At last the sun is out and London is at its glorious best. Royston drives the twenty yards from his house to my house to pick me up in his new Mercedes SL with the top down.
“So, what is the story?” I ask. I just know that he didn’t buy this car himself. “I got a new job,” replies Royston, “this is part of the deal.”
Next stop is to collect our friend Lizzie. After binging all her teenage sons and their friends out to inspect the car, she leaps joyfully into the back. “This is great. I can get a suntan,” cries Lizzie. She hitches up her dress and stretches out her legs. We cruise through the leafy streets of Notting Hill, Royston smoking, Lizzie sunbathing in the back seat and me with my bare feet propped on the dash. In deference to Sunday morning Royston has foregone the AC/DC CD in favour of some groovy Latin Jazz.
“I’m so glad you got this car Royston,” I murmur - and then I feel that maybe I should feign a bit more interest in the new job that has bestowed such a comfort upon us all. “So,” I ask brightly, “do you have to, er, go somewhere to do this job?” “Yes,” laughs Royston, “it’s called an office, Lily. It’s a novel concept but apparently civilians have been going there for years.”