London is a different place at 5am. It is definitely quieter, certainly darker and generally more peaceful. I know this because working at Dow Jones I have to rouse my weary self from bed at 5am most days to ensure my arrival in the office by 6.45am so I can string together some words about any market announcements made by the companies I cover.
For those who knew me in what I am starting to refer to as my previous life, it is understandable why they may find their eyebrows inexplicably raised while reading that last sentence.
But it is true, I am up before any rational human being should have any reason to be awake and by the time I used to arrive in the office I have normally done what used to be considered a full day's work.
I cannot help but feel like a proper journalist working here. On any given morning, there are people running around, fingers furiously typing and yells across the room of: “Stop the Press!” Maybe that last one was a bit of an exaggeration. Still, it is a thrill when you finish a story and, after a quick once-over by one of the plethora of editors, it is out on the news wire for the wider world to digest.
Due to the early mornings, I have put myself on a strict three-pint limit (with no accompanying shots) on weekdays and usually find myself heading home on the Northern Line by 9.30pm at the latest. Unsurprisingly, the regular hangovers are a thing of the past and that constant bleary-eyed and slightly sick feeling that tends to come with the territory while working at Money Marketing is a part of my life no longer.
Those who are familiar with my lifestyle are surely past the point of raised eyebrows and are now openly guffawing at the unbelievable nature of these statements but I assure you that it is true.
While my official patch is to cover the UK-listed insurance companies, in my six weeks here I have found myself writing about a wide variety of subjects.
The list so far includes house builders, cement companies, travel operators, hedge funds and something called interdealer brokers or was that interbroker dealers? It is not an unusual situation to find myself interviewing (if that is what you want to call my fledgling efforts) the chief executive of a company I had never heard of five minutes before the phone rang.
This week it was the Dutch subsidiary of a Turkish brewery, which is looking to list on the London Stock Exchange to fund its expansion into Russia and Eastern Europe. I may know a thing or two about how to drink a pint but until this week I knew bugger-all about the brewing industry.
I have so far had three pieces in the Wall Street Journal Europe (part of the Dow Jones family). With the greatest of respect to Money Marketing, Mom and Dad back in Canada try a lot harder to understand what it is I do for a living now. They still do not have a clue but they are trying, bless them.
I have even made my debut on CNBC although it was at 6.30am so I do not imagine anyone I know was watching other than one close friend who not only woke up to watch it but dragged his girlfriend out of bed and taped it.
I suspect his intentions may have been something less than supportive, however. I do not remember much of what was said in the five minutes the slick presenter interviewed me about the impact of the recent spate of hurricanes on the insurance market – a subject I am quickly becoming intimately familiar with. I was more concerned with not stuttering or swearing on live TV.
Gone are the boozy all-day lunches, the Wednesday morning lie-ins, the late-night drinking in various seedy Soho public houses.
Here to stay are wearing a suit to work every day and getting off the tube at Bank Station with the rest of the City.
So this is what it's like to be a grown-up. I must say I think I rather like it.
Corey Boles is a reporter for Dow Jones
”Let us go see the penguins. I love looking at birds in evening suits.” – Prudential PR James Murray.