Thursday, 14 July 2011

Britain In Shock

Revelations of the phone hacking by News of the World  owned by News Corp ( Chief Ex CEO Rupert Murdoch) newspaper has sent shock waves across Europe. On the home front, Brits are in sombre demeanour as breaking news emerges by the hour. Politicians, top dog civil servants, police, medical staff, journalist and convicted criminals are all implicated in a scandal which will undoubtedly re-shape the nation entirely.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Twenty Years

For twenty years she has been in control of her emotions. She had managed to programme herself into something quite 'normal'. It was twenty years ago that her sexuality was awakened. She had submitted herself to her first and most dangerous love affair, which resulted in the shattering and shaping her perceptions and ideals of love. It was the only time in her life that she had been heart broken, on a daily basis. A love affair so intense and vivid that it consumed all her being. That affair ended in a most unexpected and sorrow way. But it had to end for her to conceive any normality of the rest of her life. Since then, she has wadded through life with an air of irrelevance to love. No man would ever intervene in her being in that way again. No man has touched her in that way since.
Since then, she has drifted from relationships, short and long, committal and non-committal. Yet not one has managed to touch her soul. She remained invincible and untamed. She has spoken ‘I love you’, but deep down, never really meant it. She has adapted and moulded herself into an image expected, not by others, but by her ideals. She has had and has shared merry times with her partners. Yet, her heart always beat to the same rhythm, never missing a beat. Yet, she was in control and preferred it that way.
Twenty years later, at 40 years of age, history repeats itself. She is in a state of shock as past emotions are evoked. She cannot comprehend her emotions and her loss of control. The same sleepless nights, aches, pains and coldness are once again toying her psyche. She is again helpless. Though her maturity buffers much of the affect, her heart is tingling in the same way as it did twenty years ago. She cries and pity herself as the memories are as raw now as they were then.

She's a frightened woman for she knows too well what the consequences could be. Twenty years ago she was a free spirit, young dynamic and without responsibility. Now, she's almost a complete woman and  the prime carer of two children, two cats and two budgies. It may sound trivial, but she undertakes her responsibilities very seriously. She has become a contributor to society; community dance group and Parents Teachers Association (PTA) and has even participated in fund raising events for charity. She relishes  the tranquil life style and was comforted and contented by its conformity and regularity.
Now she finds herself back where she was twenty years ago. Her emotions perturbed. Though inspiring and soul felt, she wishes to reject its onslaught. But she cannot! Her mind and soul have been touched and she finds it difficult to resist. She awaits his sign, his touch and finally the consummation of their bond. The air between unspoken words is intense and magnetic. She kisses with eyes closed once again. Something she has not done for twenty years.
The behaviour of the 20 years old virgin and the 40 years old mother is parallel. She recognises the pattern and would be able to conduct herself in the same course blind folded.
One would expect that life’s experiences and age would alter one’s conduct; that we would have learnt and be immune to committing the same mistakes. For these reasons she now questions whether she had learnt and matured.
However, if she takes a minute to reflect and search deep, she may be surprised to find that she is much stronger than she’d thought.
She should welcome this brief encounter and enjoy the second awakening for as long as it lasts. It has made her heart miss a beat. This is, life itself! She has accepted pleasures do not last forever, but should be enjoyed when given and kept in a treasure box when it ends. She accepts that pleasures come in all forms, shapes and colours and that it’s the simple pleasures of her daily life is what makes her who she is. If only she  learns to allow her sex and herself be one, she would be a complete woman.

