Time And Travel (Again)

Where does the time go? My life seems to be speeding up at an alarming rate, as if I am sitting in a car with no brakes hurtling down the side of Mount Everest. It seems that I have not sat down to have a cup of tea with a biscuit and it’s over month since Christmas. I blinked and we’re already more than halfway through January. I coughed and it was a new decade. By this rate, I’ll go to the shops for some groceries, return home and it’ll be time to pick up my pension.

If I allow myself to think about it too much, I can become obsessed with time. This time last year, I had just received a shipment of my cookbook, dinner. Little did I know at that point that the series which it represents would go on to win several prestigious awards a few months after that. In fact, as I sift through the last year’s blogs, the photographs of me pulling silly faces animating like in a child’s flick book, I’m reminded that the delectable Miss Moneypenny from the Financial Times labelled me the “Northern Irish Martha Stewart”. It’s a soundbite I still drop into conversation when appropriate – and occasionally when it is not appropriate.

Meanwhile, last April, I travelled from New York to Miami to Jamaica to do some work for my company Whisk, and once again found myself mulling over the elastic nature of time. I’m reminded of why I do the job I do: I often feel that I have finite time to do what I want to do, a limited number of sand grains in the jar to achieve what I want to achieve. I guess I have always felt this way. You could call it ambition or a black dog or whatever, but it’s the reason that I work myself into the ground. The reason that I knock every door and then push it if it doesn’t open. The reason that I spend my weeks constantly on the hop. I’m terrified of being caught doing nothing, of time slowing to a standstill.

Looking ahead to my schedule for February, it looks as if life is just going to get faster. I have to visit no less than seven countries next month, from the Middle East to North America to Europe. Thinking about it makes my head swirl: you can’t just walk into a high street bookstore and buy a travel guide that encompasses every continent in the world. Hmmm… perhaps that’s an idea for my next book.

I’ve recently been doing more filming. It’s funny to think how gawky I felt when I first started doing that, how unnatural it seemed to have someone pointing a camera, a boom and a lighting rig at you and counting you down to when you start speaking. Now it’s relatively straightforward and much less painful. In fact, I’ve probably started speaking before the director even counts me in.

I’ve been filming range style cookers for a client – or rather, me explaining how to get the most out of these household products for your home, talking through the main features of the hobs, timers, settings etc. Hey, don’t mock. Sure, it’s not the most glamorous of pursuits – it’s not as if I can boast that I moonlight as a dancer in a Girls Aloud video – but it pays my way and keeps me out of trouble.  I love it.

Other than that, I’ve been as busy as usual. I would like to tell you that it’s been a wild string of parties and celebrity engagements since the start of the year. I would like to tell you that, but it wouldn’t be true. At the moment, my Saturday nights are spent at home slogging through paperwork, and drafting up a new concept which I’m pretty excited about. I’ll tell you all about that in due course, but for now I’m going to hold my cards to my chest, keep mum and any other metaphor you can think of.

I’ve just looked at the clock and around two hours have passed since I started writing this blog. Seriously, where does the time go?

Chat soon!

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