The theme for this month's writers meeting is ' The Picture Reminded me of Someone.' I thought I would try out my entry on you lot - do let me have some feedback before the meeting so that I can alter it or re-write it. Lots of heads are always better than one.
It was during a visit to the Pushkin Museum in Moscow, where I had gone to look at a particular Degas painting of dancers. Outside it was snowing heavily and the light inside was perfect for looking at the amazing purple that Degas had employed on the canvas. I had dreamt of seeing this picture for years and it did not disappoint.
Two hours later I was still wandering round the museum's collection of work by my favourite artist. I sat down to rest my feet and looked at my watch. Still half an hour to go before my taxi turned up to take me back to my hotel. I decided to look round one or two other rooms.
It has always been my habit to look at only one painter when I visit a gallery - otherwise I become satiated with art and nothing sinks in. But, as I was unlikely to visit here again I made an exception.
I stepped through the door of the next room and stopped short with shock. On the wall opposite the door I had come face to face with myself. So that was where it had ended up. The gallery would no doubt have paid a huge price.
The artist and I were at Art School together. In those heady days we thought we could conquer the world. We were going to sacrifice all for our art and we spent hours talking about it.
I was his first muse. At the time I convinced myself that it was love and that we would be together forever. He painted me whenever he wanted; there was never a time when I would not pose for him and now, looking back, I realise it was probably because I was free, whereas paying a model would have cost money he didn't have.
We imagined outselves living in a garret, almost (but not quite) starving, working all day, having exhibitions, becoming famous. I now realise he had far more talent than I had but at the time we were young and we had fervour.
Of course it couldn't last. And it didn't. I fell in love, married, had three children in quick succession and now have six grandchildren. I paint them with delight and hang the finished works on the walls of my house.
He, on the other hand, never married. He had a succession of muses, fathered a dozen or more children, became famous until his works fetched millions and his name was a household one.
I had not thought of him for years now, but as I looked at my youthful self, my slim figure, the confidence of my pose, I was taken back to those days. I am almost sure that this was the first picture of me that he had ever done and for a moment I desperately wanted to own it, wanted - through it - to try and recapture some of that elation of that time.
But then I looked at my watch. My taxi would be waiting. The artist was dead now. I was alive and happy and had had a happy fulfilled life. Each to his own way, I thought, as I turned and walked out of the gallery, knowing that her eyes would follow me until I turned the corner and our connection was broken for ever.