I'll have to send Mona (who runs the club) a giant box of chocolates for letting me foist Andrew upon her at such short notice. I don't think she's had a tracheotomy herself, so I hope I won't be committing an horrendous faux-pas, though I can't guarantee Andrew won't make up for that when he gets there.
Anyway, back to my arrival at Clays. After a lovely cup of tea, I was given a high-vis jacket - which would have sent Mr Beales into a semi-orgasmic state, but did absolutely nothing for me – and then it was off to see around the factory, with Dave from the bindery in charge of explaining everything. (This is where I get a bit hazy about the order of things. Greg says my brain's turning to mush, but I say it's because there was a lot to take in, all at once.)
The factory's quite noisy in places, but nothing like as noisy as I'd expected it to be, and it's immaculately well-ordered. We had to walk along a fairly narrow track painted onto the floor which is there to keep people from endangering themselves and others, (and which I kept forgetting about and stepping off.)
There were giant rolls of paper everywhere, like these behind Dave from the bindery. (You'd think he'd get fed up with being called that, but he genuinely didn't seem to mind.)
Anyway, first we went through a series of smaller areas, and looked at things like how a check is kept on the colours being used, which is done by an extremely fancy machine I've completely forgotten the name of, but which is pictured below:
Then it was on to seeing how the layout is done for the printing plates (This isn't the one for my book, but for one that mentions Sherlock Holmes, so it should really please all you Benedict Cumberbatch fans. I don't know what you see in him.)