…is not actually from Clapham, but a little peninsula, fishing town in the North West of England called Fleetwood, where they make Fisherman’s Friends, world champion female boxers and babies in their teens. Once it had a fishing industry but that died. It had a railway station but that closed. It had a pier, but that burnt down. It has been described as the armpit of England and geographically it probably is. It did always smell, but I’m rather fond of it. Being from there explains why I like cold, windy days, storms, and the directness of people who live simple lives by simple means. Anyway, in 2007, this northern girl left the armpit of England to seek her fortune in London, where the streets are paved with gold and the weather’s not so damp. ‘I never thought it would happen, with me and the girl from Clapham’ sang Squeeze, and the truth is I never thought the Girl from Clapham could exist either. But she does, a weird creature of my own making, writing things, singing to herself on the streets and getting strange looks, squinting occasionally, and thinking about God and politics and art and ethics and religion and faith and hope and, after all these things, love.