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Correspondent’s Week – Bruce Love

It is quarter to three on a Friday morning on the Millennium Bridge and beyond the sheer physical need to get somewhere warm where I can rest and sober up, I am consciously aware that in eight hours, there are two important things that need to be accomplished.

The first is to get myself to Belgium for a meeting at the Brussels Press Club, where Invesco will launch its campaign for a more lenient European regulatory structure for collapsing funds.

The second is to file this Correspondent’s Week copy before Money Marketing cries foul. Needless to say, knowing my former MM colleagues as I do, the latter seems slightly more urgent than the former.

There is a brief moment – lurching and swaying over the Thames – where I toy with the idea of taking a cab home and filing some copy tomorrow afternoon after a good sleep – making it look like I have been to my meeting in Brussels – but then I realise that there is more to be gained by going and doing the job properly than by skiving.

For anyone who knows me even in passing, you would not be surprised by my momentary lapse of reason. But if ex-MM news editor Corey Boles thinks he has found a “proper job” by getting up at five in the morning, then an all-nigh-ter followed by a quick kip at the Eurostar terminal before a 6.30am train should be easy.

It has been a long week. I did not mean it to happen this way and to mimic myself, “It’s not my fault”, as I’m told I always say. But things slowly started getting out of hand last Friday night and I have been playing catch-up ever since.

My goal that evening was to have a few quick beers and get home in time to rest up for the long week ahead. Tuesday and Wednesday in Frankfurt, Friday in Brussels and plenty of work in the office seemed more than enough to cope with without sleep deprivation and perennial hangovers.

But enigmatic MM editor John Lappin seemed to have other plans for me and before I knew it, we were spending the wee hours at an 1980s’ dance party in Islington, att-empting to pick up girls with our booze-dulled wit andenthusiastic dancing.

Saturday night, perplexed about my previous evening’s failure, I meet up with the usual crowd – Boles, Chris The Boy Duncan and Bright Grey PR Mark Locke – at a Camden Town gig where Lansons PR Rich Winder was headlining a night of local bands.

After the gig, a night of Texas holdem poker relentlessly continued my losing streak of the previous night.I am down by 10, which seems to have gone completely into Duncan’s ever-growing stack of chips.

On Monday night, it is darts with MM’s Gary West and James Phillipps and Fund Strategy’s Adam Lewis. The final score leads me to believe that darts – as with poker and picking up women at 1980s’ disco nights – is a pursuit in which I am as on top of my game as I thought.

Tuesday morning out from Heathrow to Frankfurt, I leave the failures of the last four days behind me.

After a day full of meetings, introducing myself as the new editor of European Fund Focus, I relax over dinner with the president of the European Fund and Asset Management Association, a beer with my German stringer and late-night drinks at an Australian bar in Frankfurt, aptly named Yours.

But by Wednesday afternoon – back in London and filing expenses – I am starting to feel the pain of constant sleep deprivation. Even under normal circumstances it is hard enough to sort through a wallet full of receipts, subtract the money spent on cartons of Gauloises and work out the exchange rate for euros and Swiss francs.

By Thursday night, my nerves are shot to pieces. No substantial sleep since the previous Friday, drinking Bollie at the Royal Exchange with a senior bank executive, I almost fall apart when it is disclosed that my drinking partner is the stepson of my fav-ourite playwright.

The overlap of business and literary society in this country really freaks me out at times. But digging deep and remembering a few good words from the Gospel Acc-ording to St Hunter, I take it in my stride and feign nonchalance.

At 10pm that night, I get a phone call from long-time mate and Nuts mag sub Bobby Badman who informs me I am on the guest list for the Nuts one-year anniversary party at Trash nite club in Wardour Street. “Bruiser, get YR ass here quick. Free cocktails and pg3 models”Seconds later I am in a speeding cab West End-bound, vaguely aware that this could turn out quite ugly considering I have got a 6.30am train to catch. Never mind. I am a professional.

Bruce Love is editor of European Fund Focus”I thought it was Santa in a sleigh but it was the Pope.” – Aifa’s Fay Goddard on sightseeing in Rome.

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