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I love clothes and dressing up, and even in my 70s I’m still vain – does it ever stop? But when I do stop minding about what I look like, I know I’m much more real and spontaneous.

The other side of vanity is the moment when I do something that makes me blush with shame. One of these happened when I was wearing a full pleated skirt at one of the highly confidential meetings with nuclear policy makers. During the break I had been to the ladies. Back in the paneled meeting room, when I got up to write on the flipchart with my back to the audience, there was that kind of mild stifled gasp that alerts you that something rather unmentionable is happening. My colleague Rosie signaled to me to sit down. Only then did I realise that I had left the back of my pleated skirt tucked into the top on my tights….