Living off her money, and in her house, destroyed his self-respect.Eventually he lost interest in life, retreated to his study and methodically drank himself to death.Al has a big crowd of local builders he can spend whole days with in his local pub — their friendship revolving around beer and football.I’ve met several, but spending more than five minutes discussing Arsenal’s prospects makes me faint with boredom.It was the scruffiest vehicle in the car park — something that filled me with an unaccountable sense of pride.These days, I take a delight in cocking a snook at a world which is obsessed with material possessions and superficial appearances. When I mentioned Al and I were having problems, a friend recommended we try her Relate therapist.When Angela started the dance class, she saw her old crush was there, too!
There was a whiff of danger about him that I found intoxicating.It’s a state of affairs which would horrify Miranda and Hugo, but I think it’s marvellous, as eating late piles on the pounds. Generally, Al is better at adapting to my world than I am to his. I was just about to turn down an invitation to Glyndebourne (frankly, I’d rather boil my own head than listen to hours of screeching) when he insisted we go.The noise was so dreadful I had to sit in the lavatory for most of it, but the pain was compensated with the joy I got from pulling into the car park next to my friend’s swanky Lexus with blacked-out windows, in our rackety old white van with its bumper strapped on with gaffer tape.As Hugo and I rabbited on, excluding Al with our chatter, I could feel Al growing restive and angry in the back of the BMW.‘I was heartbroken but our backgrounds are just too different,’ she explained.Unlike me, he is not ambitious and wants us to relax, go to the pub for lunch, and take things easy.If he was with a woman with no money, would he be forced to carry on working — and discover, to his surprise, how satisfying it could still be? He is a talented artist, and had some success as an actor before we met.To my surprise, Al was happy to attend regular weekly sessions for eight weeks, where we talked through our difficulties.Six tumultuous years later, during which china has been smashed and I have regularly thrown his clothes out into the street (if you are shopping in the Kings Road and get swamped by an avalanche of mismatched socks floating down from the rooftops, you know who to blame), we are still together and still very much in love, but constantly battling with the friction caused by our different backgrounds and economic circumstances.We are both dog-mad and besotted with our 14-year-old Sheltie.We both grew up in the Sixties and share an enthusiasm for The Beatles and Dad’s Army.