In the wake of my divorce I found I had no courage for the singles scene. And years of working long hours meant dating options were virtually non-existent. Months passed and I gravitated towards an intimacy I could pay for, trying to convince myself that it contained a chink of love. Until the girl I’d known as Lisa mentioned a place in passing that was near where we’d raised the kids, and I looked through the layers of makeup and foundation, the false eyelashes and the years. And I recognised Linda Salmon, who’d grown up down the road. I’d taken her and the girls to guides. I’d helped her dad build their barbecue.

‘You really didn’t know,’ she said.

I shook my head.

‘It’s alright, Mr Johnston. Really it is.’

But it wasn’t. And the chink of love was gone. And so much more.