To set the record straight, I didn't get any Valentines from mystery passengers. I did, however, manage to totally humiliate myself by thinking that I had.

Last week discovered a red envelope addressed to: "Brighton Line Bombshell" on the overhead luggage rack. So, not strictly an accurate description - but you have to allow for poetic licence and daft romantic notions and all that.

Opened it, in privacy in toilet, to discover tacky poem, the gist of which was that someone on the train had their eye on me. Returned to seat to find blond athletic man from Hassocks, who one might have hoped card from, ignoring me.

Very large man, who one would probably not have wanted card from, was meanwhile grinning broadly. The same evening Hassocks asked if I'd received anything interesting in the post, just as very large man was smiling broadly and squeezing himself into the seat next to me.

After a brief chat, during which I avoided the subject of Valentines and talked about other things which had been in the post ( the gas bill, a circular and a letter from a man who thought I might be his estranged daughter) Hassocks moved on down the train - no doubt looking for other besotted women to tantalise with the possibility he may have sent them a card - leaving me alone with Mr Big, who smiled and offered me a chip.

I declined, he smiled and we sat in a sort of awkward, smiley silence with me wondering if he had sent the card and him smiling in between mouthfuls of his Big Mac. In the end I just blurted it out...."Look, did you send me a card this morning?"

"No, why would I have sent you a card?" said big smiley. "I don't even know your name. Why? Is it your birthday?"

"No," I said, wondering how I could get out of this..."It's Valentine's Day".

"Sorry," he said and waving his left hand under my nose, "Happily married man. Not really supposed to send cards to young girls I don't know."

"Oh," I said, quite frankly relieved that he was not a mystery admirer but embarrassed that, having never spoken to him before, I'd entered into a totally humiliating conversation. "But why do you keep smiling at me and coming to sit next to me?"

Now it was both our turns to feel embarrassed.

Well, the thing is..." he said, looking as if he'd really rather I hadn't asked, "As you may have noticed, I'm quite large and it's often hard to find anywhere to sit. Some people run a mile when they see me coming, but you always smile and don't seem to mind and I appreciate that."

So now I felt about two inches tall (I will never ever say anything rude again about large people trying to find seats on train - never ever).

We chatted all the way home (what a lovely man) until gay friend Michael walked past, on his way to the front of the train so he could be the first in the taxi queue, and spotted the offending card, which I had taken out of bag to show Mr Big.

"Hi, where did you get that card from?" he asked. "It's not for you. I left it on the luggage rack this morning - for that delicious blond man from Hassocks!..."

Converted for the new archive on 30 June 2000. Some images and formatting may have been lost in the conversion.