'Coincidences nearly always turn out to be less impressive than they sound. As a twentysomething working in the West End, nothing seemed more predictable than bumping into my aunt in Piccadilly: she quite often went to the Royal Academy; I quite often walked home to Pimlico. On the other hand, ghostly prefigurations – the idea that once something strays unexpectedly into your mind, it will then come back and set up camp with a vengeance – never fail to cause a stir. Earlier in the week, for reasons it would take a psycho-analyst to unravel, I had a dream about Albert Booth, once secretary of state for employment in the Callaghan government. Three days later, I found myself reading his obituary. A rationalist would say this was simple chance. My explanation is sheer triumph of the will. As the American poet Delmore Schwartz once put it: "In dreams begin responsibilities."'