This letter does exactly what it says on the tin. If you’re not bored to tears with my new lease of life, you’ll be sad to know it’s no longer full steam ahead for me. I’ll be playing second fiddle once more, when Stefano’s back in the saddle with a full tank of petrol, to chew the fat tomorrow. I hope I’m not in hot water, and I haven’t burnt my bridges, so he’ll give me another chance to cut my teeth, but we’ll have to suck it and see (fat chance). That’s the long and the short of it.
Cut to the chase, I hear you say. Writing this column is like swimming with sharks. You take your life into your own hands, so must take the bull by the horns to avoid being taken for a ride. Words slip through your fingers and get stuck on the tip of your tongue, for no rhyme or reason. You make a song and dance, but when you bust a gut it takes its toll, and you don’t want to be walking on eggshells. (If you’ve managed to stay tuned when I’ve been calling the shots, you’ll know I’m all dressed up with nowhere to go.)
I’m trying not to tempt fate, but you, dear readers, have not been a thorn in my side, but I’m not holding my breath because a watched pot never boils. You tell it to me straight when it doesn’t hit the spot but, when all is said and done, there are no crocodile tears.
Tomorrow is another day. My hands will be tied, and I can wipe the slate clean. I’ll be fighting tooth and nail to write again, once I have time on my hands. Now I know the ropes, I’m like a kid in a candy store.
There – I think I’ve managed to squeeze in more clichés and mixed metaphors than Cameron and Clegg, but who’s counting? (I’m in a world of trouble if I’ve missed a trick – but we are in this together.)
Stefano Hatfield is away