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Thursday 3rd April 2003


I’m back from Manchester where we were recording the five women’s hour plays. It all went really smoothly, with actors who seemed capable of using their voices to create the most subtle nuances in the text. I sat in the studio next to the producer, Sue Roberts. I love this producer. She has such a clear ear for things and everyone around her feels relaxed. Other people are sitting doing timings and tapping away at computers. It’s all very efficient. Every so often Sue says something like, what do you think about changing this AND to BUT? The main thing is getting the plays the right length, and the other thing I needed to do was cut bits when they were too long, which nearly all of them were. Some of the plays are adapted from THE LAST POST which was a stage play I wrote last year. The actors who were in the stage version and the radio version had to stop acting so much. Radio is so intimate. You hardly need to put any expression into a voice to show anger,desire or whatever. Two of the plays were completely new, and I was most anxious about them as I hadn’t heard them being read. Thank god they seemed to work ok though. The plays are broadcast everyday from 19th May.

You’ll be glad to know the rat has gone. Everything is back to normal, if it ever is really normal. The rat’s corpse is in a shoe box in the front garden, as I want to show the rat catcher that we’ve caught it. It turned up dead, you’ll be glad to hear. Our cat dragged it about pretending that it had killed it, but actually it was the poison. But what a drama that was!

I went to see the film Frida last week. I enjoyed it alot. The clothes are beautiful, and I liked the way the film looked at her life and illness. Actually I found it quite

inspiring. It made me feel like being adventurous !

I am about to get really immersed in the new book. I have a story now, but the characters are still a bit misty and vague, like people I don’t really know yet.