It may surprise you to learn that I have been out with Mrs Thatcher. In fact, I had a relationship with her that went on in the early Eighties for the best part of a year. Not THE Mrs Thatcher, of course, but a Mrs Alison Thatcher – as she then was – who had been divorced for some time but still went by her married name. Now this is where things get a little bit weird. My Mrs Thatcher was also an active card-carrying member of the Finchley Young Conservatives. So when My Mrs Thatcher asked me whether I would like to accompany her to a tea-party organised by the Finchley Conservative Party, which was being attended by THE Mrs Thatcher, I was of course “delighted to accept”. The tea party took place in a large private home with a huge garden, on whose lawn had been erected a half dozen or so marquees; which was a good idea as the weather was decidedly ‘dodgy’. So when the inevitable happened, we all scurried to the nearest shelter. To my amazement, and some horror, the marquee into which My Mrs Thatcher & I dashed was exactly the one that had been chosen by THE Mrs Thatcher. Not only that, but this particular marquee proved itself not to be a popular choice; so we thus found ourselves virtually alone with the then Prime Minister, The Iron Lady herself. I’m normally tongue-tied in the presence of celebrity, but on this occasion I ‘came good’. Grabbing Alison by the arm I pulled her over to the PM and demanded an audience with these immortal words: “Mrs Thatcher, can I introduce you to Mrs Thatcher”. Not that any ice-breaker had been necessary, as THE Mrs Thatcher unsurprisingly proved to be an adroit mingler and for the 10 minutes that we were trapped in each other’s company, she kept up a most pleasant and attentive repartee. A small, silly, personal story that comes to mind on the occasion of Mrs Thatcher’s passing….