Examination nerves

Waiting for Libby Purves
It felt like waiting for my French A Level Oral examination about a hundred years ago; as if I was about to have my basic and [ let’s be honest here ] pretty shaky, spoken French tested by someone who, if not a native speaker, had an awesome fluency and an encyclopedic vocabulary.

I was waiting at 7.25am this morning to interview by telephone the iconic broadcaster, and interviewer par excellence, Libby Purves for my June podcast. I have met her on a couple of occasions and she has always been unfailingly lovely and easy. Perhaps there was something about waiting with headphones on, and microphone about 15cms from my face, which made it all the more nerve wracking, as if I was pretending to be Radio 4.

In the event the interview went like a dream; she was wonderfully honest and said some fascinating things about her latest novel Shadow Child. You will be able to hear it on June 1st.

I’m not sure whether I achieved a very high grade, but I think I may have passed…

Rock music and bird-watching.

Outside James Nash's officeInside James Nash's office

Just to let you know what my usual work-place is like; it’s an old wash-house at the end of my garden, very sweet and tucked away with a great view and loads of light. There is also a very comfortable bench outside for cups of tea and biscuits. Sometimes I come out expecting a seat and find the two cats and our dog occupying it.

It’s a kind of writer’s paradise….but with rock music and bird-watching!!

Writing sonnets on a 30 inch screen

Old Broadcasting House
I have decamped; left my little office at the bottom of my garden and have taken up a desk at Old Broadcasting House on Woodhouse Lane in Leeds. Every morning at 8am I pack my sandwiches and a banana and get onto my bike and cycle up from home to my ‘new work environment’.

Basically my old iMac has died [after seven years of hard writing and beginning to creak and protest a bit when I try to do more than one thing at a time with it] and I’m hiring the use of the super technology here, and enjoying the endless free coffee, until I bite the bullet and get myself a new Macintosh computer and can return to the comparatively rural environs of Headingley. I reckon it’ll be sorted by the end of the month.

The new office is fab, full of lively designers and creative folk who all seem very young and fresh-faced to me. It’s in a bit of an iconic building, once home to the BBC and Radio Leeds, it was originally the old Carlton Hill Quaker Meeting House, looking a bit like an imposing chapel in soft coloured stone not far out of the city centre.

I’m surrounded by building work as Leeds Metropolitan University takes to the sky, and in spite of the noise am getting loads done here. There appear to be no disadvantages to this temporary arrangement apart from the fact that when you write a sonnet on a 30 inch screen, anybody passing can read it over your shoulder. It can make you feel a little shy…..