I am half way down the path with a recycling bin, a podcast playing on my phone in my pocket, when her voice reaches me from the road. It is a neighbour from around the corner. We have not previously spoken.

’I loved your portrait!’ she says.

I put the bin down and look at her blankly.

’I saw it on Instagram. On Greg’s Instagram. Do you follow him? It is you, isn’t it?’

’I’m sorry,’ I say. ‘I’ve got the radio on. Erm. What? Did you say Greg?’

I take the mobile out of my pocket and wave it at her.

’Sorry, The Westminster Hour. Brexit.’

Now it her turn to look blank.

’He’s on his way back from Costa Rica. It is you, isn’t it? In the portrait?’

’How do you know he’s on his way back from Costa Rica?’

’His Instagram. I follow him. Do you follow him?’


’Do you like it?’

’Erm, yes. I loved it. Love it, I mean. He showed it to me the other day. In real life.’

’I thought it was you. It is you, isn’t it? I paint as well. Do you follow him? It was on his Instagram feed. I do hope so. I thought it was you as soon as I saw it.’