this was the most common expression that wags used to come out with when I was painting and decorating, when wags were ‘wits’ rather than Cheryl Tweedy. My masterpiece at Art School was a 30 ft long 10 ft high version of the British Standard colour chart which I painted using 100 tins of Permoglaze paint that the company had donated. A few weeks later I discovered that the eminent German artist Gerhard Richter had beaten me to it, by doing some colour charts of his own. Years later I saw a couple of these in a gallery in Dusseldorf, and first things first checked whether his lines were any sharper than mine (on particular colours some paint will always bleed under the masking tape). I was delighted to see his were less tidy, with more bleed, it made me feel a real pro (though he had used canvas whereas mine were on MDF, which definitely played in my favour). I later incorporated Richter’s October 18, 1977 sequence (paintings of the Baader-Meinhof gang and some of their funerals) into my novel Are You With Me? Richter’s people denied the publishers permission to use an image from the sequence as an end plate, which I rather liked, I thought it conceptually intact with his general persona.