Writing is a luxury that only the privileged few enjoy. It’s no surprise that most successful writers live in splendid isolation. I’d love to write poetic stuff about exotic places instead of mundane stuff about the provinces. I’ve been working on just such a novel for over two years. I haven’t been able to do anything to it since June because of the house move. Before that, the influence of three hundred Owens and Aarons bouncing on trampolines while white vans smash into speed bumps at seventy mph at the front produced a rare dystopia that even Ballard would have screamed at. Yesterday I returned to my novel. I know the electrician is coming today and the power might go off, but I can cope. I can cope with the neighbours laying a new drive complete with angle grinders and all the other noisy paraphernalia of hardstanding. I can cope with all of these things because I’m writing all about it in a way. The Genius of British Art was all about Hogarth. I wonder what he’d make of the provinces today.