feelgood factor: Quentin Crisp

"When I come into my room I take off most of my clothes and I put on a filthy old dressing-gown. I take off my shoes and I put my feet up on the bed to reverse my circulation. I sit back in my large chair - it is the only chair in my room, but it has large, wide arms that I can rest on and it is terribly comfortable.

Now, I don't do anything as such. Which is the point. I used to say I did nothing until a lady friend of mine said I should never say that. I should say I meditate instead. Transcendental meditation she called it, but it's really doing a hell of a lot of nothing.

I try not to think. I rid my mind of everything. I refuse to follow any train of thought. Thoughts try and creep up on me, but I just dismiss them.

I don't worry about things that can't be altered. I never chew over events that cannot be changed. People sometimes have conversations in their heads about things they should have said. I never do that. I am not someone who regrets.

I shut my eyes, but I don't fall asleep. I think about my breathing, and say to myself, 'Hooray, I'm breathing in.' Then, 'Hooray, now I'm breathing out.' Happiness consists of living through your body in the continuous present. You have to enjoy the process of being alive.

I don't think humans are very good at this. We are certainly not as good as animals. Animals, unlike people, live entirely in the present."

Interview by Nick Walker