I like finding money down the creek. It always feels special and I know that I must spend it on something frivolous and wanton, like beer or chocolate or a tray of vanilla slices from Georgetown Cake Shop.

Shoes don’t have the same effect. It’s been (gasp) forty years since it was on the telly, but whenever I see a pair of shoes and a crumpled pile of clothes on the beach I immediately think of the opening sequence to The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin.

Thoughts start pinballing around my head: these are “thought-balls”. Thought-balls take you on strange journeys. From Leonard Rossiter and his “Oh! Miss Jones!” I went to  John Stonehouse MP, and from John Stonehouse MP it was a small leap to Lord Lucan and then, naturally, to Shergar, the race horse. And, as with all memory triggers of mine that default effortlessly back to the 1970s, they end up with an image of the telly in our front room and the (as it seemed at the time, nightly) vision of a heat-shimmered jumbo jet on a runway. Hijacks were as much a part of the Seventies as miners’ strikes, three-day weeks and petrol rationing.

From a pair of discarded loafers to a PLO gunman in a nanosecond. But ask me what I had for breakfast this morning and I’m stumped.

(Two bottles of Coopers and a vanilla slice.)

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