Nicholas Lezard is a literary critic for the Guardian and also writes for the Independent. He writes the Down and Out in London column for the New Statesman.
When I encounter the words “my wife” or “my husband”, I get, in some dark moods, a choking sensation beneath the breastbone.
Over the years, I have begun to see the attraction of going out less and less. I sit, like Mycroft Holmes in the Diogenes Club, daring anyone to talk to me.
That my children actually want to see me, after years of my not even remotely bursting into tears of pride whenever I contemplated them, is one of the nicest surprises that this existence has granted to me.
What I thought was going to be an investigation into my expenses turns out to be nothing of the sort: instead, a charming young woman is trying to sell me life insurance.
It’s probably a fault I picked up from my mother, who until she met my father used to be a very up-and-coming star on Broadway.
On the scale of outrages this ranks fairly low but I am driven to complain by a desire for simplicity and purity.
But if, like me, you are miserably fussy about your tea, then you will know that you never clean the inside of a teapot.
I just woke up with my leg like this.
I don’t want to be completely idle but just as William of Ockham advised us not to multiply variables, I do not want to add unnecessarily to my burdens.
This is my default way of dealing with things. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.