Wednesday, 28 July 2010


I’ve been buying my groceries online with Ocado (Waitrose) and Tesco. The Ocado bills are astronomical compared to that of Tesco’s. I love the Ocado service and more importantly their quality. However, after months of complaining of how damn expensive they are, I switched to Tesco. Then I spent 3 months complaining how disgustingly tasteless Tesco’s fresh produce are. It was only during in a conversation with a friend, that EUREKA! I’d buy my fresh produce from Ocado and branded household products from Tesco. Err…dumbo!
I’ve never received any marketing proproganda from Ocado. And up until recently, no marketing emails from Tesco. However, about 3 months ago I started receiving weekly marketing and promotional emails from Tesco. This is annoying as it requires two clicks of the mouse to delete these emails. They have even sent petrol vouchers for discounts petrol, which of course is completely useless to me, not unless I get a petrol operated bicycle! I have accumulated over 3000 points with Tesco Club card, but the card is not valid for discount trade off as the card is registered to my previous address. What fuck up rule is that? I’m not even going bother to fight this one, as like the 2 clicks of the mouse, it’s just a damn waste of time.
Astonishingly, I received an email tempting me to buy pet health insurance yesterday. This email, struck a core within me, as Sam (my cat) was hit by a car about two month ago. Lucky Sam survived after two days hospitalisation. The vet bill totalled £660. Ouch ouch ouch. Tesco’s marketing sprill boiled down to was “that’s only 15p per day to insure your pet”.
Is Tesco psychic? No, most definitely not! This is probably just a chain mail they send to all customers. Alternatively, they have an automated computer system that sieves through clients shopping lists, presumably categorising us into product gullibility slots so they can fire more promotional products that we really need.
If so, why can’t their system identify that I have a new address?! Then my mind began to wonder what sort of products they would try to sell to me if I start buying condoms and KY jelly?
How on earth can any other businesses complete with this super giant? They have absolutely no chance.
This is the fundamental problem with UK’s retail sector; there are probably 4 to 5 companies which have the complete monopoly. People do not think twice about other alternatives, but are there really any other alternatives? And if there were alternatives, they would fail miserably as they simply do not have the infracture to provide a complete service. Take Morrison supermarket for example. I’ve only ever been to a Morrison once in my life, whilst visiting a friend in Hull back in the dark ages; however their recent adverts promote British produce and have their trained butchers to prepare your meats however you desire. (Unlike Waitrose which has a butcher counter, but the butcher behind is not really a butcher as he/she is not trained or allowed to touch the meat. They are basically there to pick up a piece of meat (with rubber gloves), place it in a plastic bag, weigh and price it before handing it to you!)
I don’t want my strawberries from South Africa or America, I don’t want my lamb from New Zealand, nor do I desire grapes from Peru. I want British products, or at least European. I’m not a macro-bioticists, I simply want my food fresh! Is that too much to ask? Morrison meets most my culinary expectations, yet is there a Morrison near me? Fat chance! Can I buy online and have my grocery delivered? In my dreams!
A brand new Tesco Express opened this week in the once derelict pub which sits at the bottom end of Heath Road leading up to central Twickenham. Every one seems to be pleased with the new store, as it gives another excuse to spend spend. Spending not for the sake of spending, but really to bulk out  Sunday afternoons. Yes, folks, people go shopping as a hobby, spending the day at a shopping centre like Westfield or Bluewaters is the norm these days. So a walk down to and stroll in Tesco Express would still qualify. Sad gits.
Anyway, the nearby convenience stores (one ran by Indians and the other by a Chinese man) have no chance. We have already seen a Pakistani convenience store down the road gone out of business early 2010. The other two have no doubt been struggling; Tesco Express opening would just be a nail in the coffin.
So what option of independent retailers do we have in Twickenham? Not very much really. Just an extremely over priced fishmonger between M&S food and the post office, a greengrocer which sells rotten vegs and fruits. The butchers went out of business years ago so they tell me. Even the once a week Farmers Market which runs only on Saturdays from the car park behind M&S is desperate to get punters passing. Not surprised, being stuck in the damned car park! There is ample space along the river front, why doesn’t Richmond council move the Farmers Market there or perhaps even to Twickenham Green?
However, there is a ray of hope. On Church Street (which lies just behind Twickenham high street) there is a row of independent businesses. Airy fairy boutiques selling small household furniture and gifts, shoes and clothing. None stock recognisable brands, but all offer something that the High Street doesn’t. There is a tiny 5m2 shop that sells cup cakes (fairy cakes to me and folks born before 1990) it’s an aesthetically perfect shop with its pastel coloured cakes and florals. But a set of 4 thumb sized cupcakes will set you back at £6.00. Still, they offer a great alternative to Gregg. On this road, is also our favourite coffee stop, Sion. It’s a medieval looking delicatessen and coffee bar rolled into one. They have Parma ham from Italy and Chorizo Iberico from Spain. But the best is the hot chocolate, which is served in  a tall glass of boiled milk and the chocolate on a stick. Basically, you have to dip and swirl the chocolate dip into the hot milk to make your drink. It’s a ritual that the kids love. And I like the café as it’s the best place in town for a half-decent coffee. Still very poor by Spanish standard, but heh, we’re in England now, so am not complaining. The antique shop has been abandoned ever since I moved to Twickenham, and there has been a To Let sign in the window for a few months. Just hope that this will be the only To Let sign to go up in this street this year.
I just don’t understand why people fight for individualism and freedom of choice in many aspects of their lives, but subconsciously allowing the Big Brother to rule their daily lives. It just doesn’t make sense.
England has changed almost beyond recognition, the psyche and personas of its people have changed. I just don’t buy the Americanisation of words (e.g. Cupcakes instead of fairy cakes, errands instead of chores) nor the changing of our Britishness. I voted for Labour in the June elections, but in many respects am glad that they did not win. The last Labour government, sold everything we had, our language, our companies, our way of life and more so our individualism.
Take TV for example……..hmm perhaps another day perhaps! Let’s just say, the girls are banned from watching the following programmes:-
Blind Date (new version)
Four Weddings
Come Dine with Me
Desperate House Wives
Hannah Montana
Zac & Cody
………..basically all American trash!

