Celebrities, proof reading and Bonnie dog reunion!

It’s the question that always comes up whenever someone asks: ‘And what do you do?’

With a combo of journalist, TV producer and writer, this reply is then followed by: ‘Have you worked with any celebrities then?’

Truth is, yes. Quite a few well known on-screen TV reporters/presenters along with actors and writers. I’ve been fortunate enough to meet some amazing people over the years and most of them have been great to work with.

Of course, there are always a few whose friendly on-screen image bears little resemblance to the real person. It would be wrong to bandy about names but the people who work behind the scenes – in an incredibly gossipy industry – know only too well who they are.

Dealing with difficult people and fragile egos is a big part of the job. That’s why I always tell students who ask about the most valuable skill needed to work in print journalism or broadcast, that the answer is simple. It’s ‘people skills’ and by that I mean the ability to get on with anyone whether they are a member of the House Of Lords or a person living rough on the streets.  You can have all the technical ability and professional qualifications in the world, but it is those important softer skills that will make the difference.

Which brings me to the sad news about the recent death of Victoria Wood, a brilliant writer and performer. Shy by nature – perversely a lot of performers are – she had those incredible people skills by the shed load. It was precisely because of her ability to communicate across the board, that everyone felt that they knew her.

2016 has already seen the deaths of a number of fantastic artists and performers, many of whom, (like the musician Prince), have died way too young.

Whenever this happens, it reminds us that life really can be short and that it’s important to make every day count.

I’ve heard that there’s an old Irish saying ‘ Sure you’re a long time staring at the lid’  -meaning coffin lid! – and it’s a line that could have been written by Victoria Wood. So if there’s anything you want to do, there is no time like the present. Then you can wear a tee shirt with the slogan ‘Just Did it!’

On the subject of ‘doing’, the proof copies of my latest novella ‘Dilemmas and Decisions’, (the follow-up to ‘Dear Mr DJ’), have just arrived. As you’ll see from the photo, it’s got a ‘dummy’ cover – the real one is being designed by the talented Spencer Smart.DSCN2185

Proof reading is the final stage and having a proper physical book copy is the only way to do it. If you try to proof read on-line, it’s not the same and errors will creep in.

Assuming I get a quick response from my test readers – the people who will read it and give me their feedback – this latest book will be out at the end of May. Yeh!

Now over to Bonnie, the very Cornish cockapoo, for her views and news…

“Hiya folks,

Guess what? After six months apart, I finally got to reunite with my handsome Havanese pal, Tui. One happy mutt then!

He’s finally getting over his back injury and from what I could see, he was pleased to clap his gorgeous brown eyes on little ‘ol me.

As the two legged lot were chatting away, we had a bout of play boxing – though Tui’s rent Russ kept reining him in the rotten spoil sport –  and shared some delicious doggy snacks.

Afterwards Tui nibbled my ear and I just love it when he does that. Aah bliss.

Next time we’re heading out to the beach for a romp in the sands and to sample some of that special doggy ice-cream I’ve been hearing about.

If he plays nicely, I might even let him have one of my favourite Smart Bone treats – but only if I’m feeling in a really generous mood. (Not that often as far as yummy Smart bones are concerned).

Off now for a walk with the rents to one of my favourite local pubs. See pic of me waiting on the stairwell and impatient to be off! I’ll be doing another mutt friendly pub review soon, so watch this space!

Woof and out...”Bonnie on stairs


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