I’d sneakily commandeered some excess shelving in the HQ of a revered learned society. Amongst the books, I left a mix of cardboard boxes and plastic crates stuffed with stationery and miscellaneous odd belongings for which there was no room in my flat.
On the day of the ball I returned to the building to find that the entire library had been kitted out as a cosmetics hall. Where once there were books there were now rows and rows of lipstick, eyeliner, and mascara – and my belongings were nowhere to be seen.
I confessed to a member of staff that I had ‘mislaid’ a couple of files in the old library. To my relief she explained that she had safely stored them during the refurbishment. I was so happy to hear this, not least because in one of the boxes was the only copy of the manuscript of my father’s novel (which I had promised to get published one day).