My winter of love: I had three exciting dates that Christmas – one ended with a charge of armed burglary

I was drunkenly eating a kebab outside Halfords when I was mistaken for a master criminal. It wasn’t the only thing that went wrong that lovely, eventful winter

No one, my friends decided, should be alone at Christmas. Especially no one as desperately, soul-searchingly, what’s-wrong-with-me single as me. In the late 00s, when internet dating was for nerds, meeting people wasn’t easy – unless you got talking to someone at a party or something, which I never did, because I was too busy banging on to my mates about why I was so achingly single.

Thus, a plan was hatched. Three friends would each set me up on a blind date. I’m good-looking (with a squint), charming (after a few drinks) and a good catch, they assured me. What could go wrong?

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