Well, interviews keep being put back and put back (or in the case of the one I should have had this morning, 7 grand mysteriously disappears from the advertised wage) so I figured I should sign on. What a joyful experience that was. They’ve changed the way they do it in the four years since I was last on the dole, and now they have funky touch screen job search thingies full of minimum wage jobs instead of those depressing boards full of handwritten descriptions of minimum wage jobs.

From the job centre I went off to the other end of the scale, dropping in on the BMW and Mercedes showrooms to get a few brochures for photo reference. When I admitted this to the guy in the Merc place, and added that I was looking for the criminals’ cars, he rushed off to get me the very plush- hardbacked- S Class catalogue. “Painted black with dark tinted windows, we sell more of them to drug dealers than anyone else.” he told me with glee.