Well, the Guild of Travel Writers thing went pretty well in the end. I was a bit rusty but managed to talk my way through the evening, which also featured my estimable colleague Polly Evans who was very profligate with copies of her books. I’d just taken the battered, tea-stained, dog-eared first edition that accompanies me to these things that no-one in their right mind would want, but Polly was dishing hers out like there was no tomorrow. After all, it’s not like travel writers ever have their eye out for a freebie.
The evening’s getting on, and I have to be up at the crack of dawn in order to fly to Norway, where, among other things, I’ll be catching up with the lovely Wenche of Utsira and Hanstholm fame in Attention All Shipping. I shall be sampling the delights of the spare room in her new flat (the Connelly suite, as I’m insisting she calls it) and reminiscing about dead mice and shrimp. Rest assured Wenche fans – and I know there are lots of you out there – a full Wenche update will appear here early next week.
Enjoyed a convivial lunch today with my friend Kevin, who is, among other things, the producer of Radio 4’s Home Truths. We’ve had a bit of interest in a TV series idea we’ve had, but it’s been rather hampered by, among other things, foot and mouth disease. We’re working on a solution which, if it comes off, will be a whole bunch of fun. It also gives us a reason to go to the pub a lot.
Talking of Radio 4, anyone hear the terrific spat on Midweek this week between Darcus Howe and Joan Rivers? Luckily for those of us who missed the brouhaha at the time, the Beeb have seen fit to put it on their website – listen here, it’s absolute radio gold.
I used to have a lot of respect for Darcus Howe, until he made a series with Peregrine Worsthorne about race relations in Britain. As part of it, he went to see a game at Charlton, and basically made things up. He’d been expecting to hear torrents of racist abuse, but as Charlton have worked harder than anyone to stamp out racism in football he didn’t hear any. Instead he was reduced to relating how he’d apparently heard the bloke behind him shout ‘you black b******d’ at one of the players (although despite being miked up with a camera crew next to him this wasn’t picked up) and showing a flag draped over the barrier of the away end that said ‘NF’. Selectively, Darcus failed to show the bottom half of the flag which said ‘FC’ – we were playing Nottingham Forest that day.
I did as a result allow myself a wry smile at his magnificent filleting by Joan Rivers.
Right, off to bed, at Stansted in the pre-dawn tomorrow. Better find my passport.