Sunday, 25 July 2010

Blackberry Summer

The blackberries are perfectly ripened for picking. Yesterday, I managed to harvest a bowl full from merely 4 blackberry stems in our garden. Maxine asks: 'Why it is when Kelvin is around, the blackberries ‘starts’ and then ‘finishes’'. The answer is simply that it has been exactly 1 year since I’d moved to Twickenham. Kelvin’s timely summer holiday return marks a full cycle.
Much has happened and much stayed the same. We have moved to a new home in the same area, but with a real difference. The new house is big with ample grounds which include a swimming pool and 2 ponds. There’s a fire place and the distribution of the lounge and dinning is exactly like that of the flat in Barcelona. Excellent!
It has been a pleasure potting round the garden. Though cleaning the 7 years old abandoned pond was utterly disgusting. I had the wellies, but didn't imagine a face mask would have been handy. We  now have  three gold fishes along with water lilies. The swimming pool is now in full working order. I’ve calculated that it costs around £25 to fill the pool each time. We’ve filled it 3 times already!!!! However, with the filter fully restored, we can turn on the pump and add chlorine tomorrow.
The year started off with a real bang. There was the High Court hearing, Legal Aid battle, Nuria’s hip operation, clinical visits, getting pleural effusion (water in the lungs). By late spring things kind of died down until the house move which took place on 14 June. Then I was summoned to Barcelona. Hearing suspended through total incompetence. Pues paso! I had become a law specialist of the Hague Convention and it looks as if I will become an expert of the Brussels II Revised Convention too! Arhhhhhhhh…………
And so here we are. The future is unmarked and vague. However we have a lovely home and I shall endeveaour with all my might to continue with life in total freedom and enjoyment. So am still looking at last minute get-a-ways. The options so far are:-
- 1 week horse riding in Cornwall, all inclusive with board and meals. Hmm!!!! Certified by the British Horse Riding Society…. Hmmmmmmm!!!!
- Four nights boating on the Norfolk Boards. Seems idyllic, but perhaps I need something with less responsibilities. Navigating the bridges and locks with two kids is not exactly stress free, especially as Maxine has a tendency to sit on the sides with her legs daggling over.
- 1 Week half board on a Greek Island. Though, seasonal high prices will mean a 3 star only hotel for us. I’m having difficulties envisaging a picture of cool swimming pool decked with the well designed loungers, bougainvilleas sweeping over the edges and in the background a mirad of calm sea which nestles in the background of the picture, just below the swimming pool’s rim. Min 4 star, surely!!!???
- Pontins (UK Holiday Park) at Bognor Regis.  Maxine’s been seeing adverts on TV. I have no comments with this option, other than it isn’t a viable option for me at least, though I’m looking at the lodges instead of holiday parks.
Surprisingly the total cost of going abroad is equivalent to that of any UK holiday.
The uncertainty with the holiday dates means that I cannot confirm yet. We have a slot between our Summer BBQ and Franz’s visit to London, around beginning of August.
Alternatively we can stay in Twickenham by the pool!
I need to read some non fictions, make future plans for Habac and basically chill out. Fabiola calls me a champion. It would seem to others that I challenge hurdles with great ease. In reality  it requires great amount of energy in preparing and executing. I can truly say that I'm, physically and mentally, exhausted and would like nothing better but to keep things simple. Once the parasol arrives, I will have everything I need right here.

