The only way to lose weight was to take more exercise. My new regime was ambitious: to walk the mountain route from the south of Scotland to North Yorkshire on a regular basis.
I wasn’t the only one with this idea. One day I passed a small set of soaked school boys in their Edinburgh Academy uniforms following the same path over the hills.
I never actually managed to complete the entire route by foot. There was always someone who picked me up along the way. However, my final destination was always the same. This was Tom Robinson’s house at 12 West Green in the village of Stokesley.
The house had changed since my regular visits in the 1970s. Someone had built a bungalow in the front garden, and its beautiful Georgian frontage had been covered by a hideous modern stone design. However, inside the house the two staircases remained intact, and my friend K’s mother was still the best hostess to teenage girls on a sleepover.