1st March 2015 [Cont]
Dear Praying Friends
I realise a week hasn’t gone by since the first email, but I have to thank you all already.
1. Lara did not tear up the flowers, smash the bottle or trash the chocolates.
2. At the last minute we received a message inviting us all to go over and celebrate her birthday with her today. (Which threw me into a quandary because she said [Gatsby] would be there and I wasn’t sure what our policy was…) Alex, Ben and I went after I got back from long day’s work in Wales; Shaun couldn’t clear his desk in time.
3. Almost the first thing she said to me when we got there was that after last week she doesn’t have problems with me (or talking to me??) any more. (We’ve been here too often for me to think that’s the end of the story, but hey! It’s the story for now.)
Also had very civilised time with [Gatsby], all being courteous to one another etc.
To save me emailing you twice in one week: I have arranged to call in next Friday around 8 am to see if she’d like me to drive her to Bedford for Rosie’s Exeat weekend next weekend. Therefore:
That she says yes and we have a great weekend!
PS Continued thanks that she is at [name]’s house [not Gatsby’s], as my hunch is that this is why we seem to have inched forward.
Thank you all,
5th March 2015.
Call the next following week.
The BBC decided some years ago that, when I do Thought for the Day from the Cambridge studio, I must stay in Cambridge the night before (I’d had a couple of near misses due to unexpected roadworks).
Because Bink was staying at her friend’s house, not Gatsby’s, instead of booking myself into an hotel near the studio I arranged to stay at the pub next door to his house so I could meet up with her for supper.
Because she doesn’t do email and isn’t much better at telephone, I wrote to her by hand.
And because she sometimes doesn’t open letters for months on end I wrote on an open postcard.
Simply her name and the address on one side. And on the other that I would be in Cambridge on Thursday night, staying round the corner, and would love to meet up with her: I’d bring food.
Even Bink could manage to read that, surely?
It’s often a battle to get the Thought script agreed the morning before, researched, written and sent by the afternoon, argued over, edited, written again, checked, referred up, re-edited, rewritten, approved, tweaked, and then referred up again for the final signing off... in time to get to Cambridge for the evening early enough not to be half-asleep the next morning.
I must have made an especial effort: I remember going around Sainsbury’s before setting off, buying food that would be easy to take to her friend’s house – I couldn’t really afford to take her out for supper, not on my BBC allowance – and arranging it in a wicker basket, with a bottle of wine, alongside my bag in the boot.
I checked into the pub and they told me I could park in the lay-by outside.
I walked round to Bink’s friend’s house with my basket of supper. It was a long time before anyone answered the door. Her friend isn’t well himself, and needs lots of sleep.
Is Bink in?
Haven’t seen her for a while. Come in and have tea, anyway.
I wrote to her at the beginning of the week. First class. She must have received it, surely?
She never mentioned anything to me. Let’s have a look. Is it this on the mat? This postcard?
She must have walked over it every time she went in or out of the house...
She must be back at Gatsby’s.
I remember some explanation about a lot of screaming. A lot of tears and screaming. At Gatsby. Had she turned up at their workplace? Something…
I went back to my pub and ate supper on my own.
The next morning there was a parking ticket on my car.
I thought you said I could park in the lay-by?
The other bit of the lay-by. Not that bit.
No, the Religion and Ethics department of the BBC wouldn’t cover it.
You don’t get paid much to do Thought for the Day.
I think I broke even.