My month's notice was up today at work and I am free. I have felt demob happy for the past week or so, a feeling that has grown as my leaving date approached and the amount of work I had to do dwindled. Today, I have written around eight useful paragraphs; yesterday wasn't much more productive. I feel I would have been better employed staying at home.
Instead, I played a few rounds of word association email with my editor. The final one started with Stalin and ended with golf, meandering via The Ronettes, Rowan Atkinson and Marmite on the way. I then had my own meander round t'internet, starting again from Comrade Stalin, via the Cold War to the BBC's espionage timeline which was a wonderful launch pad into the world of the Cambridge spies (I had an art teacher who claimed to have been taught by Anthony Blunt: "I always thought he was shifty" she used to say), through death by umbrella at London bus stops to David Shayler, who I recalled had recently developed something of the David Ickes.
I interviewed David Icke many moons ago, when he was on a speaking tour. This was when he was in his turquoise shellsuit phase before he decided that the world was ruled by an elite group of giant lizards. Although he had not reached that point, he was on the brink: he didn't once look at me when answering my questions, rather he gazed at a distant corner of the ceiling as though channelling proclamations from the mothership.
However, after setting off on the trail of Mr Shayler, I believe that rather than being touched by the David Ickes, he has been touched by tongue-in-cheekism. His website ('I'm Brian and so is my wife') has convinced me of that. I almost emailed him to thank him for cheering up a turgid Tuesday afternoon.
I then spent a pleasant 10 minutes munching cherry liqueur chocolates and gazing out of the window, imagining my life as a spy. However, I must realistically conclude that after a few G&Ts, I may be as indiscreet as the talkative Mr Shayler.
So, rather than MI5 or 6, it's back to the world of straight journalism in the New Year for me. But now I must dash - Spooks starts shortly .....