Sunday, 28 March 2010

Judgement Day

The High Court case had consumed all my being for the last 2 months. Everything else around me; kids, family, friends and work had been put on hold whilst I dedicated myself, night and day, preparing for the biggest battle of my life. Climbing mount Everest would have been a stroll in comparison.
I'd been summoned to court for the abduction of my children under the Hague Convention. The plaintiff was the father, who sought the return of the children to Spain. Proofing one's innocence is not as easy as you would expect.
Under the guidance of my legal counsels KC ( solicitor) and TG ( barrister), I began the mammoth task of listing events in chronological order , gathering documents and people who can support me in my case. The most vital document I possessed was a 3 page signed agreement for the relocation between myself and the father.
The timing of events were clear as it merely involved recalling memories. Rattling my head as who the potential witnesses could be was somewhat more difficult. Other time was spent reading everything about the Hague Convention, fighting to get legal aid, reading affidavits and making notes for my legal counsels.
A month into the preparation of my affidavit, I just could not see the wood from the trees. At one point, I had truly believed that I had kidnapped the girls. It would have been easy then  just to say " Ok, I did it", just so that the mental torments and stresses would go away.
My public legal aid was suspended 3 times. Even at the first final hearing on 10th March, I was without legal representation and had no choice but to turn up to court alone. I pleaded for an adjournment and presented the judge the correctly sworn exhibit (the signed Spanish agreement), which had been incorrectly served! The original agreement contained 3 signed pages however my solicitor had made a mistake by only serving the 1st page of the Spanish agreement and the three English translation pages.
The opposing counsel panicked and called for a hand writing expert to examine and establish whether the signatures were that of my ex. I had pointed out that the father had already made admissions (in five points of his first affidavit) that he had signed 1 page  of the agreement. So the judge, came to my defence, and ordered that the expert witness will establish whether the other 2 signatures on the other 2 pages matched that of the 1st page. The opposing side were to instruct and pay for the hand writing expert. That weekend was spent reading everything I could find about graphology, signature forgeries and disguises.
The original questioned documents were sent to an ex-hippy, Ruth Myers, who you could say was non-scientific. I still had no legal counsel at that time, so the opposing counsels took full advantage by mis-instructing the hand writing expert. I received a copy of the letter of instruction to Ms Myers on the same day her report was submitted. As I had suspected, she had not examined whether the 3 signatures were the same. Lawyers never break the law, but bends it to their maxinium capability. The better the law firm, the greater the degree of bendness. Dawson Cornwell (DC) is a highly respectable family law firm, probably the best in the UK. Foul-play, yet they had not broken the law! Deploying signature vertification and then mis-instructing the expert  is  vindicative proof  that there was something to hide.  Ruth Myers's result was inconclusive! but suggested that a possible disguise signature had been adopted. In a telephone conversation I had with her she revealed who  my ex is merely from his signature. His signature is illegible, contains numerous flourishes and scrolls surrounded by a circular whirl, which  indicates a conniving, deceitful, secretive person who hides a himself behind a wall! Jeez, why couldn't she just tell the judge this and save us all time and energy.
The new final hearing was set for the 23th March. The day before, I served my third affidavit at 10am. It was not substantive, merely to clarify some fundamental points. My ex, at 4pm submitted another affidavit, where he retracts ever signing any pages of the agreement  as he had declared in his previous affidavit and admits an email (*)  between my solicitor KC and the Spanish lawyer who had drafted the agreement. KC panicked and phoned me immediately. I rested her assure that the exhibited email was actually in my favour.
