One of the things I’ve really missed during lockdown is my speaking engagements around the North-East and further afield.

So, many thanks to Sedgefield U3A for booking me for a talk on Zoom this afternoon.

They are always such a friendly, appreciative group and I’m delighted to say that the technology worked perfectly thanks to the expertise of the branch IT guru Maxine Patterson.

My talk was entitled “Have I Got Lockdown News For You” and it was my take on what’s been happening during the pandemic from a journalist's point of view. As always, it’s aimed at being entertaining but informative and with a serious message too.

We even had a "Missing Words" round based on real headlines. They included the headline ??????? ENDS IN ACCIDENT. The winning suggestion came from Gillian Bowman with "UNPROTECTED SEX". The real answer was SAFETY MEETING but Gillian's was far better.

Hopefully, the audience enjoyed it although I very much doubt it was as entertaining as watching the members coming on to Zoom, one by one, and working out how to get connected.

The most frequently uttered phrases were:

* I can see you – can you see me?

* Which button do I press again?

* Click on the little camera icon down the bottom.

* You need to unmute yourself

We all got there in the end and it was lovely to spend an hour or so in their company. I look forward to the time when I can see them all face to face.

• Any groups interested in a Zoom talk, please get in touch at