I went back into the crowd towards where I'd left Aria with Parvis but couldn't see them.

“Hey Jack, over here” said Vinny who was holding onto the red head with one hand and waving over at me with the other. Aria, Parvis and Trella were close by drinks in hand. I was about to go over to them but before I could take a step I felt the grip of a heavy hand on my shoulder which stopped me in my tracks.

I was beginning to wish I'd never started with the Jack as in Jack line.

“Well, how about we start with what you're called and why you're in the gents?” I said trying to come across all assertive but feeling more than intimidated.

“Oh Jack, now don't be cross. Just getting to know you that's all.”

“Now why would you want …” I was gonna say “get to know me?” when the light went out again.

The rest of the week I was happier than a sandboy who was like really happy and phoned all and sundry to tell them about Aria and that Frank had invited us down to Cuff Links on Saturday night. Yeah, I felt great but as the days turned into Saturday afternoon I started getting butterflies in my stomach again. Think I liked Aria so much that I was scared of screwing it up.

“Just be yourself" I'd say to myself “don't be someone you're not by trying to be too nice.”

Mind you, some might say slim had already left town on that one!

“Do you like a coffee” said Aria and I was so dazzled by her and the kiss she'd just planted on my cheek that I didn't answer for a second and just stood there staring at her.

“You OK Yack?”

“Ah.. yeah... yeah. Sorry Aria, yeah I'd love a coffee.”

“We can go there” she said pointing up Dean Street to a place called Bar Napoli.

I went from being as happy as Larry to as sad as a crutchless gusset and felt as if I'd just been well and truly sauce panned.

“So what, she might have a brother? Phone back now why don't ya?” said Finbar who I could see was trying not to laugh although I wasn't seeing the funny side of anything.

To tell the truth if he hadn't had been there I would have probably gone into the bedroom and sulked but decided if there was bad news to be had I'd rather hear it sooner than later so phoned back there and then.

Didn’t feel too bad after the gym walking around Soho looking for record shops but as soon as my head hit the pillow that night it started to feel like my body was turning into wood.Every muscle was tightening and even my eyelashes ached.

I managed to fall asleep but in the early hours the pain in my calves woke me up. Never felt anything like it. It was as if Medusa was sucking my toes and turning my calves into knotty stony things. The pain grew and grew in both legs and then ..........ahhhhhhhhh! The most intense searing pain I´ve ever felt.

“Fooking ‘ell! What the fook´s going on?”