I have a problem with writers I admire. It is probably because writing is an unfulfilled ambition, but I just cannot behave naturally around them.
So when Anna Pavord, author of "The Tulip" and many other books and gardening correspondent for The Independent newspaper, wrote to say she would like to visit I went into a bit of a panic.
Friends and family assumed that it was that I was worrying abut the state of the garden but no - it was much more serious than that.
I am pretty much immune to celebrity culture - usually I meet "famous" people and neglect to notice that they are "famous" - being on tv just doesn't do it for me.
But writers, now that is quite different . . . either I am propelled into being incredibly boring - and I mean incredibly - I once talked to Adam Nicolson about slugs and ways to exterminate them for a full 20 minutes - or I am reduced to a squeak. Very generous friends have in the past introduced me to Candia McWilliam, Claudia Roden, and Naomi Wolf and have been rewarded by me becoming suddenly mute. They don't bother now.
So my panic was worry about which route I would chose - tedium or tongue-tied.
However - neither happened (well I might have been boring but I kept away from the subject of slugs). Anna Pavord is just very, very interesting and interested - it was a delight to meet her and we shall be in The Independent in September.