Yesterday I went to the Job Centre. No, not to sign on, but to record an extract of my story “The Department for Recycled Men” which I will be reading at the Edinburgh Book Festival on 11 August (Spiegeltent, 4pm). As Colin Fraser led me at top speed through a labyrinth of corridors and rooms, I reflected on how much more fun my current visit was compared to my last one. Forest use a couple of rooms in the now defunct Job Centre. The interior is as disjasket as it used to be in its DHSS (yes that long ago) heyday but is now home to a variety of interesting projects including Forest, The Welcoming, Write Here, Write Now and an art gallery. It is great that the building is being used. It could do with some voluntary receptionists however as anyone without a key has to be met and escorted during their visit. I might as well have been blindfolded for what I managed to gather of my route from front door to Forest.In fact I’m surprised the building has not been purchased by the armed forces to train soldiers who have to tackle operations in densely populated cities.