I’m hardly a domestic goddess and my messiness is legendary. Even now that I’m supposed to be a real grown-up and stuff, my housemates fall over with shock if they can see my floor.

However, if you look in my wardrobe or my drawers you will see that clothes are ordered according to item of clothing and then by colour. I am slightly ashamed to admit it, but my knickers are rolled up neatly and lined up in their drawer, in order of style then colour. Putting a plate on the wrong pile in my cupboard is a foolish move, and I regularly put the kitchen cupboards (which rather bizarrely are actually in the living room ) back in order when I should be writing.

My beloved bookcase is resolutely lacking in order after I decided I wanted it that way, but it’s only a matter of time before I run out of other things to tidy, and I’ve already put all of the first editions together. It was briefly organised alphabetically, but I prefer to group books by subject matter, genre or time period. Actually, I sometimes group books by size and colour too. My friends think I should own a bookshop.

“Hello, can I help you?”
“I hope so, do you have the German original of Doctor Faustus?”
“Hmm, I’m pretty sure I’ve got that. Tell me, what colour is the book’s spine?”