A lady of my acquaintance had a large collection of pigs. China pigs, pigs in pictures, on tea-towels, even those kitsch flying pigs for the wall. Her pigs lived at her mother’s house until, after a short courtship, the lady married the man of her dreams, a high flying, fit and sporty executive.

The lady moved her possessions into the new marital home and spread her pig collection about the place. They featured on tea caddies, trays and mugs. Their ceramic porcine sty-mates gambolled about the couple’s home with gay abandon. No surface or wall was untroubled by the presence of a pig.

The sporty executive became a sofa slouch, lying in front of the TV in his piggy boxer shorts, eating and drinking to excess. He gained weight, became porky and lost his motivation, preferring to watch sport on TV than actually get involved. Their relationship deteriorated into arguments and and resentment, with the man often being described as ‘a pig’ by his wife. Less than a year after their wedding the couple parted.

When the lady moved out she took her pigs with her. The man regained his motivation and squeezed himself into lycra and back onto his bike. A few years later he met a beautiful divorcee and they married. Their home is full of kids, dogs and love. There are no pigs.