Sunday, October 28, 2007


...followed me all the way to the airport as I left EWTN. I was rather sorry to be leaving, although home called me with 1,000 responsibilities and a busy week ahead...

While you are away from home, you are in a sort of bubble, living in time-out-of-time. Everything, from doing the hoovering to answering letters, is on hold - and, these days, emails ensure that the most urgent messages get tackled and news from home is guaranteed, so the bubble is a cosy one with anxieties removed but everything still at a distance.

Normally, I'd add "cooking" to the list of things left aside while away from home, but this time it wasn't the case, as my TV series involves lots of cookery demonstrations. I was producing masses of stuff every day, cakes and pies and biscuits and even some roasted lamb. Much of it had to be done twice - once to produce on the show as "here's one I've done already', and another created in stages in front of the cameras. Some items were actually produced three times. At EWTN, there is a shelf in the staff kitchen where food, books, clothing, or anything else that can usefully be passed on, is left: I found that trays of edibles left there disappeared with gratifying speed. Incidentally, this don't-waste-anything-and-let's-help-each-other atmosphere is one of EWTN's most pleasant aspects: a mix of everyday kindness and good cheer with a faint dash of ecological thrift and a large dollop of sheer generosity.

Home to a rainy London - which is the way I like it, so I wasn't complaining - a mountain of letters, and the rather endearing discovery that Jamie had been able to follow some of my domestic instructions, so laundry was drying and the fridge had food in it.

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