15 JUNE 2002, Page 63

A. All is fair in love and war, and it

is important that you sustain your marriage. You must therefore take the following, deceitful steps. Next time you go to London, make a point of having your new neighbour to lunch or supper, arranging that she arrives before your husband. Exchange confidences with her so that your husband walks in on an atmosphere of intimacy. Later, when you are alone with him, mention your neighbour's name, sigh loudly and lament, 'She's so beautiful. What a

shame that she will never get a full boyfriend, that she will only ever be able to tease people to a certain level and then hold back,' 'What do you mean?' your husband will ask. 'Well,' you can say, shaking your head sadly, 'you must never breathe a word of this, especially not to her — she would be mortified — but she's confided in me that she's doubly incontinent.'

Q. 1 want to get into fashion journalism. I was offered work experience on a glossy magazine last year, but asked if I could hold it over while I went travelling. Now that I am back. I have been told that the rules have changed and the glossy is giving work experience only to people on fashion or journalism courses. How can I get my foot in the door and learn about fashion without having to embark on a three-year course on which I might not even get a place? A. Foot-in-the-door opportunities are still available Busy fashion editors need efficient domestic helpers even more than they need office assistants. Write to a series of fashion editors offering your services, free of charge, as a daily. Say that you are prepared to rationalise cupboards, do personal admin., even clean — anything that will enable you to ingratiate yourself with your superiors, reduce the chaos of their home life, and promote a mental connection between you and pleasurable relief. The opportunities for learning about the business will be just as good as they would be in an office, particularly if you work after hours when your bosses are at home. It will be only a matter of time before you are considered experienced enough to be offered paid work.