Just how grim can it get up north? (Actually, it's quite nice.) One woman's not-so-lonely journey into the Northern heartlands.
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Spent much of yesterday with a journalist from the Daily Telegraph. I picked her up from the station at 12.31 and dropped her back around five hours later. OK, there was a bit of driving around, but that's a lot of talking. It is very disconcerting to think what you are saying is being taken down and held as evidence. You can see across from you on the kitchen table, a small black box sucking in all your thoughts and feelings ready to spit them back at you later. The real problem though came at the end (by which time even I was getting bored of hearing myself witter on). The journalist went up to the bathroom and did seem to be a long time up there. The nice PR girl from Penguin had also come up from London for the day. She realised before I did that the journalist was in fact locked in the bathroom. The door does not quite shut. Well, it does shut with a protesting shriek but there are no door handles either side. Once we had realised she was effectively locked in, I thought briefly about whether to keep her there, tell her that I was her number one fan and feed her spaghetti through the hole in the door where the shaft of the door handle should be - not forever, just until she wrote and filed the feature. Unfortunately, she had her mobile phone with her which she was using to rap on the door. I did not think she could break her way out with it, but I did think there was an outside chance she might call the police to report me. There was also the small matter of the PR girl or "crucial prosecution witness" as I began to think of her. I did not know where holding a journalist hostage came in her media handling file but I doubted it was in her list of "Wife in the North- Immediate Priorities". I do have a large suitcase I could have bundled the PR girl into, but it all seemed to be getting a bit complicated. Eventually, I let the journalist out.
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How awful! Our modern house has paper thin walls - in Sitting Room one can hear all that is going on in upstairs loo.
Ooh, do you think it will feature in her piece? 'My ordeal in wife loo'.
I think you are getting confused. She won't feature the incident in her article, but you bet your ass she was hoping you'd blog about it on your world-famous site!
You knhow, there is something satisfying about that story...shame it wasn't one of the papparazzi! It must be a thing about journalists though. Don't get me wrong, some of them are ok, two of my best friends are journalists. Reminds me of the time we were all supposed to be meeting up for dinner. Radio journalist ans I were waiting at Victoria station when I got a desperate call from Financial Journalist in tears because she had got herself locked into the building she had been doing her voluntary girls christian youth group in. She happily skipped off to the bathroom to apply her makeup and they all left without her. Hence, my other friend and I were haulled up in Starbucks for an hour, drinking coffee and alternating between hysterical laughter and supportive encouraging conversation until Financial Journalist was rescued!
From Paddy's mum
you have an excellent way of detailing these things!
After yesterday's awful journalist, it's refreshing and so funny to read today's! Thanks for sharing the high's and low's of your whole book journey with us; looking forward to reading it in July, mimi
Oh dear, what can the matter be?
Telegraph journalist stuck in my lavatory...
Answers on a postcard, please.
Perhaps the winning entry receives a prize?
No one likes to admit to being locked in a toilet. She'll probably feel a bit daft.
I bet she had a good nose through your bathroom cabinet while she was stuck in there.
You should have slid a mirror under the door like Mel did in "Signs" - that would have feraked her out. Shame you had to let her go but probably for the best all round.
Very funny - your writing is a real joy!
WITN, you need to be careful. In just a very short time your book will be published, you'll be home and dry, and THEN you can indulge your serial killer instincts. Just a few more weeks, try to maintain your composure.
will your next novel be about killing someone with red spike heels?
sorry this is out of context but I just listened to your radio blurb - it is lovely for me to sit here in Brisbane Australia and hear your voice loud and clear.
You are are right - your universal themes are the stuff of 'every woman'... UK, USA or Australia.
Congrats on the book - go girl!
Easily done. One of my friends was locked in our loo at a party for rather a long time before we realised. I'm sure it's a common occurrence and non actionable.
Judith - have just listened in it's entirety to your interview. I smiled when you came to your last reading as I recalled how I felt on the day I read that on your blog.
All very well done.
(I'm so jealous of your trip to Penguin - although I could do without the skirt in the knickers)
Dear Wife in the North
I couldn`t get into my own ensuite last night, thank goodness it wasn`t the other way about!!!Better to be locked in though than have no lock at all and have someone walk in on you!
What a lot there is to look at on your blog now! I love all the little interactive pieces, especially the one with map and associated book-quotes.
Inspired ideas, all of them. I can see you being made Dame Judith in the end! For services to Northumberland - you must be doing almost as much for tourism in the area as the Duchess herself, by now.
One day perhaps, you'll write a piece about the Percy family? Such a swashbuckling lot - one for every generation of history, it has always seemed to me. And there they still are......
It is such a good job that the journalist was not from The Sunday Times,you would have some explaining to do to your Editor.
I enjoyed hearing your interview.
Woman locked in the loo! Rather funny!
It is so long since I have visited (sorry). I've been trying to get on with and comfortable with blogging. Think I'm managing it.
Your writing continues to be refreshing, funny, inspired. I love it. I think I had to stay away a while because I had become addicted tot his site.
I might just indulge my addiction once more... hehehe
Yours, Swearing Mother's and Thole Man's blogs were the only ones I visited for years. Now, thanks to you all, I do not clean, cook, iron or even work if I can help it! lol
I blog. That's it. If you have a mo, come see what I've been up to.
Glad to see everything coming together for you.
I read an article about you in the Saturday Telegraph today.
The journalist was very complementary !
(Is that the one who got locked in the loo?)
At first I felt cheated that I only discovered this blog on Tuesday with its so many echoes of our own move to NE county. But reading the blog in large chunks can make you sound "quite a whingy young bag" to be frank. Then I listened to the radio broadcast today (friday) and changed my mind. It was very moving. Reading it on block does make me want to shout out "make margheritas for fucks sake" but I think in creating your blog and book you have done just that.
As for going "back" to London - which - I would like to add- has much more to offer than just a well made Latte (tut)- of course you can. As my Time Out guide to New York said "If you haven't been to New York in the last twelve months - then you haven't been to New York". The same can be said for living in London - I speak as one who has lived there three times (four if Theydon Bois at the end of the Central Line counts) and I have left it just as many times.
Of course I can be smug in this post because I am on the point of moving further south and leaving the beaches and castles behind. Gladly. But I have learnt lots from my Northumbrian experience.
Your blog - reinforces my own experience - the rural idyll is a myth and my advice to any other Londoners thinking about that move is - just rent don't buy.
I am pleased we tried it and now excited we are moving on. I hope that you all find some resolution to your own "where's best for all of us?" dilemma.
As a bloke I have to comment on this wife in the north stuff first off, as I understand you have in a previous life been a journalist yourself.
How come as a former journalist that you appear so in awe of a visiting scribler, it sounds almost as if you picked up something totally alien, and then when you realise it was a journalist dumped them back at the station like a bad smell (after the toilet incident).
As a man I find it all rather astounding, that you write as some appendage to a bloke who for reasons one cannot imagine plants himself down saff.
I am still laughing...especially about the reference to Misery.
I discovered your blog through the resulting Telegraph article...apparently she wasn't too traumatized by the whole bathroom experience :)
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