A Secret

The thing I like about writing a blog is that I feel as if I’m whispering stuff to friends, stuff that I have been able to keep under my hat for years. And as there’s trust, I’ll let you into a little secret. A while ago, when I was doing A LOT of features’ journalism for national magazines (more on that I guess soon), I used to pitch huge stories. They were usually of an international nature. Indeed, I can’t really think of anything I’ve written about the UK, where I was living at the time. The secret is that used to sometimes pretend that I was already in central Africa, or the deepest, darkest Amazon. I’d call the editorial desk (you can usually call editors collect, and I always did… by the time you are put through to the department, they have no idea where the call came from). To make it all seem a little bit more real, I’d go into the garden with one of those slightly crackly pre-digital cordless phones. I kept one specially for the purpose for years after they went out of style. And I’d crouch in the garden, in the shed, where the reception was real nice and crackly, and I’d pitch from ‘the middle of nowhere’. The reason was because if I was known to have been in London, NW2, no one would have taken me seriously at all.

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