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Correspondent&#39s week

It is my first day back at Mainland PR after two years at Financial Dynamics and six months travelling the world with my now fiancé. She passed the final test and has been rewarded with the obligatory diamond.

I have been back in the UK for a little over three weeks. Two of those were spent at FD where I had a great two years, made some good friends and worked with some seriously talented people. I am grateful to the company for those two things alone. I hope I have the opportunity to work with some of them again.

I was in the Philippines when I learnt that Neil Mainland was leaving big agency life to resurrect Mainland PR, an agency where I spent many happy days before joining FD. Needless to say, I was intrigued.

Neil is one of the most knowledgeable and levelheaded people in the business. I, and many others, have enormous respect for him, so the idea of joining him at Mainland PR proved too tempting. I handed in my notice and headed off to seek my fortune in the West End.

Reality hits with the Monday morning tube journey from Tooting to Oxford Circus. It is exactly as I remember it – bloody awful. Third World public transport leaves a lot to be desired but it is reassuring to know that things can still be worse at home. Note to self – get motorbike back on the road asap.

I realise quickly that this week will be different. Not only have I come back from six months travelling, I have also changed jobs and Mainland PR is both moving offices and rebranding. Interesting times ahead.

There is a feeling of familiarity about being back at Mainland PR. The Berners Street offices are new but they contain many familiar fixtures and fittings. Kat Milne, whose name many of you will recognise from regular appearances in Out of Context, has already joined from FD. I have known Kat for many years. She is a good operator and I am very glad she is on board.

We are again sharing office space with Ralph Jackson and The Jackson Consultancy. They still do political work in the financial services field. I am sure it won&#39t be long before we are working together.

When not unpacking boxes, I spend my time catching up with friends and colleagues in the industry. Within days my diary is booked up for months.

I also take to opportunity to read. So much seems to have happened in my absence that my biggest worry is I will never get on top of it again.

I bump into Scottish life&#39s Steve Bee and he reassures me that most of it is not worth the paper it is printed on.

I decide to get a second opinion and arrange to meet up with Money Marketing&#39s very own Corey Boles. He is a fountain of industry knowledge and also just happens to like a beer or two. We resume our old position at the bar, trying to avoid talking shop.

This changes when Money Marketing&#39s top man, John Lappin, joins us. He is on remarkably good form but for some reason is dressed as his grandfather. I obviously need to get up to speed on the latest London fashions.

The week ends in the company of FD&#39s Richard Wheat. Over a beer he tells me about a great story he has been working on for the weekend press before letting it slip that he has had some interesting test results from the doctor. Another time.

It has been a fun week and no doubt one of the easiest that I&#39ll have at Mainland PR. There is a great deal of hard work ahead of us and after six months away I am fully recharged and I eager to get stuck in.

Andrew Appleyard is a senior consultant at Mainland PR

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