See, I've said before I feel most myself in my leather jacket. Well, leather jackets - I've got a red one and a pale blue one now (all from charity shops, you understand). I had to replace the old black one in the end, in spite of my attachment to it: in the end I did get fed up of losing all my change and slips of paper in the lining round the back, and then the zip just lost too many teeth and the sleeve seams started to split. I kept it for a bit, though, thinking I'd cut it up for the leather, but when I eventually got round to doing that there was such a horrid fluffy mess between the leather and the lining... well, you don't want to know.
Well, yesterday I went to do a video interview for the website for the forthcoming GCSE AQA online anthology, in which 'Compass and Torch' appears, and I wore my red leather jacket because a) it was quite jolly (thinking of the kids) and b) I knew I'd feel relaxed in it. So I get to the studio out on Timber Wharf, and I'm settled down in the corner of this big black sofa, and yes, I do feel nice and relaxed, and Charlie Evans who's interviewing me for AQA begins. What's my inspiration for stories, and why do I write them, he asks me, and I'm off, no stumbling, entirely in my stride, and I've been going a good while and the sound man says, 'Stop.'
My leather jacket is squeaking against the sofa, which is also leather, and against itself every time I move my arms, which I do a lot when I talk. I have to take my leather jacket off and we have to start again. And guess what? I've lost my stride. I hesitate, I say what I don't mean and have to ask twice to start again. Can you believe I took my articulacy off with my jacket? Can you believe the power of clothes?