We arrived at court on Tuesday 23rd, with no judge yet assigned to the case. There were 2 judges floating so TG presuaded the opposing counsel that we should all go home for the day and secured Justice Bodey ( one of the floating judges) for a definite hearing the next day. They agreed! TG is labelled the 'Cat's Whiskers' for a reason. Justice Bodey was the judge who had ordered the probihition of  Nuria's operation in  January. He's "like an old woman" said TG. He was the perfect judge for us!
The first day hearing on 24th, the judge needed 3 hours to read the 600 page bundle and so we were sent away until 2pm. After lunch, the child pyschologist went in the dock first. Her pyschological assessment (back in late February) of the children was in favour of a non-return to Spain. DC had strongly opposed the children from seeking legal representation for themselves and from seeing the judge. The opposing barrister (ED) was silly as to get up the psychologist's nose in his cross examination and so had inadvertedly opened doors for the judge to see the girls, contrary to what they had so strongly opposed. So it was ordered that the psychologist interviews the girls again to establish whether their general feelings and wishes were still the same and the judge said that he would like 2 minutes with the girls, just to say 'Hi'.
My cross examination lasted 3 hours. ED was irriated by the fact he could not trip me up or corner me. Actually, some of his questions were quite stupid. One example ( whereby father had said that it was agreed that the relocation was suppose to be temporary for 1 or 2 years only).
" Wasn't it agreed  that the children take a course in England for one or two years?"
" No, I would have never agreed to such thing. No responsible parent would do that! To suggest that a child should move to another country and under-take a course in a different language temporarily would be insane. Perhaps if they were diplomats or for other work reasons then this would be feasible, in which case the children would be enrolled in a school that taught in the same language"
And so the relentless questioning went on. At one stage, I really pissed him off by asking him if the last sentence he'd said was a question, affirmation or statement. No matter how much he tried to put me under duress, I kept calm. To one question, whereby he pushed me to give him an answer, I said " can I just finish reading !"( the statement in the bundle). My solicitor said that I did super well and liked the fact that I didn't allow ED to bully me.
It goes to say, that when one tells the truth, it's easy to recall facts.
Now it was my ex's turn to go in the dock. Being the sly person he is, he re-entered the court room before anyone else, made his way to the dock with his own bundle. Luckily TG's under-study spotted him switching the court room's bundle. It was pointed out to him by his own solicitor "in England, you're not allowed to have your bundle, you have to use the court's bundle"
My ex's cross examination by TG was also about 3 hours long. He, of course had an interpreter who was brilliant and mimicked every single audible and inaudible sound my ex made. For the first 15 minutes, it was quite easy, really just affirming some factual details, addresses,  what he did and what mother did with kids during the summer holiday etc. TG then extended his cat claws to twang his whiskers. My ex was white with fear. He babbled, stumbled,  obviously confused and blatantly lost in the sea of lies whilst being fried in the hot oil. It was actually painful to see him in the dock. It was like watching a cat playing with a mouse before killing it.
My ex never expected this. He was very familiar to being in lower courts in Spain but now finds himself in the British High Court, being cross examined by a High Court barrister. TG's cross examination notes consisted of a spider web with important points circled at very line. He'd explained to me his cross examination techniques afterwards. Basically, not to follow one line of questioning but to have interlinking lines which was dependant on the answers given. ie. basically boxing the witness to a desired conclusion or fact. TG was brilliant! He had used my ex's affirmed facts and his own exhibits to corner him; Three personal emails of his and his girl friend to the girls. One email to me before the agreement was signed. And most devastating  (*) email, in which the Barcelona lawyer had stated " Mr E. would only accept the agreement if the flat owned by Ms L. was sold and the debit for which Mr E was responsible for was eliminated". The flat was in deed, sold!
