I have had one of the craziest working schedules ever, I could see it coming up and I kept thinking to myself, good grief, how am I going to cope with that! Apart from all the normal things in my life, I have actually ended up making two television programmes at once. I can’t give you the details, I’m sorry. Safe to say, they both involve food.
I was excited about the projects obviously, that’s why I agreed to do them, but as I said I was scared of the schedule. I didn’t actually get home for 10 days. But to be honest, it proved to be an enormous adventure.
I started in London and went down to Devon, then I tried to fly to Glasgow but the plane was delayed, so I went back to London. The next day I went to Kent, from there to Norfolk, from there, believe it not, to Penzance! From there to Bristol which is a fair old drive and the next day, this time successfully, I had my second attempt at reaching Glasgow. Flew back to London and then went to Brighton and from there, to Hastings. What about that!
Along the way I managed to have dinner with my old mate, Mitch Tonks, a fine man. I was up at 2.30 one morning to join a fishing boat and I managed to catch a cod that ended up in the Michelin starred kitchen of Michael Caines, another mate, how about that, I was so proud.
Other highlights included the Chili Festival in Brighton, great fun and then a visit to Hastings, a town that I had never visited before and one which I found to be completely charming. I made friends with a man who had a jellied eel stand and before he’d even opened, I found myself feasting on a breakfast of whelks, cockles and oysters. I was back there again for lunch.
A first for me was an overnight sleeper train to Penzance, another beautiful place. I did manage to sleep on the train and found it really exciting, despite my initial misgivings when I realised my cabin closely resembled a prison cell. But lying on the bed with the blind open watching the night time world zoom by was a treat.