If you have arrived here as a result of the feature in today’s Nottingham Evening Post…

…then may I bid you a warm welcome. As I’m out of town until Monday, I haven’t yet seen the piece myself, but I believe it’s to be found in the magazine section. (Note to non-Nottingham readers: I doubt very much whether it will be appearing on the online version of the newspaper.)

However, the nice lady who interviewed me did let me see a draft copy, so that I could check it for accuracy – and I have to say that I was thrilled, thrilled I tell you, to find myself described as “slight”. No-one has ever called me this before. After the extended battle I have been waging with my abdominal jut, this alone provides all the self-validation I could possibly need.

Being interviewed, in a quiet upstairs corner at Stones delicatessen on Weekday Cross, was a thoroughly pleasant experience, which left me in a vastly improved state of mind. (I had been in a fairly filthy mood all week.) I guess there’s nothing more guaranteed to lift the spirits than being given the chance to talk about myself at length, to someone who is duty bound to record every word. Better than therapy! And cheaper, too!

As for the photo session the following week, I am quaking in my dressing gown at how this will have turned out. I didn’t make a great start by greeting the photographer outside my front door, then realising I had left the house keys back in the office, and having to prevail upon him for a lift. The office is only ten minutes away by foot, but thanks to the lunchtime traffic and the labyrinthine absurdities of Nottingham’s one-way system, it took almost as long by car. We went all rahnd the ahzes, if I might be permitted to slip into the local vernacular.

The purpose of the photo-shoot was to capture me actually in the process of blogging – much as happened when the BBC interviewed me in 2005. However, the study is a bit of an unphotogenic tip these days, and so it was swiftly decided that we would stage the shoot downstairs with a laptop. As the photographer commented, Man At Table With Computer isn’t the most arresting of images, and so I was directed into ever more unlikely postures around the living room: perching on furniture, staring moodily out of the window… and eventually (and I bet this is the shot they end up using in the magazine) stretched out on my front on the sofa, head raised, with the laptop resting on the arm, and my legs coquettishly raised and crossed behind me.

“I feel like I’m posing for FHM!”, I quipped, nervously.

“That’s it, keep it there, nice big cheesy grin”, he urged, professionally.

Meanwhile, I pretended to type a blog entry with my one free hand, my head cocked upwards so that I couldn’t see the keyboard.

“jggjksnn ghgh jkjiyh ggg jjj”, I blogged, helplessly.

“That’s great, one more, perfect.” Yeah, fake it baby.

I was also asked to supply some supplementary material for the side panels: a short extract from one of my blog postings, and some blogging Do’s and Dont’s for the curious novice. For the extract, I suggested four pieces: the Period Living photo-shoot, the “swanky do” at a local hotel, my appearance on BBC Radio Nottingham, and a brief but telling conversation that I had with K whilst hiking to a country pub. However, the nice lady from the Evening Post decided to make her own selection: a piece where I talk about purchasing a pedometer. (Further evidence of my prolonged struggle with the abdominal jut, you see.)

If you are new here, then my favourite postings are all archived on the side panel to the right, under the heading “we wrote”. Do feel free to have a good rummage. I also recommend the piece entitled “Arbeit macht frei“, which is nestling right down at the bottom of this page. I made a bit more of an effort with this one, and I think it’s the best blog post I’ve written all year. (Most of the time, I just brain-splurge straight to the keyboard. Such is the nature of our fledgling medium.)

As for the blogging Do’s and Dont’s: I’ll publish them here tomorrow, when the newspaper is no longer on the stands. In the meantime, please make yourselves comfortable – and if you feel moved to do so, then please leave a comment. (You can do this pseudonymously, if you so wish: none of the little boxes on the comments form are mandatory.)

Now, read on. And in case you were wondering whether I ever live up to the title of this blog, then the posting below should provide all the evidence you need.

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