My royal wedding was just a couple of weeks away. How extraordinary that I had been chosen to marry a prince of the realm (groom as yet unspecified). My school friend AH (now AR) was green with envy. In spite of this she was still kind enough to host my final weekend of freedom. The night before my last solo cycle I slept in a bedroom crammed with yellow flowers and hung with three long cages full of chirping canaries.
The next day I drove through the mountains along the single track roads looking for a village where I could leave the car and continue my journey by bike. As I daydreamed about my possible new husband – Prince Charles, Prince Andrew, Prince Edward or Prince Harry (I heard that William was already taken) – I had no idea that AH had forgotten to load my bike onto the roof of the car.
My eventual destination was Hartlepool. In a cafe overlooking the high cliffs TPR was waiting for me. We stood outside in the cold and watched the surfers in the grey sea below, then enjoyed a quick roll-around in the melting snow. How could I admit to him that the press would soon be full of the news that I was the secret royal bride-to-be?