Though it seems a shame to leave the bitter cold of a lingering winter, the oodles of work piling on my desk, the threat of bird flu even, I’ve decided to blow my holiday entitlement on a month long trip to California.

Accompanying me this time is my not-so-glamourous assistant, Pete, my trusty Moleskine (notebook to Hemingway and Chatwin) and a number of Biro pens.

Expect witty field reports, acute observations and, ultimately, bitchy comments about my travel buddy, Pete, as we venture on a journey across the state, through the Nevada desert and into the longest period of time I’ve spent with a single person.

How will we get on for a month? Who will flip first? Where is my red shirt? Just a question for myself there. But stay tuned for answers to the other two. And more besides.