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I was very young and we'd never spent any proper time together.
In fact, despite Stella's unhappiness, the couple remained married for 14 years, during which time Stella fell pregnant, aged 38, with the couple's daughter, Emma.
Today, she still sports the steely, scrutinising gaze that has been her principal professional tool during her 50-year career - a career she fell into by accident to distract herself from an unhappy marriage of her own (the irony of that inconvenient fact does not, of course, escape her).
Born in Farnborough, Kent, in 1924, Stella Flanders, as she was then, initially trained as a nurse.
But some things remain comfortingly constant, among them people's expectations - which are, she says, on the whole, generally unrealistic.