Blogging around the Christmas tree

Last Christmas Eve night, as my parents ate around me, I was writing about the floodwaters lapping around Bath city centre for the Chronicle’s website.

This year, I’ll be hopefully sipping whisky in a cottage in Dorset, having been lucky enough to get Christmas week off for the first time in 30 years.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always enjoyed working on Christmas Eve, particularly in the days when we all used to go to the pub at lunchtime before taking the afternoon off.

And there’s always that feeling of smug and sanctimonious superiority to be savoured as you crack on while the rest of the world checks out of the office, school or factory.

But I won’t miss Boxing Days in the office, early starts on New Year’s Day, and the joys of finding a splash for December 28.

It can be a stressful time to be a news editor.

But it usually turns out all right.

Many years ago, in the era of God being a boy and pagers being the very latest technology, and long before websites were even a glimmer in someone’s i-Pad, I was away from our patch on Christmas Day.

As I drove back in within range on Boxing Day, my pager began bleeping.

“Church hit by lightning during Christmas Day service. Story done and all under control,” was the message from the duty reporter.

To everyone working on newspapers and websites over the next few days, may your Christmas be entirely under control.


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