Friday, June 17th, 2022
I’m really sorry it’s been so long since my last post, and for all those of you who still find time to read this stuff I should follow my apology with an explanation. The first couple of months of the year were spent in the great waiting room of life whilst the possibility of another travel series was being debated. In the meantime I spent thirty hours in a basement studio in Clerkenwell trying to stop my tummy rumbling as I recorded the unabridged version of my first volume of Diaries, The Python Years.
Then suddenly, in the appropriately mad month of March, things sprang to life. Our idea of filming a series in Iraq was green-lit by Channel 5 and ITN, and before I knew it I was re-united with my North Korea crew in the baggage hall at Heathrow.
By the end of March we were back from battle-hardened Iraq having travelled for almost three weeks and seen things, people and places the like of which I’d never seen before in all my travels. The scenes weren’t always happy. Many of them reflected the violence of the past few decades when Iraq was disfigured by war and the threat of war. But we met some souls who’d been through it all and whose resilience was an inspiration.
And at least there is peace there now. Peace, with its own set of problems.
Back home in April and down to my Clerkenwell basement again. This time to record the fat 656 pages of Halfway To Hollywood – my diaries of the 1980’s. As day succeeded day I cursed myself for writing so much about my life, and promised myself I’d cut down. But I’ve already failed, as you can see.
In May, as my 79th birthday rolled by, despite my trying to ignore it, I worked through my Iraq diaries and voice recordings whilst they were still fresh in my mind and within a month had put together a book of the journey.
Into Iraq is the working title of book and three-part series. Both are now in the oven and should be nicely ready by September, but I’ll let you know.
If there’s anyone still out there, that is.