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8 February 2006

Just back from a trip south. Business? Pleasure? How shall we ever tell, where the two march arm in arm?

I went to stay with m'friends Helen and Mark, which is a phrase redolent of idleness, of alcohol and lots of eating out (mmm - soft-shell crabs...), interspersed with bacon butties in front of the telly. This kind of living just makes me happy, in a very simple, uncomplicated way.

They were base camp, from where I forayed into London to do a library gig with The Write Fantastic. The library was panicking last week, because they'd only had three bookings (and they were charging a fiver a head, which is a total passion-killer for events; we just don't have a tradition here of paying to hear writers promote their work); but we have a policy of not cancelling, so we just slimmed the panel down a little, and in the end there were twenty-odd of them to the five of us, which is fair odds. Really enjoyed the gig, as it happens; we're a good team, lots of contrast, and we work well together. And Helen came down, so I didn't even have to worry about getting home afterwards (I am, you will have gathered by now, a terrible worrier). Chauffeured all the way. Y'know, I really could live like this...

Back into London yesterday for lunch with my agent, which again is all pleasure. Professionally speaking, it's probably a dreadful mistake signing up with a friend, you get all tangled up with issues of loyalty and such - but hey, that's for later. Right now he makes me feel good, like he's opening doors and making things happen. And making me work harder, which is traditional for a new agent, and no bad thing for me.

And so home, late last night, and not entirely sure where all the time went (it definitely was lunch that we met up for...), and I have been tired all day and was glad to spend the morning sitting in Gail's E F Benson class (the Mapp & Lucia novels - go look 'em up if you don't know, they're fabulous) and the evening sitting in the theatre to see The Rivals, which is kind of like an eighteenth-century Mapp & Lucia anyway.

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© Chaz Brenchley 2006
Reproduced here by permission of Chaz Brenchley, who asserts his moral right to be identified as the author of this work.