5 live's Backpackers Guide to the Eurozone
Three weeks inside the security bubbles or 'secure zones' of the party conferences can be an unreal experience. Coming and going feels like leaving the country. "Have you got a laptop in that bag, sir?" "Can you take your belt off please?" The security rigmarole of getting in and out tends to mean you stay in. 'Civilians' in the outside world can feel distant.
Where else would the offer - shouted at arriving conference goers - of a "Breakfast Event with Andy Burnham," for instance, command such attention?
And yet this year, at all three conferences for the three main parties at Westminster, there was an ever present, unnerving sense.
An unnerving sense that politicians - like the rest of us - are riding an economic
rollercoaster, and no one quite seems to know where it's going, let alone how to stop it.
Never before have I heard the delightful word 'Eurozone' so often. So we thought it was time we gave it a proper look, across a week of reporting on 5 live.
As I type I am surrounded by hastily washed - and gloriously un-ironed - shirts from the conference season suitcase. They are going straight in a rucksack, and I'm off to Greece.
In a blaze of numbers with lots of noughts on and brows with lots of furrows on, this situation in Europe can be baffling.
So what I am interested in is the real stuff we can all relate to. First stop Athens, then Milan, then a long train journey to Frankfurt, and then Brussels. I'll look at public opinion, business, economics and the political debate, but also drill down into unemployment, debt, the average wage, even the average lunch break.
Here's my first report:
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I'll be reporting for Pienaar's Politics, Breakfast, Shelagh Fogarty, Drive, Tony Livesey, Up All Night and Double Take. I'll also be writing for the BBC News website and here on the 5 live blog, and you can follow my progress on Twitter too.
Chris Mason is 5 live's Political Reporter - you can follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisMasonBBC