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Wednesday, 3 October 2012

busy old week catching up with photographer, publisher, co-writer... and York City FC

Rather than wait until the end of the week - when I'll be away in any case - I'll try to keep on top of things on a daily basis. Yesterday I was in York all day. First a ten o'clock meeting with Mike Pannett and our publisher from The Dalesman, also our photographer, John Potter. This is the team for 'Mike Pannett's Yorkshire', due out about a year from now. John showed us the photos he has gathered so far, and they are absolutely stunning. They make me feel like slinging my hook, as far as taking pictures is concerned - which is why I've signed up for an all-day course with him later this month. We're hoping that he'll have his portfolio completed by the end of Feb., when I can start writing the text. It'll be another collaborative process, of course. I never imagined I'd be much good at that, but my years of working in TV taught me that the writer's words are really just 'material' - to be cut, shaped, moulded, trimmed and occasionally cast off, as best suits the requirements of the final product.

After the meeting I linked up with Chainsaw Phil for lunch - in fact, a fried breakfast and coffee. Later he accompanied me to a second meeting in the Station Hotel - with a chap who wants to sell us project management, design advice, brand development, and to discuss the possibilities of self-publishing, etc. He was most impressive, and talked a lot of sense, but... There always is a `but`, isn't there? He would want £600 a day plus VAT for his services. 

I was staying on in York for the football, so, after a quick Italian meal along Petergate, I repaired to the Maltings where I met up with John Potter again. I'd mentioned that, inasmuch as I have Mike talking about York City quite a bit in the books, we maybe ought to have a picture of Bootham Crescent. John told me that he used to be a regular there, but hadn't set foot in the place since the early 1980s.

The game got off to a cracking start, with York completely outplaying the visitors (Fleetwood). We had several near-misses and rattled the crossbar, playing fast, scintillating football. As so often happens in such circumstances, and totally against the run of play, we surrendered a goal after about 30 minutes. It was a long shot (their first of the night) that took a deflection and whipped past Mike Ingham's despairing dive. That sort of took the wind out of York's sails, and after halftime we simply stopped playing.

Fleetwood struck me - as they did when they visited last April -  as a lumpy side, not at all pretty, but strong and well organised. They were helped by York's lamentable tendency to give the ball away, most often via a hoofed clearance from Ingham, who wasn't having one of his best outings. In the 88th minute they pounced on a loose ball in midfield, broke at speed and scored a second, thus wrapping up the points. 

Today I'm tidying the desk, catching up on accounts, and preparing my talk for tomorrow's meeting of the Romantic Novelists' Association (northern chapter) over at Harrogate. It'll mean getting the train at 0945h and catching a lift with my pal Linda Acaster from York station.

After that, Friday, and a trip to Hexham races. A writer's life, eh? Call it research.