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Correspondent&#39s week

Sir Cliff Richard, as always, describes perfectly what it is like to be a personal finance journalist in the summer. It does often feel like we are all going on a summer holiday, considering the corporate entertainment offers.

Last week I managed two days out of the office in Lisbon for England •

Croatia and then another at Wimbledon. Admittedly, it rained all day in SW19 and I never got out of the Keith Prowse hospitality tent.

The England game was tough as I struggled to repress the natural Scottish response of laughing when the Croatians took the lead. And again when the English began chanting “3-1 to the Ingerlund” just as the plucky Croats made it 3-2.

But, still, it was not exactly breaking rocks in a hot sun so this week I am going to work every day. All five. Oh yes.

That means sternly rejecting an invite from Virgin Mobile to go to Henley and also one from Invesco. It is tough missing out on my favourite sport of rowing but everyone has to make sacrifices.

The only problem of focusing on work at this time of the year is that not a lot is actually happening. Just like the Christmas lull, which every year gets earlier, the summer lull now seems to start in May and last until September.

There are only so many times you can write about travel insurance and holiday money. About once suits me.

The press releases continue to flood in and the email inbox keeps filling up but we are not exactly drowning in stories. Of course, that is when the skill, ability and experience of a top personal finance journalist come into play. So it is over to my inestimable colleague, John Husband.

Through Monday and Tuesday, in between checking pages for the current week, we manage to construct a packed, bustling agenda for the following week. There are BT price cuts which still leave the phone giant pretty expensive. There are Government plans for a shake-up of red tape on dentists&#39 charges, which is not only a hideously mixed metaphor but also means higher charges. And there are threats to sharesave schemes, uninsured drivers and pound-cost averaging.

The bare cupboard is now groaning with a cornucopia of goodies and we are looking good again.

So, on Tuesday it is safe to go out for lunch with Rebecca Mayo, Amy Fisher and Laura Cronin of Lansons. Rebecca and Amy assure me that they were the undoubted hit of the entire PIMS cruise, with people fighting to get to their seminars.

They also tell me it was a quiet weekend of hard work as like-minded professionals met to focus on the challenges facing the financial services industry. The only scandal they can report is that the unstoppable Kevin Carr of Lifesearch drinks Malibu and pineapple.

I have to speak to him the next day – it is a legal requirement for personal finance journalists to phone him at least once a month – and he does not deny it.

By Wednesday I am quite enjoying this working lark and there is also the Tube strike to add to the sense of tough manly endeavour.

A firm of IFAs which shall remain nameless – all right, it&#39s Chartwell – chooses the day of the strike to come to Canary Wharf to see John Husband. They are late, unsurprisingly, but battle through and deliver with a good story.

Then the week comes to a quite incredible peak on Thursday as the Money Marketing Top 100 of Power & Influence In Financial Services is revealed. And, yes, it is Mirror Money at number 68. It doesn&#39t make us Gordon Brown and that is a good thing.

Admittedly, it is a sobering 38 places below the Mail on Sunday but it is still a full six places above the Daily Mail and 12 ahead of the BBC. The rest of the week passes in a blur of power and influence.

It&#39s Malibu all round.

Kevan Reilly is deputy personal finance editor at The Mirror


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