We used to have a Sunday ritual where we'd board the first bus heading south from Edinburgh, regardless of its destination. It was important to get the right seats—front row/top deck, of course—as from there we could survey our options until a particular suburban street tickled our fancy to ding the bell and disembark. We'd then scavenge the streets like truffle pigs for life's small pleasures: cantankerous . . .
At school I fancied the head boy. Harbouring a crush on him was a team sport: half my class shared the infatuation. "I really fancy you," I told him one day after lunch, all heart in mouth, hair in a ponytail and skin decorated not with make-up but with acne. "That's so nice of you," he said, and then after a pause added, "We don't even know each other." Despite his polite put-down, it felt good to be a spokesman for my . . .