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Tales from practice: Roly-poly Stones

22 September 2006

His whole body shuddered (and so did the foundations of the Millennium Stadium) as he gyrated, punched the air and bellowed at the top of his voice. Beside him, his two teenage children clearly wanted the ground to open and swallow him up, as well as themselves. But this stout solicitor was not to be fazed by such things. No teenagers were going to spoil this moment.

Earlier, I had spoken to him, as you do when you are sharing an unusual experience, such as traffic gridlock or a bank robbery. He was a conveyancing solicitor who had added a number of inches to his waist, and several kilograms of weight since he was a 1960s pop fan. This occasion was now part of his secret life.

We all have secret lives. The archetypical secret life was enjoyed by Walter Mitty. For those who have not encountered him, Walter Mitty was invented by the US humorist James Thurber. Bullied by his wife, derided by passing members of the public, cowed by traffic police, Walter Mitty was in his i...

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