People don't believe this, but I have a stalker.
I understand that that, in and of itself, seems to most people to be (how can I put this?) 'unlikely'.
I know that 'stalkers' have become something associated with celebrities, and I understand why, but people have forgotten that legislation has had to be passed to prevent, or at least, deter stalking, not just for celebrities, but for ordinary people too.
So, people doubt the very existence of my stalker.
However, the real difficulty comes when I tell people who it is. They move very quickly from the facial expression which suggests they think it''s 'unlikely' to the facial expression which suggests that they're thinking, "Oh my God, I always knew he was mad, but he's clearly tipped right over the edge and needs sedation, preferably with a very large dose of something and a swing from a baseball bat which keeps him asleep for long enough for me to get away".
Which is VERY harsh.
Just because I'm being stalked by Jenny Agutter.
I have only actually spotted her twice. But then stalkers aren't known for their openness, are they?
She could be there all the time. Using a spyglass, or binoculars, or even having me tracked by satellite from outer space. Let's face it - she has the wealth to do that. And plenty of time on her hands. She may even have my phone bugged, or have paid friends to report to her about me.
But it's happening. Oh, it's happening.
I bet she follows me everywhere.
The first time I saw her was between the mainland vaporetto stop and the airport at Venice. I was just leaving Venice after a week there. She pretended to be going in the opposite direction.
And at the time I believed that. I remember commenting, "Oh wow. I just walked past Jenny Agutter", and that seemed to be that. A chance passing on the street with a former child film star. Cool.
But then, just six or seven weeks later, I saw her again. Hundreds of miles away. Somewhere I shouldn't have been. I was at The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. I had gone there to see Le Nozze di Figaro with a friend of mine for a birthday celebration.
And there she was.
Oh, she was clever. I didn't spot her until the interval. But there she was.
I turned to my friend and said, "Do you see that woman? She seems familiar. Who IS that"? as if I didn't know. But the sudden fear that had gripped me meant I wanted to be sure. Needed to be sure. "Jenny Agutter" she replied. "And over there to our right is that woman from the Apprentice. Look". But I couldn't look. All I could see was the terror made flesh. The stalker. Agutter.
I haven't seen her since. She must have got sneakier. Smarter. Better at hiding. Longer lenses. I can guess at all the small places in which she secretes herself to carry on her little campaign. High windows. Crowds. Dark doorways. Behind the coat section in TK Maxx. Behind a newspaper with eyeholes cut out in the park. Disguised as a labrador dog on the bus. But I can't catch her at it. If I could, I could move to get an injuction.
One day I will get the proof, get the police and she will go to prison for a long time.
It's a shame really. I always enjoy The Railway Children.