I do love my new flat. The walls are painted bespoke vanilla mist (I love that word although I’m not entirely sure what it means – bespoke, not walls). ‘Yes vanilla mist’ I said to the man who came to mend the boiler the other day although to be fair he had only asked me to pass him a torch. But he was kind enough to reply, ‘Looks like magnolia to me.’There is a big window in every room and amazingly I have a bit of outdoor space – a large balcony with lush billowing plants and an obese pigeon who swoops down every morning to sit fatly on the iron fence. The Girl has made friends with a feral squirrel who darts into the garden every morning and ransacks the ‘squirrel proof’ bird feeder. Last week I yanked out shelves in one room, drilled holes in walls and put them into another room. They haven’t creaked and fallen off the wall yet. I was rigid with tension for the first few weeks, expecting something – anything to collapse or stop working or to discover that America’s Most Wanted was living in the wardrobe. In fact the dishwasher politely waited until I’d moved in – worked once and then groaned to a halt, and the boiler flashed at me red-eyed, like the end of Terminator and then died too. But worrying stupidly about some nameless possibility is never as bad as the reality of some machine just ceasing to work. Although I suspect that had the boiler gone AWOL on a freezing February night I might have felt differently.In the middle of all this nesting I’m supposed to be writing a new radio series so once a week I gather up my laptop and head off to the new BBC in Portland Place. Walking up to this mammoth iconic structure of steel and glass, it’s impossible not to feel a tweak of pride. Inside, it reminds me of a combination of Bladerunner and CBeebies – huge glass walls, steel lifts and dotted with primary coloured furniture that doesn’t look terribly comfortable. It’s only half full, so there are great open planned swathes of office, with empty desks. Every week, my producer books a room with typewritten notes on the door and everything and every week, we discover somebody already in there who glares at us or says: ‘Just a mo’ and then carries on talking loudly on his phone. There’s something about the place that makes me feel exposed. Maybe that’s the idea.
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