IT is bad enough getting on a bit and having to cope with the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune without the un-needed embarrassment incurred - albeit innocently - by a transient but nevertheless persistent cough.

So there I was on the back landing of M&S in some distress and leaned on the rail for support.

Quelle dommage, mea culpa!

How was I to know that you didn’t need an ‘ammer to set off the fire alarm? Just a gentle nudge with an errant sleeve.

My full apologies to all inconvenienced, but it was good practice for the staff.

Perhaps a slight re-location of the alarm might help or hopefully a complete ban on male septugenarians Christmas shopping (please).

A.P Taylor