The day starts at Portabello Road market, where M2’s daughter is selling articles for charity as part of her course. I buy a present for my daughter there. M2 and I then wander through the market and I make another purchase, once I know what to ask for.

You see, when you leave your home country and go to live elsewhere, your native language changes without you knowing it. And the thing I want to buy, which I know as “tights” turns out to be “leggings”. Fortunately, I’m not caught out asking for the wrong thing, because I assumed “tights” wouldn’t be used for both tights and… erm… tights. Other changes have hit me over the years, like the meaning of the word “right” when used as an exclamation.

M2 and I go to Earl’s Court on what I’m sure is a wild goose chase. My daughter has asked me to collect a mask that she inadvertently left in a cupboard in a youth hostel over a week ago. Surely, it couldn’t possibly still be there. But there it is, in a box in a plastic bag, lying at the bottom of the cupboard. Amazing! And M2 kindly offers to take it home with her so that I won’t have to drag it around with me.

After a very tasty lunch near Waterloo Station, I go on to Euston to catch a train to Stoke-on-Trent, where I’m met by Gill’s husband who takes me and Jane (who arrives from elsewhere) to their house where I stay for three nights and two very interesting days.

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