I never knew if I was being hazed or if this was how it was.

At the end of the 90s, I did editing shifts on a big Sunday newspaper. I was a hamster in a cage 22 floors up London’s Canary Wharf tower, waiting for a pellet to drop down a chute.

The pellet appears – and you start editing it.

The trouble is, some of this food is pretty indigestible. They’d want a 1000-word article turned into 50 to fit a column of briefs.

So I’d sit there sweating (this was not a fluffy environment), trimming every fleck of gristle to get to the essence of the piece.

That experience gave me an appreciation of brevity. (And a hatred of court reports.)

When you trim enough, there’s a raw truth to everything.

The stories and assumptions seem like the answer, but often they obscure what’s going on.

Trim more and you hit the bone – and that’s where things get real. Accept what you see there, and you’re touching truth.