I met with Adam Gopnik today who is over to publicise his latest book At the Stranger’s Gate about his early life in New York. He mentioned casually that we had first met over twenty years ago and I realised that this was indeed true, as we were introduced by Richard Avedon at the time of Avedon’s great exhibition at the NPG in 1995. From memory, Avedon had packed a suitcase of gifts for Gopnik’s son, who was (I think) his godson. Avedon obviously liked the symbolism of a suitcase of gifts because not long after, he asked my wife what gift our son might like. She said – I thought unnecessarily sniffily – that there was nothing he could buy in New York which wasn’t already available in London. When he got back to New York, he obviously asked his studio assistants to scour the backstreets of Soho for what a boy might like, because not long afterwards a monstrous parcel arrived of all the things that precisely could only be bought in the United States, including comics and baseball boots and all sorts of other deeply unsuitable things: an act of supreme and memorable generosity.