Was talking with a friend at the weekend (it was hot so we had a barbecue and invited friends) about teaching writing. He said writing, writing novels and plays, couldn’t be taught. That no matter how much he studied and worked at it, he would never be able to write a novel. I countered that the same would be me and say downhill skiing (the Winter Olympics are on TV). Even if someone took the time to train me, to teach me how to ski and then start with little slopes and then steeper ones – or however they train downhill skiers – I would never be able to do something like that. That look of happiness they have at the bottom of the slope when they’ve finished their run, I sure it is relief that they’ve made it down alive. My friend replied he would give the downhill skiing a go but forget the novel.