Self & I

Will has written before about the time he spent living with Matthew De Abaitua – his “live-in amanuensis” – in the 1990s, most notably in the Independent in 2008:

“Thirteen years ago, Matthew – who is now a talented novelist in his own right – spent a six-month sojourn as my live-in amanuensis and secretary. It was a thankless task: so far as I can remember I was completely spark-a-loco. We were living in a tiny cottage in Suffolk, and I was given to harvesting opium from the poppies that grew wild in the field margins, then driving my Citreon deux-chevaux across the same fields, solely by the light of a horned moon, Matthew placidly crammed into the passenger seat.

“Bizarrely, he retains affectionate memories of his secretaryship, saying that I taught him how to prepare lobster, and also impressed upon him the importance of convincing foreign journalists – who had come to interview me in my rural fastness – that we were an elderly lesbian couple, akin to the Ladies of Llangollen.”

Now De Abaitua has written more about this Withnailesque period for Five Dials, which you can click through to at his website here.