ED ( his barrister) attempted to salvage a minor point, by asking my ex a question, to which the answer should have been a yes. But he said NO! At that point, ED just gave up.
On the fouth and last day of the hearing, the psychologist (after having interviewed the girls again) gave more evidence in the dock and swore that she's 100% confident in saying that Nuria does not want to be returned to Spain. It also came to light that my ex had bought his Spanish lawyer to London and during his over-night contact time he had with the girls, introduced the lawyer as the half-sister of his girl-friend. Nuria said  the Spanish lawyer / half-sister had  asked her many pertinent  questions. Everyone in the court room gasped in horror.
Then came the two barristers' final submissions. ED had nothing against me, so reverted to past judgements. He attempted his excuse his client's poor cross examination performance by comparing the two parents; the mother being a businesswoman, articulate and sophisticated whereas father was obviously less sophisticated and with other limitations ie. she had the mental ability to premediate the abduction and the father was completely innocent due to his humble education!
We had a three and half  hours lunch break whilst the judge deliberated and wrote his judgement. TG invited us to lunch in a private members club off the Strand. A sanctuary, a place far from the madding crowd. I ordered baked hake and lemon tart which appeased my empty stomach.
Back in court by 4.20 pm whereby the judge commenced reading his judgement. I'd been warned that Justice Bodey is a considerate judge and would not leave his ruling until the last sentence as he appreciates the enormous anxiety that the plaintiff and defendant would be under. After about an hour, his rationale was that the mother's logical time line and consistency was preferred and therefore mother had established Consent Defence under Hague Convention Article 13(a). Tears ran down my face. The next ruling was that he was satisfied that Nuria had reached  an age of maturity and had accepted her well grounded objections to being returned to Spain and thereby Objection Defence Article 13(b) had been established. He further went to exercise his discretion  that Nuria views had not been influenced by mother. Maxine, though is ambivalent as where she lives, had stated in February that she wanted the judge to know that "if he puts me somewhere I don't want to be, I'll be a bad girl" . It had been established that she is a good girl and happy in England.  He also states that the return to Spain for the mother would have seriously affect her mental well-being and consequently have adverse affect on the children.  Even our cats, Sam and Tinky got mentioned in the judgement. The judge finished reading at 6pm! Application dimissed!
Winning a Hague Convention under Article 13, means that my ex can still apply to the Spanish courts  for them to decide where the children live (Brussels II revised Convention of 2005). However, it would be difficult for the Spanish courts to over ride or quash the rationale made by Justice Bodey. Therefore any application  the father makes will be furtile. 
I think only the judge, the two legal teams and  I know what  the true rationale was. Meanwhile, the father is probably still figuring  out how he got caught out!
This blog entry is exactly two months since  the served originating summons. It is  an end to an end.
I would like to dedicate my gratitude and thanks to the people who had contributed to winning this case:-
-  Dong & Hung for having been there when I needed them, especially picking up the phone to hear me rant.
- Stephanie, Miguel, Rodri, Joan Marcos, Marina, Sonia and Richard for their support and testamonies.
- Curtis, my mentor who guided me through the finer points logic and reasoning.
- KC, TG and Janet who went that extra mile.

