My new world of work requires me to wear shoes. Shoes! And makeup. I need to wash my face and put on clothes before I start typing every day. Hair? That’s still a bit deranged but there’s only so much preening I can handle.
There are no more early morning strolls along the coast, boiling the kettle for that third cup of coffee, putting on the washing machine, checking emails, Facebook, Twitter, a couple of news websites and WordPress before typing my first sentence. Then stopping mid way to have another quick peek at Twitter. My walking boots, fleeces and down jackets are currently… resting.
My absence here doesn’t mean I haven’t been writing. Quite the reverse. For the last three weeks I’ve been processing thousands of words every day. I’ve typed. Read. Commissioned. Edited. Rejected. Rewritten. Typed more. And published. Then started over again the next day. If I’d devoted the same energy to “the novel” it would have been written in a month.
And now, at the beginning of week four, I’m hunkered down, getting to grips with systems, a vast floor of new colleagues, technology that hates me and an increasingly close relationship with every member of the IT department. I haven’t got round to telling my new workmates that the last time I worked in a newspaper office I used a manual typewriter and phoned in copy. But I suspect they’ve already guessed.
This conventional working life hasn’t left much time for Highland Hind adventures and I sorely miss the wind and weather on my face. I escaped last weekend though, and headed north to the hills to interview the crazy, passionate owners of 1000 barking, howling, straining-at-the-leash Siberian Huskies and Alaskan Malamuts racing in teams through pine woods. You can’t really lose if you’re wielding a microphone in front of a sound fest like that. Radio magic.