Hi Jay. Yes Arvon is a very good organisation and next year I’m a guest on a comedy writing course, I think in the summer, as well as doing a one-day Short Story workshop on the 26 March (not an Arvon thing but with Vicky Grut my co-tutor at Lumb Bank) . On reflection I don’t think I’d do another whole week’s teaching, certainly not in a remote farmhouse, down a track in a rainswept valley only a few miles away from Wuthering Heights but I do like doing one day events. I had a very nice morning at South Bank University last week talking to their 1st year creative writing course. I am never sure with students how much they know, whether they think the Second World War was fought between the Allies and the Martian Federation for example but this lot were very knowledgeable and a great audience.
Earlier in the week I signed a letter to the Guardian concerning Julian Assange along with John Pilger and a couple of other old lefties. Since then I have been trampled in the rush by a lot of his other more famous celebrity supporters eager to be associated with this cause. I don’t mind, I’ve only met Vanessa Redgrave once but somehow when I did she persuaded me to stand £50,000 bail for some Chechen warlord the Russians were after. I wasn’t worried about him skipping since if he’d gone anywhere else he would have been assasinated but I was a bit concerned that they’d make him come and live with me as part of his bail conditions. What would he want for breakfast, did he like cats, would he hog the TV remote control? In the end I think they just let him go but its tougher than you think being a celebrity activist. I can't imagine Julian Assange being much of a laugh around the house if he had to come and live with me and you'd never get him off the computer.