The standard personality type for a writer is a shy megalomaniac.
Most British tapas bars aren't bars at all. They're restaurants that specialise in tapas. Nothing wrong with that, but it's a bit different from the Spanish way of doing things, in which tapas is an adjunct to the drinks and the general vibe.
Rising inequality is not a law of nature - it's not even a law of economics. It is a consequence of political and economic arrangements, and those arrangements can be changed.
Video games are the first new artistic medium since television, but they are more different from television than television was from cinema; they are the newest new thing since the arrival of the movies just over a century ago.
The first ATM in Hong Kong was actually at the foot of the bank. I remember my father using it. And I find it absolutely terrifying that - something about the way the machine just kind of coughed up money with no difficulty.
Celebrity farmer. Now there's a phrase that should be an oxymoron. There are farmers on both sides of my family, and I can attest that the overlap between the way farmers live, work and think, and celebrity culture, is exactly 0%.
'Austerity' is a real weasel word because it's an attempt to make something value-based and abstract out of something which, in reality, consists simply of spending cuts.
The early-'80s recession was good for good restaurants, not least because it put bad ones out of business.
The economics of setting up a new restaurant are scary in good times and terrifying in bad ones.
It would be too glib, not a hundred per cent true, to say that my father's career as a banker was what made me a writer. But it would be slightly true, and it was certainly the case that his work as a banker made me see that the trade-offs people make between their work and their lives are often badly skewed.
Hospitality is central to the restaurant business, yet it's a hard idea to define precisely. Mostly, it involves being nice to people and making them feel welcome. You notice it when it's there, and you particularly notice it when it isn't. A single significant lapse in this area can be your dominant impression of an entire meal.
I don't think quantitative easing is deliberately misleading, but I do think it's suspiciously bland and reassuring. It doesn't sound like anything big, experimental, scary and strange - which is what many economists think it is.
I think the Internet was invented specifically to stop people finishing their books. And it does quite a good job. I don't have blocking software, though I could easily imagine needing it. I just don't do that stuff until I've got the words done for the day.
I'd like to pretend to be all Olympian and above it, as if this is a phenomenon I'm observing from a great height, nothing to do with my own behavior at all - but the fact is I'm absolutely one of those people in the cafe staring at my phone.
Often, in horror films, the single most effective device for building a sense of scariness is the soundtrack: the clanking of chains, the groaning of off-stage ghouls, the unmistakable sound of a cannibal rustic firing up a chainsaw.
I think 'community,' in the sense in which politicians use, it is largely a cant term.
Now that I'm an adult and have a big say in what we eat on Christmas Day, turkey doesn't even make it on to the starting grid for consideration. It isn't just my least favourite meat; it's my least favourite protein.
Tapas is one of the world's most civilised drinking and eating traditions.
Money isn't automatically freedom. You need to look carefully at what you're doing to earn the money before you can conclude that you are, in practice, free. This is a cost-benefit analysis we should all perform on our own lives.
I think smartphones are one of humanity's most remarkable creations: computers are amazing enough, but a supercomputer you can carry in your pocket and communicate instantly with anyone, anywhere... it's no wonder they're troublingly addictive.