I got myself in a mess last week. This was all thanks to the budget. I didn’t plan it to happen like it did; there are much more congenial circumstances for talking to the BBC than stark naked and dripping all over the carpet but they caught me on the hop.
It all started with me putting a little comment on their website about an item on the ‘cost of living crisis’. I usually only contribute to things about education but I was that hacked off about the disregard paid to people living and learning and working rurally where petrol is a huge part of their expenditure, by politicians who only play at living in the country at the weekends and who have no idea how tough it can be, that I put words to that effect online. Next thing I got a phone call from them asking if I’d like to comment about it on their radio programme.
The thought of doing radio or television to a reserved and hermitic writer like me is akin to going through a smear test in a shop window, so it was a bit stupid to say yes. But I thought I ought to make more effort to publicise my work and got through it and put it behind me – or so I thought.
Next morning, Charles called me out the shower because another radio presenter wanted me to comment on what I’d do if I was chancellor for the day. Running with water and wrapped in an inadequate towel I stumbled through that episode wondering if I was coming across all wet. Got that out the way, managed to get some clothes on then the local radio rang me – and so it went on throughout the day. Just as well I didn’t have a writing deadline as I couldn’t get any work done. It got to the point that every time the phone rang I went twitchy. I may be able to string words together as a writer but I’m about as coherent as a duck laying square eggs when it comes to spouting them publicly.
All I can imagine is they must have been desperate; they couldn’t find enough idiots like me to comment on the budget. It’s not as if the budget interests me – now if it had been education they wouldn’t have been able to stop me quacking on for hours. And the needling thing is that despite the pain it was not the opportunity to raise awareness of home education after all!