Although I loathe the idea of “collecting,” there are a couple of things I seem to acquire more of than I really need or can use. The largest of them is typewriters. I have three manual machines,: one, the first thing I bought with the earnings from my first grown-up job, in San Jose, CA; second, an Olympia that turned up on my desk on April 1st one year; and third, a lovely 1940s Royal Quiet De Luxe portable.

The amazing thing is that it is now possible, easily, to buy ribbons and even jewellery made out of typewriter keys. My favorite site so far is Don’t be surprised if next time you see me I am wearing earrings made from A or Z or ?. After all, Christmas is coming.

I do plan to start using the Quiet De Luxe again: there’s nothing like a typewriter for getting a first draft done. It’s good for the hands, too.