I am not up to this. I am not capable. I thought I would be, but I'm not. Some part of me is missing, and I cannot do this.

He's a better person when she's around, and isn't that what friends are for, to raise you up and keep you at your best?

People change, no use getting sentimental about it. Move on, find someone else.

Not change the world exactly, just the bit around you.

There's a particular grubbiness that comes with travel. You start showered and fresh in clean and comfortable clothes, upbeat and hopeful that this will be like travel in the movies; sunlight flaring on the windows, heads resting on shoulders, laughter and smiles with a lightly jazzy soundtrack. But in reality the grubbiness has set in.

Change lives through art maybe. Write beautifully. Cherish your friends, stay true to your principles, live passionately and fully and well. Experience new things. Love and be loved if at all possible. Eat sensibly. Stuff like that.

Cuddling was for great aunts and teddy bears. Cuddling gave him cramp.

I still find it absurdly difficult to concentrate on a novel if there's a phone or computer to hand; I have taken to locking them outside the room like noisy pets.

The tourist's paradox: how to find somewhere that's free of people exactly like us.

That line again. For Ian, a joke was not a single-use item but something you brought out again and again until it fell apart in your hands like a cheap umbrella.

At some point you'll have to get serious about life.

While there was breath in my body, she would never lack sufficient AA batteries.

Life is about to change if only because it must.

I identified with Pip from 'Great Expectations,' especially when I was younger; I had the same kind of gaucheness and uncertainty.

Last night they had said and done all those things, and now they were like strangers in a bus queue. The mistake she had made was to fall asleep and break the spell.

There was a time when he used alcohol as a stimulant, something to lift his spirits and give him energy, but now he drinks like all parents drink, as a kind of early evening sedative.

What she really needed he thought, ablaze with compassion, was someone to take her in hand and unlock her potential.

And maybe that's just what happens; you start out wanting to change the world through language, and end up thinking it's enough to tell a few good jokes.

Light travels differently in a room that contains another person; it reflects and refracts so that even when she was silent or sleeping I knew that she was there.

And then it was over.

I read a lot of F. Scott Fitzgerald. I love 'Tender is the Night,' and its atmosphere of doomed romance. He was one of the greatest prose stylists, with a wonderfully clear but lyrical quality.

She liked to ‘leave dishes to soak', an act of self-deception that I've always abhorred.

And it's true, I have a perfectly fine face, eyes that may well be 'kind' but are also the brownest of browns, a reasonable-sized nose and the kind of smile that causes photographs to be thrown away.

Why can't you just love me? Why can't you just be in love with me? You were once, weren't you? In the beginning?

You start out wanting to change the world through language, and end up thinking it's enough to tell a few good jokes.

And Emma felt another small portion of her soul fall away.

Where can we live but days?

A moment passed, perhaps half a second when their faces said what they felt, and then Emma was smiling, laughing, her arms around his neck.

From an evolutionary point of view, most emotions – fear, desire, anger – serve some practical purpose, but nostalgia is a useless, futile thing because it is a longing for something that is permanently lost, and I felt its futility now.

And once again Dexter is struck by how easy conversation can be when no-one is in their right mind.

But now the train had finally begun to move, and Albie had switched the fearless truth-telling eye of his camera lens from his untied laces to the walls of the tunnels under east London, because you can never have enough pictures of dirty concrete.

Maybe we've grown out of each other.

This is where it all begins. Everything starts here, today.

In the future, I'll be braver, she told herself. In the future, I will always speak my mind, eloquently, passionately.

The attraction of a life devoted to sensation, pleasure and self would probably wear thin one day, but there was still plenty of time for that yet.

Well I've fucked the olives. Not literally I might hasten to add!

And it was at moments like this that she had to remind herself that she was in love with him, or had once been in love with him, a long time ago.

Here people cycled with a reckless swagger, talking on the phone and eating breakfast.

You've got to stop letting women slip drugs into your mouth, Dex, it's unhygienic. And dangerous. One day it'll be a cyanide capsule.

I love him, she thought, I'm just not in love with him and also I don't love him.

You're gorgeous, you old hag. If I would give you anything in this world it would be this. Confidence. Either that or a scented candle.

Most of the books and films I love walk a knife edge between romance and cynicism, and I wanted 'One Day' to stay on that line. I wanted it to be moving, but without being manipulative.

Who do you think you are, Jane Eyre? Grow up. Be sensible. Don't get carried away.

Do you think it's a conspiracy, people secretly ganging up to be nice to you?

I think reality is over-rated,' he said in the hope that this might come across as dark and charismatic.

My 20s was a sea of worry. I worried about benefit forms, about being thrown out of my flat. I never went on holiday because I thought: 'What if an audition comes up?' I was a nervous wreck.

I'm aware that couples tend to embellish 'how we met' folklore with all kinds of detail and significance. We shape and sentimentalise these first encounters into creation myths to reassure ourselves and our offspring that it was somehow 'meant to be'.

When will you stop trying to educate me, I wonder? Never I hope.

It wasn't much of a plan, and already there had been mistakes.