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Have you ever asked a writer when they started writing? I innocently did so twenty years ago at a party in London. Looking at me with fire in her eyes she snapped “and when did you stop?” There were many ways I could have reacted to this response. Get embarrassed, offended, angry, laugh it off etc. Instead I simply asked for ‘more information please’. What followed was a long and memorable conversation. At half past ‘something’ the following morning we parted company never to meet again. Nor was there any need to do so. For each of us had passionately shared our world view and learned from each by truly listening to what the other had to say. At times the conversation was robust. However despite our differences, which were many, we shared a common trait. Neither of us were afraid of words. Which is why the conversation flowed, along with the vino, till the early hours. And these are but some of the ingredients in the art of conversation.

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