In case you are wondering, dear reader, how this column came about, you have Tech & Tech’s Kim North to blame. It was she who, meeting Sam Shaw, Esther Shaw and myself at an industry gathering, said: “You three Shaws get everywhere. You go to all the parties. You are like the 3am Girls. You ought to write a column.”
And so we did. Yes, of course, it was very silly and contrived the after-hours antics of three women who coincidentally share a surname and what provincial intermediaries thought of our escapades can only be imagined. However, the column soon became essential reading in some quarters and getting a name check became a badge of office for PRs.
The highlight of our time writing the column must have been our nomination for trade paper column of the year at the Headlinemoney Awards earlier this year. We were surprised and delighted. The low point must have been trekking miles through West London to an event I had not been invited to and did not especially want to go to at a venue I could not find but thought I ought to attend to gather material for this column.
My most disconcerting moment must have been the time I was picked out in a crowded bar by an IFA I had never met before, who said he recognised me from the cartoon at the top of this column.
My most scary moment was the time I was ill in bed with tonsillitis running a temperature to rival the centre of the earth. Having not left the house at all the previous a week and just when I was considering calling the editor to ask to be excused writing that week, I received an email saying that one fellow Shaw had not yet returned from holiday and the other one had already departed for her vacation and had forgotten to file so please could I write the whole column. I did.
So that’s all, folks.
Columns written: 65, including this one, and I contributed to all of them, even while on holiday.
Thanks due to the editor for giving the Shaws the opportunity to create the column: copious.
Tears shed on being told of its imminent demise: countless.
Good wishes to the next incumbent of this august slot: many.
Esther Shaw is a freelance financial journalist
And so the time has come, my friends, to bid a sad farewell to the column that has kept me very much in mischief for the past 60-something weeks. It has certainly been a bit of a rollercoaster and I have loved every minute of it.
That is down to many of you for being part of the stories that made it in to the column (as well as the ones that could not) and for making it very much the Year of The Shaws. Fear not, however, I am not about to get all emotional here but instead I am going to sign off in the only manner I see fit by handing out some meaningless gongs. So sit back, have your champagne glass at the ready and let the awards commence.
Mr Topsy Turvy Award: Lifesearch’s inimitable Kevin Carr, with whom I have fallen over more times this year than I can recall.
Mr Funny and Little Miss Fun Award: Virgin Money’s likely lads Scott Mowbray and Jason Wyer-Smith for congas, cocktails, kebabs and all those late nights.
Mr Brave Award: Aegon’s Mark Locke for hosting countless after-parties at The Chesterfield.
Mr Muddle Award: my old right-hand man and now freelancer Sam Dunn for trying repeatedly to pay for dinner with his PIN number and my debit card. And, of course, for calling Tom McPhail with a query about penguins.
Mr Strong Award: Thisismoney’s Phil Scott for carrying me when I was a damsel in distress.
Mr Sneeze Award: The Mail’s Richard Dyson whose great pollination skills were recently revealed at Summer Swing at Kew Gardens.
Mr Snow Award: Cobalt Capital’s Andrew “Monty” Montlake for that week of japes in Les Gets.
Little Miss Sunshine Award: New Star’s Jamie Legg for his obsession with the weather.
And in the final round of miscellaneous awards:
Most Black Shirts In One Room Award: The Moneysupermarket team.
Most Dapper Attire Award: The Telegraph’s Ian Cowie.
Best Gandolph Impression Award: Hargreaves Lansdown’s one and only Tom McPhailGlasses of champagne quaffed by me: many. Hangovers nursed by me: many. Pianos played at four in the morning by me: far far too many.
Thanks to all who have wined me and dined me, brunched me and lunched me and put me in a taxi home. Until the next time.
Any Out of Contexts or Diary stories? Send them to Diary editor Nicola York at firstname.lastname@example.org telephone: 020 7943 8042