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.
Things have changed a bit up here, even in the relatively short time I was away.
There are two things to know about Neasden: it has always been a shithole, but the demolition of nearly all its pubs has made it worse.
Queen Elizabeth Gardens, known locally as Lizzie Gardens, is still cordoned off, for Novichok reasons.
I nervously leave a message, before reflecting on the fact that Carman died in 2001.
The rest of the tidying we shall pass over in horrified silence, except to say only that unloading the empties into the bottle bank took half an hour.
I am expecting a visitor, and I would like to give her the impression that I am actually a civilised man.
Funny thing, nausea; when you’re in the grip of it you can’t think of anything else, and when it’s extreme you really begin to accept that death is the only release.
By an amazing coincidence, the chickens have exactly the same names as Jacob Rees-Mogg’s children.
I googled “repulsive Scottish public figures” and absolutely nothing came up of any use.
The similarities between our situations are obvious. Kutkh has been given an airy cage, with branches and a water bowl; a simulacrum of home, not the real thing.