As the great David Bowie sang - change can be unsettling, but also refreshing. 

I've been asked to give a talk at the wonderful Exeter College next month.

I've done this for several years now, always on the theme of journalism, and it's always gone well. 

So it would be easy, safe and effective to do the same talk all over again. But this time I'm going to change it. 

Why? To reflect what's new in life. 

Much of the reason I left the BBC was to try something different.

Work in the private sector. Work in the power circles of London. Teach at one of the world's greatest universities.

In short, to challenge myself. 

I've already learnt a great deal in the few months since I departed dear Devon. And I want to reflect all that in the college talk. 

So instead of lecturing about journalism, I'll be talking much more broadly - yes, about the terrific life of a reporter, but also the many other worlds I've had the honour of mingling with. 

Great researchers. Business people. Politicians, civil servants, lawyers, medics, so many wonderful minds. 

I started writing the talk yesterday (over a beer in my favourite Cambridge pub, you won't be surprised to hear.)

And it came out with so much energy and enthusiasm I was both surprised and delighted. 


Why are you looking at a picture of a gang of pelicans? Because here's one of the delights of my new life.

I've been doing some work with the Civil Service, in the heart of London, right next to St James's Park, where these hoodlums live. 

I make a point of going to see them every time I'm in London working, and they're a joy to watch. 

Ok, they'll never quite replace my beloved gang of geese in Exeter (although don't tell the pelicans that.) 

But for me they're a little illustration of the delights you can find if you gather your courage, take the plunge, and try some ch-ch-ch-changes in life.