I was nine or ten years old when I met this beautiful woman on a flight from London to Nice in the south of France on my way to Bastia in Corsica where I spent my summers.
She saw that I was a child, travelling alone, and presumably taking my name from the parcel tag looped into the buttonhole of my jacket, she invited me to sit with her. I had no idea who she was but the respectful manner with which the on-board staff treated her helped me realise she was important in some way.
I remember being riveted by her beauty and warmth. Her smile was infectious and while her English was good, her French was better. My lasting impression was her scent which, to an insecure and sheltered child, was exotic.
Later, the airline “nannies” told me her name was Sophia Loren.
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