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It was only a month or two ago that I told my mother I was gay, although I am 45. She now lives in Portugal, her native country, but she was staying with me in London. She had just revealed to me that although her huge seaside villa would remain mine after her death, as it must under Portuguese law, she had given a lifelong tenancy of the upstairs flat to her much younger live-in lover. When I heard this, I went berserk for two days.

She didn’t react much when I broke my unwelcome news about being gay, but…

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