Read this month’s issue (August 2011) of The Richmond Magazine, which has an interview with author Judith Kerr who came to Barnes.
I’VE been avoiding my local pub this month. Not because of anything sinister – things have calmed down a lot since the tense night last year when a Palestinian peace campaigner was punched by the local psycho, while police were busy quelling a mini-riot in the gents.
No, the reason for my extended leave of absence is Paul.
Nice guy – a member of the honourable company of roofers – but labouring under an extraordinarily irritating misconception: he thinks I write for a paper.
No matter how many times I explain the not-so-subtle difference between newspapers and magazines, he still assails me with the vexing salutation: “Richard, hi! How’s things on the Bugle?”
At which point I am invariably subjected to a torrent of quite useless ‘leads’ for stories on the local patch (not Richmond), none of which would get Rebekah Brooks out of bed.
Which brings me to the point. For while I can usually tolerate Paul’s congenital disposition towards error, the thought of running into him now, in the evil eye of the News International storm, is more than my delicate constitution will bear.
As Chief Investigative Reporter on the Bugle, I will, without doubt, be held accountable for every hacked phone and dodgy deal in journalistic history.
In vain shall I protest that I have spent my week editing copy about dresses and books and boats – as far as Paul is concerned, I’ve been tapping into the Pentagon.
Nor is he alone in his tendency to tar with the aid of a single brush.
Many is the accusing stare that I have endured upon admitting to associate membership of the fourth estate.
For some people, it seems, an editor pleading purity of motive is akin to Nero’s lion trainer claiming to be well in with the Church.
So, let’s get this on the record. The articles in this magazine were written without the aid of hacked phones, computer fraud, honey traps, fake sheikhs, cash for quotes or any other form of malpractice.
No one has been misrepresented, and in Samantha Laurie’s lovely interview with Judith Kerr (p10) – Barnes author of children’s classic The Tiger Who Came to Tea – photography was carried out with full consent of the tiger.
So enjoy. It may be the last edition of high summer, but unlike certain publications I could mention, we will be back next month.