Eventually, with the afternoon fading, I took myself back into the heart of the shopping area, where I scratched my head and, with a kind of panicky terror, realized I didn't have the faintest idea where or when I had agreed to meet my dear missis. I was standing there wearing an expression like Stan Laurel when he turns around to find that the piano he was looking after is rolling down a steep hill with Ollie aboard, legs wriggling, when by a kind of miracle my wife walked up.
'Hello, dear!' she said brightly. 'I must say, I never expected to find you here waiting for me.'
'Oh, for goodness' sake, give me a bit of credit, please. I've been here ages.'
And arm in arm we strode off into the wintry sunset.
Notes from a small island, Bill Bryson