The reason for baring my legs under a short winter dress, I explained, was that I had mislaid my tights. My companions were unaware, however, that I was also wandering around knickerless.
I knew the location of my underwear – somewhere inside the spanking new main library at the University of Birmingham – so I set off to the Edgbaston campus to retrieve my pants.
I discovered that the amazing new multipurpose facility included a branch of House of Fraser on the third floor. Here OX and his wife, known to be enthusiastically pursuing IVF treatment, were choosing nursery furniture and a coloured bathroom suite.
I also struck up a conversation with a group of students in the library lobby. They gasped in disbelief when I explained the use of three part issue slips for book loans that was still in operation when I was an undergraduate in the 1980s.
In the event I didn’t manage to find any of my clothes in the vast building, so I threw caution to the wind and ran home along the busy roads completely naked.