OK, Agent S, your misson for the day is to go into Central London (just of Regent Street) and sign 43 books without turning it into a major shopping expedition. You are on a deadline. Your time is precious. Can you do this, Agent S?
Yes I can, Control. I am a mature, sophisticated author. I used to work just of Carnaby Street and this area holds no secrets for me. I can be in and out in 90 minutes, tops.
I see. You do realise, Agent S, that the office you must reach has been cunningly placed within mere metres of French Connection, Liberty, Karen Millen, Zara Home and Hobbs? And that, to heighten the tension, we have arranged this meeting at the very moment you’ve persuaded yourself you need a new winter coat? Nothing too hot, or too formal. Possibly a parka. Something with a detachable lining would be nice … But you must not be distracted, even for a moment?
Yup. Got that, Control. No probs.
And that you might persuade yourself that, for the sake of ‘background colour research’ for one of your books, you need to return via Bond Street, where all the handbags are?
I’ll be fine, honestly.
Your time starts now. This tape will self-destruct in 5 seconds.
Er, Control, did you say French Connection? Haven’t they got a much better collection than usual, this season? And didn’t you forget that the Apple Store is even closer to the office you sent me to? And what about signing pens? I simply have to have pink signing pens and the only place to get them is from Muji in Carnaby Street, which also has a very nice line in stationery …
You know when I said ’90 minutes’? What I actually meant was ‘as long as I’m home by 5, everything will be fine – I can always catch up tomorrow.’
Oh, yes, Agent S. That makes sense.
Phew. You had me worried for a minute there.