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Correspondent’s Week

Cold mornings, arctic temperatures and a flurry of snow can only mean one thing – it is time to train for the marathon once again.

I have little choice but to don my trainers and head for the streets of London as my training schedule dictates “whatever the weather”.

Monday morning is no exception and while the rest of the heaving metropolis crowd on to buses and trains wrapped in ski jackets and pashminas, I make the trek from Fulham to Canary Wharf clad in lycra shorts and a T-shirt listening, somewhat ironically, to Madonnna’s Frozen.

At work, I spend a good hour in close proximity to a cup of coffee trying to thaw my numb fingers sufficiently so I can start typing up a prelim-inary list of ideas for this week’s section.

With this complete, I head over to Canary Wharf’s Plateau restaurant to meet the lovely ladies from the AITC and talk weddings and investment trusts over a warming bowl of artichoke soup and a hot vegetable terrine.

The afternoon is spent researching this week’s fine assortment of personal finance delicacies which includes car finance, overdrafts and the third piece in our series on childrens’ savings.

As Monday melts into Tuesday, I begin writing a savings feature, looking further into just what banks and building societies have to offer those tortured souls more comm-only known as teenagers.

They have, it seems, far more money than I ever had at their age, given that so many of them already own an iPod and the latest mobile phone. I had to wait years just to get a brick.

Hargreaves Lansdown’s lovable Tom McPhail takes Sam and I for lunch on Tuesday. He had already done a lap of Hyde Park in the snow before breakfast that morning. What is it with this industry? Have we nothing better do to with our time?

We talk about Sipps and A-Day and women in finance over some of Sri Nam’s finest offerings and sup a glass or two of wine before returning to Independent Towers.

The finer points of financing your new set of wheels ahead of the new registration plates this week dominates most of Wednesday, with no shortage of motoring experts keen to tell me about the imp-ortance of not succumbing to the polished patter of the car salesman.

On Wednesday night, as temperatures plummet to a level that just is not funny, I reluctantly give in to Nature’s attempts to obstruct my training and foresake towpath for treadmill, running for an hour in the unnaturally warm confines of the gym.

This whole training regime would be significantly further forward had I not taken a week off to rest up the ankle I twis-ted a fortnight ago after falling off my heels at the Brits which I attended with Scottish Widows.

This unfortunate injury was incurred while trying to procure kisses from Chris Evans and Daniel Bedingfield and, more amusingly, involved spilling red wine down McFly in the process. No pain, no gain, as they say.

Thursday passes swiftly writing the week’s news round-up, a hearty stew of stamp duty, gay marriages and my old favourite, child tax credits.

Once all is done and dus-ted, I head out into the cold night to the Battle of the Leaving Dos. My dear old boss Mr Prosser goes head to head with the Mirror’s Anna Day, sending a multitude of PRs into a flurry of panic as they relay between Monument’s Corney & Barrow and London Bridge’s Borough Bar, not quite knowing where to pop the champagne next.

I plump for staying put with my dear old colleagues to drink white wine like it is going out of fashion.

I justify this with the fact that A-Day (Abstention Day) will fall later this month, after which time there will be no more alcohol consumed until I have completed those magical 26 miles. But at the end of all that, there is I-Day (intoxication day) to look forward to and this is scheduled to fall the minute that M-Day is over.

In the meantime, if you want to sponsor my marathon eff-orts, please visit my website at www.justgiving.com/run-esther-run. Your support is much appreciated.

Esther Shaw is deputy personal finance editor at the Independent on Sunday”I used to knit. I made my teddy bear a jumper once. I could not read so I had to do something.” – Mainland PR hard man Andrew Appleyard.

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