Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Visiting old Durham Town

Spent most of yesterday schlepping back and forth to Durham, a place immortalised by the whistling songsmith Roger Whittaker. Despite my expectations, Durham was not awash with guitar-strumming beardie-weirdie whistling blokes. At least I now know where Durham is, having laboured for years under the misapprehension it must be somewhere in Ireland [don't ask, I can't explain]. It's about 13 minutes past Newcastle on the train from Edinburgh. Thus does another of life's mysteries die quietly.

Yesterday morning our house was beset by thunderstorms and torrential downpours, but Durham was giving it the full scorchio, all blazing sunshine and simmering heat. As always with these popped in, souled out excursions, I got to see the train station, the place I was actually going to [in this case, the Gala theatre and cinema complex] and the roads in between. Still, Durham seemed nice enough and I wouldn't mind going back for a slightly longer visit someday, especially now I know where it is.

The reason for the trip was to be interviewed for a forthcoming TV programme called Super Sleuths. It's a series of documentaries being made by Free @ Last TV about popular TV detectives based on novels. As the author of THE COMPLETE INSPECTOR MORSE [now available in a shiny new hardcover edition], I was drafted in to offer some commentary on the Oxford curmudgeon created by Colin Dexter. That turned into 45 mintues of Q&A while slowly melting under lighting not dissimilar to a supernova.

If I don't end up on the cutting room floor, my ugly mug might appear on ITV3 later this year and on ITV1 early in 2007. I doubt it'll shift any copies of my Morse tome, but it's worth a try. Plus it's always nice to have a day out the office, especially when the office is upstairs in your own house. Freelancing from home has many advantages, but insipient cabin fever is not one of them.

Alas, playtime's over and I've got two jobs still to finish that should have been concluded last week. Post-holiday inertia and a plethora of live sport on TV did nothign for my productivity last week. Fortunately, the elimination of any local interest in both Wimbledon and the World Cup gives me fewer excuses to much about - not that most scribes need inspiration for procrastination. Anything to avoid the tyranny of the blank screen, right?

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