Being the keen observer of life that I am, both as a hack and a writer, I spotted almost instinctively that it's been cold of late.
Ok, that's rather an understatement. It's been absolutely freezing, and how I know it - I've spent much of the last three days standing out in it. I'm not a lover of the cold at the best of times, and my feet have been so chilled as to be largely missing. Hot baths aplenty have been the order of the day.
The consequence of all this hectic broadcasting is that work on the new book has more or less ceased. Not only has there been no time to write, there's been little even to think about how it's going to all shape up.
But that's a familiar feeling. A fair while ago I got used to writing in fits and starts, as it were. Some days, weeks even, were quiet enough on the news front for me to get some writing in before work, and then again afterwards. But when there's a big story afoot, I get to bed early and sleep in as long as possible to help give me the energy to tackle it.
However, I've got a few days off over Xmas, so I'll be back at the writing then. I'm looking forward to the break. As some of you have noticed, it's been an emotional year in the Hall world, so I'm expecting a quiet and reflective Xmas, which will do me fine.
Anyway, back to the point of this blog, which was twofold, and as often happens, got a little lost in the familiar Hall digressions.
Many of you will know how proud I am to live in the south west, and how much I love it here. It's been something quite a few have commented on in the tvdetective books, the sense of place that comes through. Well, I'm particularly proud at the moment.
I've seen many people struggling with the freezing weather, but wherever I've gone, I've also seen this - a wonderful community spirit. Everywhere, people are coming together to help each other through the snow and ice, and it's warming, heartening and touching. It's something I suspect will make it into a future tvdetective book, perhaps one set amongst the snow of a hard winter. It'll make a fascinating and dramatic backdrop.
Thanks also to those who have made me so welcome wherever I've gone, and the seemingly never ending supplies of tea and coffee. They've made the week much easier - so thanks very much.
Finally, I suspect this will be my last post before the day itself, so - a Happy Xmas to you all, wherever you might be, and whatever you might be doing. Here's wishing you a splendid festive season and all the very best for 2011.