We're sitting in the most expensive Indian restaurant in Newcastle. The only thing that's worse than Indian food is expensive Indian food, so this is my idea of hell!!
Today has lasted an eternity. I was forced out of bed at 7am to do an interview for BBC Newcastle's breakfast show. I've no idea what I said. I did that crazy thing mid-interview where I suddenly realised I was live on radio and completely lost my thread, so started talking about my bushy eyebrows. In fairness, they had just done a piece on the early signs of ageing, so I wasn't going out on an entire limb!
There followed all sorts of meetings with all kinds of people. Nexus, the people who own the Metro, are going out of their way to help us with the filming, which is very exciting. I'm now very much feeling the pressure!
We spent the evening rehearsing one of the choirs we've formed for the project and they were astonishing. It's obviously early days, and the sound at the moment is more rugby crowd than choir of angels, but the music seemed to be going in and staying in, and they all came alive when the gospel section kicked in. It's a proper community choir, featuring people aged from about 11 to about 90. Hearing them all singing together made me burst with pride.
Pepys spent the day 350 years ago, handing out the weapons which had arrived from the Tower of London to the Navy troops. It seems that the shock of being called to arms in the middle of the night and an army of men only able to find sticks with which to arm themselves, had understandably caused a great deal of embarrassment!