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Star-Struck at the Almost Marigold Hotel

Page 6

‘Oh yes, which band?’ I asked Bill Nighy the liar. ‘Dire Straits. Are you familiar with them?’ ‘Yes of course.’ I tried to sound nonchalant but impressed, without coming across as an immature groupie. I looked at him again. Then I realised he wasn’t lying - he wasn’t Bill Nighy. He was John from Dire Straits. I knew. I knew that. I recognised him the whole time. In fact I heard him talking about Mark a lot. Mark Knoffler of course.

‘When you’re in Melbourne next we’d love you to get in touch, we’ve enjoyed your company,’ I said at the end of the lovely evening. ‘And I’ll take you to the football,’ my husband said to John. ‘And next time we’re in London we’ll come to your pub,’ I concluded as we turned to leave them to their vodkas and tonic. ‘We’d love to see you,’ he sounded almost genuine. I gave both our business cards to Stephanie. She took them readily, an open smile lit her lovely face.

‘See you tomorrow. Enjoy the rest of your evening,’ I smiled at them. We ambled off. I grinned to myself. Although he wasn’t Bill Nighy, he was a famous rock star. I googled John, Dire Straits and there he was, pictured with a blue 1970s Mercedes SLC, my favourite classic car. He was holding a cute Jack Russell terrier. I still want one before I die, the car, not a Jack Russell. The current SLCs are not the same, though the original didn’t have airbags, Takata or otherwise. John was also there with other women – wives or lovers or both. And there was Stephanie, his third or fourth wife, might even be his second. And there was the pub they ran. It looked fantastic. Great accommodation and no doubt no mosquitoes. I knew it was John all the time. Too tall for Bill Nighy but when I checked online they were much the same height. Additionally John wasn’t wearing budgie-smugglers by the pool today. That should have been enough to tell me that he was definitely not Bill Nighy. Hopefully we’ll all have dinner together tomorrow. I won’t look too eager.

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