It's a belief of mine that we all have a sweet spot; a precious place which optimises our creative flows.
For some, it's the great outdoors. Perhaps a walk along a river, through a forest, or on the coast.
Others have more individual, and indeed unusual, sweet spots.
And here's mine -
(Why did I get the feeling you'd already guessed what was coming?)
Yes, of course, it's a pub. In this case one of my favourites in Cambridge, the Champ of the Thames, complete with obligatory and delightful pub dog.
But hear me out. A pub's not just my sweet spot of choice so I can have an excuse to sit and drink a beer or two.
The reason is much more deeply rooted than that.
I was born in a pub. Curiously enough, not so very far from Cambridge.
(Maybe this area just keeps on calling me back - don't you find life has that way, sometimes?)
Anyway, back to the point, which is that there's something about a pub which simply makes me feel at ease.
It seems to tick all the boxes of my roaming senses.
The comforting rumble of conversation, the scent (and taste!) of beer, the smoothly worn wooden seats, the dim, gentle lighting.
And I think I know why -
Because those were my surroundings when I was growing up. In those joyful, carefree days of childhood.
When there were no worries about work, or life, or mortgages, or children, or deadlines, or any of those lurking trials of the adult world.
So it is that the atmosphere of a pub can't help but soothe me, make me relax and smile.
Which are the perfect conditions to help promote the most creative and effective thoughts.
For whatever I might be working on - a new book, some radio comedy, a lecture course, whatever.
The environs of a pub are my universal inspirational companion.
Which begs the question, my dear and long suffering reader -
Do you know where your sweet spot is?
If not, it's well worth having a hunt to see if you can find it.
For both good pleasure, and fine purpose.