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My friend’s dad was a bricklayer his whole life. Between the ages of 15-70 Tommy laid bricks. I watched him work and he was a master of his craft. His older brother, Jack, was even better.

At times, I wonder what it would be like to have just one trade for my entire life, and to practice that trade every working day. I’ve had thirty or forty jobs jobs – I’ve been a postman, an ironmonger and a busker, I’ve worked in a tax office and a post office, in a classroom and backstage in a theatre, I’ve tended bar, laboured on a building site, sold petrol in a garage and coffee in a youth centre.

The only things I carried through all of those was a love of reading and of music. Eventually, more through stubbornness than any innate quality, I became a writer. I still play saxophone. I still tutor. But everything else has fallen away.

But I wonder how I’d see the world if I only ever did one job my entire life.


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