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Correspondent’s Week

This week by Lizzie Catt, Daily Express personal finance writerMonday is a heads-down day for us as we finish features and decide on news stories for Wednesday’s section.

I am focusing on the self-assessment deadline at the end of the month. This is a subject that puts me into a bit of a panic as I have to file a form for the first time this year. I’m trying to practise what I preach and make sure I have everything in order well before September 30 but the form terrifies me.

My colleagues assure me that there’s no need to run for the hills just yet. After work, I manage to put off the tax return with some classic procrastination – finishing all the washing and ironing I didn’t manage at the weekend. The only time any housework gets done is when there is something else I do not want to do even more.

Deadline day for us is Tuesday and a morning of last-minute news and copy-tweaking before getting everything out of the way by midday.

There is yet another child tax credit story as campaign groups warn that the fallout from Government stuff-ups is driving some families into poverty.

Tuesday afternoon is blissfully quiet for us writers but all go for our editors. Come six o’clock they’re still working away, so we helpfully leave them in peace.

In the evening, I meet up with my friend Sharon and head out to South-east London for one of her final wedding dress fittings. I am her chief bridesmaid and the big day is just over two weeks away. I can’t believe the amount of things we need to remember but she is an absolute trouper and has lists about lists.

The dressmaker has done an amazing job and although I cannot give too much away, I think it’s fair to say she looks absolutely gorgeous. Now all I have to do is make sure I don’t stand on her train.

Wednesday is a good day to get stuck into features for Sunday and also a spot of lunch. I meet up with an PR from a car insurance comparison site to chat about a new service and indulge in ridiculous chocolate fondant pudding with orange ice-cream. It must have about a million calories but I couldn’t care less. They are all delicious.

After work, I head home for a quiet night watching gorgeous George Clooney in Goodnight And Good Luck. It is brilliant, although I can’t quite believe how much smoking went on in the 1950s – even by people presenting the news.

I have Thursday booked off. After a pretty lame attempt to jog off the chocolate fondant (surely I’ll need those calories at some point), I drive over to see my friends Clara and Tom, who have just had a baby. Little Freddie does not seem that enamoured with me to begin with but I soon find that lifting him up in the air whilst spouting utter gibberish seems to amuse him. He is only three weeks old, but he has already got all the grown-ups wrapped round his little finger. I am very impressed.

Friday morning is always busy as we make sure everything is finished for Sunday’s section. At lunch time, it has become a tradition to walk over London Bridge to Borough Market – the only place in London where you’ll pay 3.50 to drink a plastic cup of orange juice in a puddle under a railway bridge. The market is always full of frantic people desperate to get their mitts on the last slice of wholewheat, non-bleached, organic flan made with free-range eggs and low-air-mile tomatoes. After several elbows in the ribs, I get out of there with some pretty bizarre veg for the weekend. I am not even sure what it is but figuring out what I am going to make with it should prove a pleasant diversion from the self-assessment form.

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