Thursday, December 28, 2006

Day off? Yule be lucky

It was great not having to work on Christmas Day. Don’t know why, but there was a tikme when I always seemed to draw the short straw and end up watching the Queen’s Speech on one of the TVs that dangled over the news desk.

The production editor used to say: don’t worry, it’s only a few pages, the night editor used to say: it’ll be a breeze. Nothing ever happens, the facilities manager used to say: we’re laying on food in the room next door.

Most years they were right. Until Ronnie Scott, the jazz musician, died which meant changing the obits page and problems formatting the chess column on the social page weren’t helped when I rang the social sub to find him prematurely pissed.

Then Richard Branson’s balloon made a crash landing in the sea just as we were closing the first – and supposedly only – edition. Four hours, two new splashes and a complete rehash of an early spread later, I left an empty building and got into my car, having exceeded the cheap stay rate at the Canary Wharf by a mile and was stung for an £18 ticket.

A few days later the social sub meandered over and handed me a crested letterhead. It was from Buckingham Palace wondering why our coverage of events at Balmoral was not as comprehensive as usual.

Belated apologies ma’am.

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