With such a terrible track record, I started to realise that, if I couldn't meet someone when I was in my prime, how on earth was I going to meet someone now I'm 50?

We say our goodbyes and I go to freeze in the snow, trying to hail a cab.

After about ten minutes, a man asks if I need help.

'You need someone generous,' she said, my husband's name unspoken between us, 'with a bank account, not a piggy bank'.

And so, just before Christmas, I meet Mairead Molloy.

'She was great eye candy,' he says, confirming that all men would like you to believe the women in their lives are great beauties.

He tells me she spent £500,000 of his money on the divorce and that they now barely speak.Otherwise, the qualities I am looking for are pretty standard: he must be kind, funny, not pompous or bossy, be intelligent and well read and an animal lover.I tell her I'd prefer someone around my own age (she tells me I don't look 50, and am in fact 'slim, fashionable and gorgeous', which makes me want to date her), but they must be boyish rather than Steptoe-like (I tell her Imran Khan could be her template, although I wouldn't date him as I don't think my cats would want to live in Pakistan).She never sends clients photos, but instead supplies a brief resume of their qualities. He says he likes good hotels and restaurants, long walks and log fires.She has, she says, an instinct for knowing who will hit it off. 'Looks are subjective,' she says, and adds 'he is charismatic and an animal lover with a Labrador.' That swings it. I tell him I live in the middle of Exmoor, have horses, dogs, cats and rescued farm animals, and am recently divorced.Until now, I always thought people who resort to dating agencies must be a little desperate. I have never before even been set up by friends or been on a blind date.