Right, here I am. I've put on a very fetching sensibly collared blouse in a man-made fibre and muted tone. My hair is sprayed and I'm sitting on a winged chair next to a little table and a tasteful bunch of flowers in colours that contrast nicely with my shirt. The lighting is soft and the camera doesn't shake. I said, the camera doesn't shake. Cue bland uplifting orchestral theme...
Hello and welcome to Ellen's Monday Moment.
The world is a busy place, isn't it? Everyone rushing around like mad, too busy to pause and have a bit of a ponder. Well here's your chance for a dollop of tranquility in a hectic schedule.
This weekend my notoriously elusive attention was caught by one or two things that got me thinking.
The first was a story written by Melanie Reid in the Times. I don't really know Melanie, but I've long been aware of her and I've worked with her lovely husband. Melanie fell off her horse a couple of weeks ago and... actually I'll let her tell the story. But here's her first piece of writing since and she had to dictate it from her hospital bed.
Then I came across a new blog. In blogging terms, it's like the most tender shoots of an exotic and fragile plant. It's written by a 32-year-old woman whose husband died earlier this year. Three beautiful posts in Badwidow, I hope your writing soothes your pain.
Then I happened upon Radio 4's The Reunion yesterday morning. Sue McGregor had brought together some of the people who were there when Thomas Hamilton burst into the gym of a primary school in Dunblane. Although I've read much about the events over the years, teacher Eileen Harrild's account raised the hairs on the back of my neck.
All of which has stood to underline the fact that everything can change in an instant. Melanie fell off a horse, blog lady's husband died and a lunatic picked that moment in 1996 to unleash his brand of hell. There's almost no point in the hows and whys - from time to time, life just does this stuff.
Before all this stuff popped up, lovely Rachel had asked me to write a post for her blog, Really Rachel. I wrote a list of the things that are still on my Big To-do list.
Here's where the camera zooms in and I take off my bifocals, fold my hands and squeeze out more sincerity.
Folks, my message from this Monday Moment is get your finger out, you never know the minute.
And here's what the credits will roll to.