In a few months time I’m leaving the BBC where I’ve worked for twelve years. This post outlines what I’m doing next.
If I step back momentarily into that writing room what I find is a little disappointing.
The room is cold and dusty. The bulb has blown in the overhead light, and it appears that someone has popped whilst I’ve not been here and taken the desk light. They’ve returned the light, but haven’t bothered to plug it back in again. They just left it on the desk. They thought I won’t notice they’d borrowed it. But I do. “Well,” they’d said if I mentioned it over breakfast, “you weren’t using it.”
Piles of books have been left on the floor. Now they wait to be put away on the oak shelves that line the walls of the room. Everything looks rather unloved, perhaps even dispensed with.
This sometimes happens. I can go weeks or months without even realising I haven’t written anything. There a few stages in my growing realisation. First I’ll not notice anything has changed except for a strange nagging feeling. Then when I start to put two and two together, I’ll wonder how it was I hadn’t noticed something had changed sooner. Only then will I try to work out what happened to stop me from writing in the first place.
My diary — a journal I’ve kept since I was a teenager — is littered with gaps in time. The longest leap is twelve months. Most are between weeks and a couple of months.
The more time I’ve spent here in Kathmandu, the more I’ve recognised how there’s a basic humility in everyone, young or old. It’s a world away from my experience. It’s as though the human spirit is easier to find here.
I think things clicked for me after I’d visited a couple of schools and homes for disabled children. This week I’ve come into contact with somewhere in the region of 160 disabled children, and a variety of different conditions.