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Glorious Britain.......NOT!

Britain is spiralling down the convenience! I'm comtemplating of voting Conservative in the next general election. In hindsight, the Thatcherite years were glorious. Jesus Crist! how has my political views shifted?

Monday, 22 February 2010


Have you ever wondered how life takes unexpected turns and you find yourself in a situation where your life becomes entwined with that of a complete stranger?

I first met K in her offices down in Duke Street, round the corner of Selfridges. As I entered the reception area I was met by a young male receptionist, the same guy I’d spoken to about an hour ago to make an enquiry. A male receptionist! This is quite a revelation if you’ve spent the last 12 years back in the dark ages of Spain! Receptionist SHOULD and are always female. This was my immediate thought, which is completely irrelevant. I’d always thought the best and most efficient receptionist would be a gay guy. I’m stereotyping? Not at all. Well, let just leave the gender out for the time being.

In the reception area, there were two thirty something black women speaking in broken French. I  gathered that this law firm deals with a lot of immigration cases. I wondered, whether I had come to the right law firm! As I waited, a young oriental guy walked in wearing a tweed jacket with skimpy black jeans. His voice was quintessentially English. He was bringing in some documents and requested to speak to someone from the offices above. This teaches me never to make assumptions upon first sight! I have no idea what this law firm specialises in. As I sat patiently to see my solicitor, I chit chatted pleasantries with the young receptionist in between calls he took. What was obvious is that he’s very competent and dealt with great efficacy calls, which he forwarded to the relevant department or persons.

My solicitor, with whom I had had a 5 minutes conversation an hour prior, gave me sufficient assurance to say “I’m coming in”. So here I am. She walks in and immediately apologises for the delay in tending to me. She takes me to an interior box room where the heater was on maximum. It felt like a dry sauna. I began to strip whilst she turned off the heater.

She's a Punjabi woman in her mid thirties. She wore a cheap green pine coloured top which had bobbled from having been washed too many times. Her hair was messy as it been hadn’t brushed  for a few days. I felt instantly that she was the right solicitor for me. Her un-kept appearance signalled a hard worker. Some one who worked instead of caring about their appearance. However, if you over look the green top, unmade face and fluffy hair, she was actually very attractive, with great bone structures.

She got straight to the point as time was of the essence. The meeting went over an hour and half, and as it drew to a close, she informs me that she will brief T.  I will meet him at the preliminary hearing next Monday. She talks as if I knew him well. ‘Great’ I said. As I left the offices and skipped down Oxford Street, I realised that T must be the barrister. ‘Of course, in England, they have barristers!’

On the Monday, I was the first to arrive. I’d sussed out where the nearest ladies toilet was and that the mobile kiosk down the corridor sells tea, coffee and knick knacks. I had often passed the High Court on the Strand en route to my mum’s on the Number 15 bus. I have seen the façade of the building countless times and had always wondered what it was like inside. Never could I imagine that I would see the building in this manner. This building is a great landmark of London. So many historical cases have been won and lost here. Yet, at that moment, I can only remember the divorce case of Paul McCartney and his ex-wife, Heather Mills. A record £24mil settlement was paid. This payout was the largest amount ever paid in the world, though Heather wasn’t satisfied. Her original plead was £75mil or something similar. They were married for about 6 years or so, that’s £4mil per year. How the fuck can she be dis-satisfied? And last week, a Hindu priest/guru won the appeal to be cremated with wood when he dies, so that his soul is carried by the winds. Another historical win, which will pathe the way for followers.  The building was truly breath-taking, yet, I was not in the frame of mind to enjoy its beautiful architecture.

K came strolling along the corridor outside court room 40. I hardly recognised her in the black suit and made up face. The busy beaver was now in the public eye and had dressed for the occasion. I did not recognise her until she was 4 ft away and called out my name.

T soon followed. He kind of crept up from behind. Well they label him the ‘Cat’s Whiskers’ for a reason. T is Bengali. His first question to me was “how many languages do you speak” to which I gave a modest reply of “two and half”. As we sat on the court's benches, it seemed like a fight between the third world against the west. The opposing barrister was a public school educated white young man. Before we'd entered the court room, he asked me how to pronounce the plaintiff’s name. An inexperienced barrister who didn’t know how to say the name of his client was a good sign. I gleed with delight!

The preliminary hearing was short and sweet, and we got everything we wanted. It has been almost three weeks since I first met K, and she has become my best email buddy. We have exchange probably a hundred emails between ourselves since. The last email I sent her, I said “Happy Lunar New Year”. Her last email to me was simply one word “Ace”.

She is to become the most important person in my life for the next few months. The trust between us will be implicit and irrevocable. My life will be entwined with hers, though her life will always remain hers. Whether she succeeds or fails, for her it will be, just another case. For me, everything depends on this complete stranger! A scary sensation. It’s like someone telling you to jump from a 30ft height, and the only assurance you have is a verbal “don’t worry, I’ll catch you”.