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I'd never met an Oxford don, but Craig was as warm and unlofty as his wife Ann [Li] Pasternak Slater, an English fellow at St Anne's – both mentors and friends to this day.
And as there was nothing at all daunting about the brilliantly funny, flirtatious Clive James (whose TV criticism for the Observer was an art form in itself), nor the louche, lovable polemicist Christopher Hitchens [the Hitch], who was Martin's New Statesman colleague, it didn't take long for me to fit in.
He worked full-time for the Times Literary Supplement, and as a freelance critic for the Observer, the Listener and the New Statesman, where only his colleagues knew that he was the columnist Bruno Holbrook, whose investigation of strip clubs and girly mags with their "husky, nudging captions" proclaimed him as a writer with a formidably imaginative voice.
A number of dinners at San Lorenzo and Drones in Knightsbridge were followed by half nights in the Pont Street maisonette he shared with his friend Rob Henderson.
The three-year relationship had run its course, my deceit was souring things, and, by now, Martin and I were irrevocably in love.
Spending more and more time at my place, he soon showed himself to have his father's gift for being extremely good at not helping with any housework, the source of my name for him, "Lazy S---" (he signed his notes "LS").
The see-sawing plot of "Success", however, would prove to be chillingly prescient.
It was a deportation order, he complained to Philip Larkin, "forced to go abroad, bloody forced, mun".
For a reason neither of us can now recall I was "Spider" –"Perhaps because you created a nice web round me?
" A couple of weeks later Martin took me to Spain to meet his mother.
Surprising as it may seem, the atmosphere was not at all intimidating, as the focus of meals tended to be the verbal singles match between father and son, which required appreciative laughter from an outsider, not participation.
Their banter was invariably funny, with Martin touchingly delighted by his father's intonations and inventions, and sometimes pleading to borrow a Kingsleyism for his own fiction.