Sometimes all you can do is put your Madonna playlist on and try your damn best.

Which is your favourite Madonna song? Mine is Don’t Tell Me but I am also a big fan of Ray of Light, because I mean who isn’t. I genuinely remember hearing it for the first time on the radio in 1998 which is slightly strange but also very unsurprising because I have the memory of a CREEPY ELEPHANT: I was sitting in my dad’s car at the local allotment wishing for time to hurry up and for various family members to stop their damn weeding, and Ray of Light distracted me for three minutes.

(Sidenote: until I was about 15 I thought ‘prima donna’ was ‘pre-Madonna’, like ‘before Christ’ but referring to a time many moons ago when Madonna did not yet exist in the public eye. It made sense to me because she had been around for so long and showed no sign of leaving. None of us could picture a world without Madonna. The 1970s were pre-Madonna, and we shuddered at the thought of them.)

ANYWAY. How are you? I am up and down, like an overzealous child on a swing. BE CAREFUL, RICHARD! I am in-between, like… some sort of sandwich filling. I could think of a better simile but I’m not going to.

(Another sidenote: don’t you think it’s weird that the word ‘simile’ is basically the word ‘smile’ with another ‘i’ in it? If I was learning English as a second language and I came across that discovery I’d be impressed and deflated at the same time.)

WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING AT? I am quoting Vogue, not being mean. Another Madonna classic, I’m sure you will agree. I am looking at everything laid out on a table and wondering what to do with it: where it should all go and where I fit in and where I want to mould things and where I don’t need to. I am very lucky to be here, and even on the most difficult of days I can’t not wake up and feel something at the bottom of my gut that says “THIS IS EXCITING.”

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