Killing time in Camden Town recently, waiting for EJ to meet me after work to head off to London Zoo’s tiger enclosure for a late-night open-air showing of the very wonderful “Life of Pi”. I’d started sneezing that afternoon, going down with the dreaded man flu – or, more accurately, a cold that lasted less than 24 hours but permitted me to feel sorry for myself for at least a week.

I popped into a chemist to buy some efficacious medicine. The pharmacy counter was hidden at the back of the store, behind swathes of doubtless-more-profitable beauty products – amidst which I passed an ever-so-cute lass eyeing up the make-up. She looked terrified, though, and I wondered why.

The answer, it struck me, was obvious. Daddy didn’t approve of the boy with whom she’d become so friendly these past weeks. He didn’t approve of his girl wearing make-up. He certainly hadn’t approved when she’d sneaked out without permission at the weekend, when she’d been supposed to be studying for her exams. And when she’d returned home – was that alcohol on her breath? – she’d faced the consequences: a stern lecture, before a sound thrashing with his belt – “for your own good”. He’d forbidden her to see him again; tonight was their next date, and hang the consequences…