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My summer of love

Ellen Tout was not looking for a relationship. Then, one warm summer’s evening, as eyes met across a crowded room, she found a different kind of magic

Three summers ago, while sitting around a pub table, I told my friends how much I was enjoying being single, how I was not interested in dating and just wanted to have fun. My six-year relationship had ended the year before – a slap in the face that I had not seen coming – but, to my surprise, I loved having time to myself and relished my freedom.

I queued to order more drinks – and that’s when I met Alex.* She flashed her cheeky smile as she pulled our pints and I couldn’t help but notice her beach-golden hair and unusual tattoos. The place was busy, but we chatted a little and, as I went back to my table, I felt a flutter in my stomach that I hadn’t experienced for years.

A bolt from the blue

I tried not to think too much of it – and surely she wasn’t interested in me in that way anyway! Later that evening, we bumped into each other again. She lingered and told me she was Australian and had been travelling in Europe. She seemed adventurous and spontaneous – nothing like my ex.

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