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There is not much space on the pavements of Bath in the summer months. The reason for the crush is that the city is blooming with language schools for the well-heeled youth of continental Europe. They elbow us into the streets but they also bring employment and money. So when someone dropped a leaflet through my council house door inviting me to offer lodging to a foreign student, I was tempted to join the gravy train.

My friends were already on to this—squash your children into one room, sleep in the dining room yourselves—and, hey presto, money towards that…

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