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Correspondent’s Week

As most personal finance journalists – well, most of the female ones anyway – were invited to a screening of Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason last week, I felt it fitting to write my column in something approxim-ating the style of Bridget’s first diary.

MondayAlcohol: One glass of wine (g)Cigarettes: 7There is something so nice about being the last one to leave the house on a Monday morning. Waking up to realise your alarm clock is not going to go off for ano-ther hour is definitely one of the major perks of working on a Sunday paper.

Monday morning at the Sunday Times is spent looking for story ideas to suggest to the editor Naomi Caine. Then it is off to lunch to try to pick up more leads over a couple of courses and maybe a glass of wine. This time, it is an Apacs roundtable lunch on the roll-out of the Chip and Pin card payment system.

Due to some rather over-enthusiastic meeting organising on my part, I am back in the office for only a couple of hours before I have to go out again, this time to J P Morgan Fleming to meet the manager of the firm’s Russian investment trust. That done, it is off to kickboxing to work off a few of the calories picked up over lunch.

TuesdayAlcohol: One Bellini and several glasses of wineCigarettes: At least 20 (poor)My lunch with Tesco Personal Finance is cancelled, which is something of a blessing as running around so much on Monday means I could do with some time at my desk. A productive morning’s works under our belts, David Budworth, Clare Francis and I decide to treat ourselves to lunch somewhere other than the News International canteen (impressive as I find it after the Express version). Then it is back to the office to work on our features.

Tuesday night and the Century Club on Shaftesbury Avenue is heaving with pretty much exclusively female personal finance journalists downing a few glasses of wine before att-ending a charity screening of the new Bridget Jones film.

I go with the lovely Abbey team, which showed real PR expertise by managing to find seats in the incredibly crowded club both before and after the film.

WednesdayAlcohol: None (vg)Cigarettes: 7Wednesday is feature deadline day at the Sunday Times so I arrive early for a day in front of the computer. Then it is kickboxing again, where an overzealous new (male) recruit hits me in the face a few times. Sometimes I wonder why I put myself through it.

ThursdayAlcohol: Several glasses of wineCigarettes: About 15After a monumentally frustrating journey during which I feel the brief joy of beating a heavily pregnant woman and a frail old man to a seat on the Tube, only for the driver to say that the train is now going via Charing Cross, not Bank, I finally arrive at work.

Luckily, things immediately improve as I find the copy I had believed lost the previous evening. Oh happy day. In the evening, it is the musical The Producers with the ever-charming James and Anthony from Prudential – great fun.

FridayAlcohol As yet unknownCigarettes: As yet unknownI have pretty much stopped arranging to go out on Friday nights as there is really no way of knowing what time I will be able to leave work. This can sometimes be frustrating. However, after such a busy week, it is a great excuse for a quiet night in.

Jessica Bown is a money writer at The Sunday Times “I’ve been in California and, believe me, the wine there works better than the tablets I’ve been on.” – Premier Mortgage Serv-ices managing director John Malone samples Napa Valley and gets over a recent illness.

The dimple truth: The most sculpted chin in the mortgage market has to belong to Purely Mortgages’ Mark Chilton so much so that the Diary rec-ently mistook him for the cloven-chinned Hollywood star Kirk DouglasUrgent diary, urgent diary stop press. At the last minute Diary has finally received communication from Mr Ghiloni. However it seems his claim is not all the events discussed were actually leaving dos at all. Anyway in his own words:”I have read with interest the diary pieces regarding my departure from Britannic Asset Management and I thought that I should set the record straight. Yes, there have been a number of ‘dos’ so far but these have not been related to the ‘how many leaving nights does one man need…’ theme that you have been running. Rather they have been my acknowledgment of the fact that ‘my audience’ clearly wants me and I do not feel that I can let them down.

At this point in time, given that I do not know what the future holds for me, I have not completed all of the venues for my one man show. There may well be more to come – either as a goodbye or as a celebration.

However, I am sure you are confident the details will be available to you from the ‘sources close to the sources’ when the time comes. Indeed, a picture may even turn up.”

Diary is sure that readers cannot wait to get photographic evidence of your, er, performances. Maybe the Edinburgh Fringe Festival next year. Watch this space readers.


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