A young reporter from one of the broadsheets called. It was the first anniversary of Sir William Macpherson's report on the Stephen Lawrence case, and the reporter wanted to know if anything had changed over the past year.
An explosion on a sunny Sunday morning is just what you need. There was to be a "controlled demolition" near where I live. A block of flats was to be blown up. I thought we might even go en famille - though this proved too much for my teenage daughter.
My doctor has stopped the sleeping pills. When I called in to pick up a repeat prescription, I was ready for the usual cursory interview. "Still not sleeping too well?" "I'm afraid not." "Still kept awake by worries?" "That's right." "Any particular worries?" "Not really.
When I was younger, I would often arrive at the cinema after the film had begun. It didn't matter much, because when the film finished we would wait and watch the beginning of the film again until we reached a bit we recognised. You can't always do this nowadays.
The state of the National Health Service is largely discussed in terms of waiting lists, availability of beds, epidemics here and there, public-spending cuts and the like.
When the Austrian neo-fascist Jorg Haider pointed out that his political programme closely matched that of the Blair project, his comments were lost in the heady news that Prince Charles would cancel a visit to Austria.
Over the years I've had what can only be regarded as more than my fair share of trouble with suckling pigs. When I first landed in Madrid with Ruth in the early 1980s, I had no idea that they were likely to feature on the average menu, let alone come to dominate our entire interpersonal agenda.
Much bleating at Westminster over the funding of political parties, which new Labour says it is determined to bring under public scrutiny and control. And fine words they are.
Let nobody deny that there are any stunning experiences at the Millennium Dome. This week, I walked across the almost deserted forecourt and found a ticket booth: "One adult, one 12 year old and one six year old, please," I said. "That'll be fifty-three pounds," the man in the booth replied.
The Archduke of Marzipan, the Count of Westphalianham and other obscure mittel-European royals must be choking on their caviar and gagging on their champagne. Some have probably even taken to wearing black arm-bands. The reason for their distress?
Each week, the Times book pages feature a regular item on "How I Write" in which someone with a new book out describes whether they use a pencil or a word processor.
Alun Michael, the beleaguered bardic premier, should have remembered that if a week is a long time in politics, six years is not. Mr Charisma has got into difficulties as First Person of Wales largely because he cannot get Treasury funding for his Welsh Budget.
Let's hear it for the choco-terrorist, the bosomy blonde Birgit who, with a little help from her friend Max Clifford, spread an eclair across Nick Brown's face and herself across the front page of every national newspaper.
In all the years I have been active on race relations issues, I have never heard of Raj Chandran. Yet he is apparently the longest-serving member of the governing body of the Commission for Racial Equality.
She brought the 35-hour week to France, a reform of global reach. But is she a visionary or a bully?
It's a slovenly New Year's resolution that only kicks in half way through February, but the sight of my brand new Speedo goggles hanging from a kitchen hook provides comforting evidence whenever I'm brewing up that I have finally turned my fitness aspirations for the new millennium into aquatic
So they've done it then, the Lords have seen off the buggers!
The people of the Caribbean never cease to amaze me. They seem to be slowly creeping back to colonialism.
Once, it pressed for workers' canteens; now, the messiah of stakeholding comes to change the state i
I knew from the reviews that Time Regained was on the longish side but, by the time I tipped out of the Renoir cinema, I had the distinct impression that I'd been out of the country for the best part of a fortnight.
Clause 28, Thatcher's hate child for the gay community, is creating a real palaver at Westminster. The government first announced that its abolition would be a whipped vote, then backed down in the face of religious pressure, then caved in from that position in the face of a revolt by the PLP.
This week I discovered that there is something called the British Association of Toy Retailers. It even has a boring name. Why couldn't it be called the British Association of Toy Sellers? Then it could be known as BATS. That would be a bit funnier.
Here she is, crunching figures on Countdown. There she goes, revamping gnome-infested landscapes on Carol Vorderman's Better Gardens. And, oh, could that be Carol spreading cholesterol-lowering margarine on toast in a commercial?
Tomorrow, in his classroom, your teenage son will be subjected to pornographic videos hailing fisting as fab. Your daughter meanwhile will be deluged with pamphlets portraying lesbian love as the only way to come.
Some weeks ago I spoke at a conference on education of blacks in Hackney, organised by the local MP, Diane Abbott. It was full of anxious parents wanting the best for their children.
Lately life has come to resemble the Harry Enfield sketch "Women, know your place".
It looked absolutely fine in The Good Hotel Guide.
The success of the BBC political correspondent John Sergeant in landing the plum £140,000-a-year job of ITN political editor brings joy to fat, self-regarding 55-year-old Quasimodos everywhere, including me. But the Beeb is in a lather about his replacement.
The other day, a person who had just become a columnist for a scientific journal wrote to ask me how I avoided repeating myself in this column. I was tempted to reply, a la Groucho Marx, that I would never consider giving advice to anybody who was stupid enough to ask it from me.
The Blair government's resumption of arms sales to Indonesia ends an unreported hoax. The four-month "ban", supposedly in re-sponse to the renewed repression in East Timor, was hardly a ban at all.