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Michael turned and smiled at Brian. Sterile or not, this man was breeder through and through. 'Best of Breeder', he had called him once. Surely there were gay men somewhere who revered jazz, but Michael didn't know any.

Both of us take some pleasure in defying the stereotypes – you have read all Maupin's Tales of the City, haven't you – by tending to prefer jazz to opera. Don't know much about it, mind, and take Alan Plater characters as our teachers: if Trevor Chaplin or Oliver or the girl from Mysterioso speak of something with approval, we'll usually try it to see why, from which it follows that Bix Beiderbeck is one of our favourites.

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