María starts slowly. She is like a good bottle of red which needs to rest and breathe for a while before it reveals its true character.

Little by little, she warms up and then there’s no stopping her. She talks about her ups and downs, both professional and personal, about her love of the sea (“I’m a sailor at heart”) and then the most important event of her life, the premature death of her father; clearly, it traumatised her and she still misses him a lot.

And, after all this, she tells me that she is bashful in the extreme. Doesn’t like to talk about herself, avoids getting too close to people and never says “I love you” because she feels embarrassed. But hey, what’s going on, didn’t you just share your most intimate secrets with me? “Oh, I did, didn’t I...” she replies with a giggle, turning bright red.

I wonder aloud how much a psychotherapist would charge for two hours and we laugh until we cry.