. She is pleasant and easy to talk to.
It turns out that she and I have something in common. We have both spent some of our childhood in the same London district, Tulse Hill.
I tell her I went to the comprehensive school there.
She tells me she lived in one of the houses that back onto the school playground.
What a coincidence we say.
I tell her about the time a little girl, of about nine or ten, who lived in one of those houses, came into my school to collect a tortoise which I had found wandering in the playground.
Tricia is amazed by this fact. She was the little girl!
She tells me she remembers her mum telling her to go to the school and ask if anyone had found a tortoise.
Tricia and I laugh about this even more remarkable coincidence. Well you know what they say. If a man can make a woman laugh.....
We become an item, her and I. Truth to tell she never stood a chance.
The rest, as they say, is history, and 34 years after I first met that pretty little girl in my school, our extremely handsome son George was born.
I am tempted here to make a silly joke like: My goodness, what a long gestation time. But I won't. It would be far too corny and obvious.
Naturally I messed up eventually. I always screw up relationships with women. I never believe a woman can really love me. But we spent happy years together, and as you may recall me mentioning before, we remain the best of friends.
What about the tortoise I hear you ask? Sadly he never woke up one summer after his hibernation. But I remember him with great fondness. I owe that tortoise, big time.
He really brought me out of my shell!
PS. I was going to insert a picture of a tortoise, then I thought, you probably already know what a tortoise looks like anyway.