As a teenager, I went with my father every week for dinner at Sandra's house. Sandra is a little outrageous and at all times in the grips of some controversy or other, so sitting around the table with her kids on a Wednesday night, we would listen to the latest. Typically her stories involved members of junior officialdom, who likely regretted turning up for work that day, because Sandra is relentless when wronged by . . .
I blame my parents for my early hatred of solitude. With two working parents, I was an unusual kid in the early seventies; if I was ill there was little prospect of either of them being at home to look after me. Aged five, I was left alone with a stinking cold and strict instructions not to answer the door to anyone. The silence deafened me. It seemed . . .