I first met Stense when she pulled Fitz and me a pint of lovely warm beer at the Red Lion pub. It was love at first sight—or, let’s be honest, it was lust at first sound: Stense has just about the sexiest voice you could ever hope to hear: it is as mellow as the beer she once served, which is saying something.
Eventually, Stense left the Red Lion to go on a trip to Nepal and thence to university. We have been writing to each other ever since (after all this time, she still insists that the best thing I ever wrote is The Aftermath—in October 1990, which is pretty depressing).
Stense and I make a point of meeting for a hot date every couple of years or so at least.