Tuesday 29th March

This morning we both awoke at about five o’clock, as GMTV were expected at half past.  Alan the cameraman arrived shortly before, followed by Geoff the sound recordist and Sean, in charge of the communications truck, turned up not long after.  They set themselves up in our dining room, by now familiar with being used as a makeshift studio.  The producer had apparently asked for as many plants as possible to be in the shot to give a “jungly atmosphere”.  I’m not sure exactly what Alan thought but I could see that he was as bemused as we were.  Nevertheless we did as we were told.  The first interview was with John Stapleton at quarter to six and I must admit that I felt a little down and unsure about it.  It was broadcast live and I didn’t think it went to well but when we looked at the recording of it later it seemed to be okay.  Alan was pleased and the faceless but friendly producer in London said that it had been very good.

Just after half past eight we did the second interview with Kate Garraway, this time in the garden (it was freezing, not like the jungle at all!) and, in my mind, it went rather better with even a joke or two (or at least a couple of irreverent moments) creeping in.  Again, the producer expressed his satisfaction, the recording I’d done looked rather good and the guys packed up and left.

I went to work, endured the cringing jokes (“would you like me to show you the way to your office”) told the tale several times to all and sundry and went to the pub with the guys and gals for lunch.  I started doing some actual work but there were all sorts of “best wishes”, “glad to have you back”, “welcome home”, etc. e-mails.  I also saw the mails that had been sent out by our MD when I was lost; I realised just how concerned so many people had been for me and once again felt very contrite.

The Northwich Chronicle (the local newspaper for the area where my company is located) got in touch and did a short interview with our MD and a longer one with me.  But I guess that, by now, I was old news because when I saw the paper the next day they hadn’t published anything and I was grateful that my “15 minutes of fame” appeared to be over at last (In fact a full front page and inside page piece was published the following day).  As the afternoon went on I became very tired and finally went home at about four o’clock.

In the evening, Noelene and I went with Graham and Anne and their French friends Janine and Charlo to the Durbar Restaurant in Manchester’s Rusholme Indian area.  We had an excellent curry and a beer or two but by about nine thirty I was flagging again so we went home and to bed.

Wednesday 30th March

It’s now a week since I was rescued and I’m getting back to normal.  I had about seven hours sleep last night and I’m revelling in the "mundanity" of everyday working life.  All those annoying little jobs that I hated doing in the past I’m now approaching with relish.  I think that my story is just about complete.  It has been the most exciting, dangerous, frightening and, at times lonely, ten days in my life.  I will, of course, remember it for the rest of my days and hope that the lessons that I learnt and the changes in my life that it has brought about will similarly stay with me.

I had most truly been a very Stupid White Man!

©John Gillatt, 2005