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I did not realise just how attached I was to our old family home until I saw what the Wilkinsons had done to it

By Rosamond Newton   January 2000

“Where do you live?” I asked, in the way you do when you are not interested in the answer.

“Oxford,” she said.

We were sitting by a swimming pool in the south of France. Strangers, forced together by dint of having rented next-door holiday cottages. In the last few days I had already found out all I wanted to know about this middle-aged woman and her husband. He wore white socks and read Jeffrey Archer. She changed her swimming costume every few hours and appeared to read nothing.

“Where?” I asked, my mind elsewhere.

“North Oxford,” she said. “Off…

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