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I got an X76. It dropped me in the Bull Ring bus-station where in 1988 or 89 Alan Clarke had directed the scene in The Firm where Oboe chivs Yusef and kicks him in the balls. Part of me, but not badly, wanted to be a hooligan. And I could still read the word Zulu spray-painted on the wall, which you can see about half-hour into the film, if you know what you’re looking for and press pause.

Birmingham in winter: In that multi-storey WATERSTONES I spent twenty-odd quid on three novels, each that’d been translated from French.

We are the mods, I said and I got my first can of Diet Cherry PEPSI.

Still tripping kind of round-the-edges, on the X76 back to Mercia, I dipped into the books and saw in each the style of a person like talking to themselves about their life but of course writing about it at some desk or in bed or on the floor in a room. 

This kind of flow excites me, I remember thinking at The Belfry and then Kendal’s mom got on the bus and neither of us smiled.