I’ve just had my purse stolen, for only the second time in my life.

I had just bought a book of bus tickets (20 euros) in a tabac and walked down to the next piazza to catch my train to the station. I waited ten minutes, sitting on my own, climbed into the bus opened my bag to get my ticket and looked for my purse. Gone! I then wasted the morning retracing my steps without much hope.

Sitting on the cold train snaking down the rainy coastline I had time to reflect. And now, sitting on a freezing platform, waiting for a second local train,  I think I know how it was done

The girl in front of me on the bus was being very obtuse, not moving forward so I could register my ticket. At the time I thought she was waiting for her mother behind me. Now I realize it was a two-woman gang, blocking and distracting me as the bus lurched round a bend and I had to stop my case flying forward before returning to my bag. And when I looked, the purse was gone!

At first I felt shock, remorse that I had not separated the ticket from my purse before getting on, and worry as I tried to remember what was in the purse. Now I feel anger, that my mini-holiday should be spoilt like this.

The purse itself is a lovely soft red leather job, a friend for many years. Apart from the bus tickets I think I had less than 100 euros. The real killer is my Uk bank card and worse still, my health card, which apparently takes ages to replace.

Perhaps I should have gone to the police. But what’s the point? Those women are not exactly going to hand on my purse. So I have moved on to Vernazza (where I have just cancelled my card).

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