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Correspondent&#39s week

Christmas is all around at Canary Wharf, home of the Daily Mirror, as artificial trees have been put everywhere over the weekend and the central atrium is festooned with strange pine cone and glitterball arrangements.

It is terribly festive unless you are at the FSA, which has not yet joined in although I am sure there is loads of goodwill to all.

Monday also marks the third day of English Rugby World Cup celebrations and even Scots like me must rejoice. There are only another 36 years and 362 days of gloating until next time, assuming the 1966 pattern is repeated.

Christmas and Jonnymania dominate. We make attempts to put tinsel on stories and find excuses for using a Jonny picture. It is our proud boast that we had the first Santa pic in all the national newspaper personal finance pages – on October 8.

But we peaked too soon. Christmas debts, loans and credit cards have all been done, some of them three times.

This week there is a Christmas competition with Bradford & Bingley and a guide to saving £1,400 by Christmas shopping online. The day passes checking page proofs, dreaming up more Christmas stories and searching for the Jonny excuse.

There are, of course, two emails from the world&#39s busiest press office – the Liberal Democrats. Their press officer Greg Simpson is a perpetual motion man and I salute him.

Tuesday means more page proof checking and drawing up the list for next week&#39s Mirror Money. And, yes, there is a Christmas cracker of a story about how people do not check insurance at the festive season because they are too busy shopping.

There are also two emails from Greg. One bemoans the UK&#39s low productivity rate. That must exclude Greg.

Still no idea on how to work in Jonny. Public liability insurance stopping kids playing rugby does not hit the target. My colleague Anna Day has to leave early to go and see David Bowie with David Elms of IFA Promotion. Yes, that is how they spend your money. I cannot complain as I saw Tracey Chapman earlier in the year. Yes, David Elms was there too.

Wednesday is Mirror Money day but, more important, it is the midweek paper review on the indispensable Headline Money. Roger Anderson pronounces our lead story, written by me, as “not the most scintillating”.

He is right and pessimists would take that as a criticism. However, I believe that Roger thinks all our stories are scintillating and this one was just slightly less scintillating.

I have lunch with Scottish Life&#39s Alasdair Buchanan and am there on time at 1pm in the restaurant First Edition. Alasdair is early but we do not meet till 1.20pm as the restaurant put us at different tables, with him upstairs and me downstairs. Still, we get a free glass of wine, which sets Alasdair up nicely for the Money Marketing boat party that night.

Wednesday is also the Queen&#39s Speech, with potentially massive personal finance significance from home sellers&#39 packs, child trust funds, pension reforms and gay rights. But as they have been extensively trailed for years, it is impossible to even fake interest.

Greg is unstoppable, though, with three emails denouncing everything. He is back on Thursday with two emails and I try to emulate his productivity by doing a spot of journalism.

Jonny is in, thanks to an Accident Line survey about luck and personal injuries. Obviously that involves Jonny because everyone feels more optimistic and therefore luckier after his heroics. Everyone apart from carping Scots.

On Friday morning, my wife phones to say I have got a speeding fine through the post. An hour later, she is back to say the washing machine has blown up. Even Greg has abandoned me.

Kevan Reilly is deputy personal finance editor at the Daily Mirror


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