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Correspondent&#39s View

It is Monday and I am in chaos. This is my first day after an idyllic week on a Wiltshire farm watching pigs snuffle in a trough. Not much change there, then.

My vow to attend the gym fails as I opt instead to sit on the sunny patio and read the papers. I then spend a frantic 15 minutes tearing around the house, throwing aside papers, cushions, clothes and furniture as I try to locate my watch, mobile phone, wallet and car keys.

Eventually, I arrive at our Derry Street offices, which would be refreshingly cool if the air conditioning worked properly. Instead, it is about 77 degrees and smells of old socks (probably James Hopegood&#39s, which are usually left to fester in a plastic bag when he runs in).

I read a few of my 300-plus emails, then decide life is too short and delete the rest, assuming people will have contacted Charlotte Beugge if there was anything important.

By the way, who is this Tilly von Twinkle who emails me every week? Does she wear pink frilly dresses and carry a sparkling wand?

We discuss the major news events of the previous week, the most important being that David Bentley has signed for Norwich on a year&#39s loan from Arsenal. I then settle down to read proofs of pages for this Wednesday&#39s edition. Most pages were put together on Friday but I can make changes up to Tuesday evening. The rest of day is spent editing stories and catching up.

Tuesday morning and we have sent Justin Harper to hear Financial Services Ombuds-man Walter Merricks at the Treasury select committee. Foolishly, Justin has left his cycling gear in the office so we spend a happy 10 minutes stuffing it with newspaper to create a dummy Justin complete with parp, belch and pong labels in appropriate places.

Then I recheck the page proofs and ponder my Last Word column, which takes ages because I find it difficult to get steamed up about anything when the sun is shining and all is right with the world.

It is a reasonably smooth Tuesday until the computer picture library crashes in the afternoon. Eventually, the problem is solved and I leave the offices at around 8pm.

On Wednesday morning we have an editorial meeting to plan the following week&#39s Money Mail. Lunch is at Mirabelle with the first lady of PR, Alison Rolls of Norwich & Peterborough and her boss Matthew Bullock. I opt to stroll through Kensington and Hyde Parks, get lost among the roses and arrived hot and flustered 10 minutes late.

Alison sits next to Matthew so she can surreptitiously kick him if he wanders out of line. Food is excellent and we quaff a bottle of rosé, which blends wonderfully with the tuna, skate and pear tarte tatin. Matthew limps out an hour and half later, rubbing his shins and leaving us to gossip.

The afternoon is taken up with meetings and a pile of more than 100 readers&#39 letters. I always read every one because I firmly believe this is the best source of stories.

Thursday&#39s lunch is with David Cresswell of the ombudsman&#39s office. He reveals that 32 per cent of complaints to the ombudsman come from Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday readers so we are obviously doing something right.

I am intrigued that he once received such abusive letters from IFAs that the ombudsman has been forced to threaten legal action. I wonder if it is the same IFA who suggested my picture made me look like a pixie?

The evening takes me to the Crypt at the Bleeding Heart for a Magnum club dinner (we get to taste seven types of Burgundy) courtesy of John Morgan at Legal & General. The setting is magnificent and we have an impromptu cabaret from the local Catholic priest singing Gilbert & Sullivan (think Father Jack and you will not be far off).

The trellis table threatens to give way by the end of the evening and John gamely wedges his legs under it to prevent 24 glasses of red wine from tipping into Annie Shaw&#39s lap.

On Friday, I have a headache. Must be something I ate. Today, I will be editing copy and planning what will go on which page in next week&#39s Money Mail.

But the highlight will come this evening when my stepson arrives back from university, so I will be out the door with all possible haste.

Tony Hazell is editor of Money Mail at the Daily Mail

•”I have got a Bon Jovi CD that the IFAs might like.” – Bright Grey&#39s Roger Edwards suggests music to accompany the firm&#39s IFA roadshow.


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