I travelled to locked down London for training as a new member of the British Secret Service. England’s capital city looked, and sounded, very quiet. I could even hear bird song through the closed top deck bus windows.
Soon I would take up my new role as bodyguard of Prince Harry, who was now resident in a suite of a plush West End hotel. First, however, I needed to be inducted into my new role.
On arrival at the training venue I was ushered into a small waiting room and a man asked me to attach metal security tags to my shoes. It was then that I noticed that the brown high heels that I had worn specially for the day were not a matching pair. I had flats in my bag for later, but red and white polka dot ballet pumps were hardly suitable for my entry into a high-flying career in intelligence.
My other faux pas of the day was to sit on a sofa and read my novel while waiting to be called into the classroom. The other trainees looked down their noses at me: could anyone who indulged in such a trivial activity ever be taken seriously?