My sister J was a criminal mastermind. Her two children served as the key members of her gang. My mentor – who would eventually become my partner provided that I proved myself – was one of Jonathan Ross’ brothers (although I was never sure which one out of Miles, Simon and Adam). My recent appointment meant that there were now five of us dealing in stolen goods from a base in central London.
On my first day a call came through from Ealing. We already had the goods in stock so it was just a question of someone parcelling them up and posting them to the client. I never saw the contents of the actual package, but from its violin case shape I guessed it was a gun. To protect our identity we sent out our orders from a variety of post offices. So the next stage in the delivery of the goods was to drive several miles out of London to a rural village where we were unknown and could pop the parcel into the post incognito.
The gang had two vehicles at its disposal. My mentor and I had access to a tiny open-topped sports car, while the others relied on an ancient white Volvo. On this occasion, dressed in my bikini, I took the wheel of the sports car with my mentor at my side giving directions.
When he noticed my skin starting to burn in the heat, my mentor suggested that we stop off at a small supermarket to buy some sunblock. By happy coincidence, the supermarket had a post office counter so we called the others in the Volvo and they agreed to meet us there to post the parcel. The whole plan fell apart, however, when J was recognised by a supermarket cafe customer dressed in a heavy wool coat. This woman turned out to be a former colleague of hers! Now the entire staff of King’s College London would soon know the shame of our criminal careers.