As shells exploded around us, Martin drawled, ‘I’ve endured critics for years’

The Times

I met Martin Amis in 2007, when I was 43 and he was about the age I am now. We spent less than 24 hours in each other’s company and never saw each other again. But for that brief burst of time, we were good mates. The intimacy came about because our encounter took place in Iraq, in Baghdad and Basra and the skies above, where quite a few people were trying to kill us.

Well, they weren’t trying to kill me and Martin, they were trying to kill Tony Blair, who was visiting British troops in the final weeks of his premiership. But if they’d got Blair, they’d probably have got us too, seeing as our brief was to stick close to the PM