It hasn't been a fun week over at Mirror Money towers, recently renamed Your Money. Yes, the new name makes it difficult to distinguish from every other personal finance section, but definitely easier for dozy PRs who now have to remember one less fact.
Instead of the usual Mirror – sorry, Your Money – section, full of fun facts and delightful stories of personal finance wonders and products, this week we're doing a special on the top 100 richest self-made men and women in the country. In five days.
I somewhat suspect the Sunday Times Rich List gang gets a little longer, but this is the heady world of tabloid journalism so we're working to a very tight deadline. The list itself is actually quite fun, if somewhat frustrating.
All those people who didn't go to university, left school with one Ɔ' Level in woodwork and are now worth a zillion pounds are pretty inspiring, but really irritating if you studied (semi) hard for a degree, got into a tonne of debt for your journalism post-grad course and are now earning about 45p a year. Not that I'm bitter.
Anyway, my team and I make a million or so trips to Companies House, make a few thousand phone calls and do an awful, awful lot of digging, before we finally have a top 100. The section looks great and there is a real sense of “I did that” about it, but I've had about three hours' sleep a night and cry when I stall my car coming into work. It's not good and it's not pretty.
And amid all this frenzy, working life on Your Money Daily has to continue. The personal finance team has just been promoted/ demoted (delete as you think appropriate) to writing the Mirror's daily City page. The others in my team have plenty of experience in this area but I'm a complete novice.
The Reuters machine is my first lesson to master and it's not very easy. I'm usually pretty computerliterate, but this system was built by techy geeks for techy geeks. It's a weird world of flashy things and I'm not happy.
It's also astounding to see the number of PRs who simply don't do their homework. They're calling in with City stories, being put through to our team, and haven't even bothered looking at the page yet. Stupid, lazy people who simply get the dialling tone from me – if they can't be bothered reading our page, I can't be bothered listening to their lame sell-in.
Your Money Daily is an interesting, eclectic column with a splash of City, a dose of PF and a lot of personality. Once it has settled down I think I'm going to enjoy the new challenge of City reporting, and the page itself is already looking much brighter than before.
The Lansons party on Wednesday night is the highlight of the personal finance social calendar. Everyone who is anyone is there, and a few who are definitely nobodies. It's an odd affair, with a heady mixture of clients, journalists and PRs all mixing happily. Well, there were a few cross words dotted throughout the evening but they tended to be journalist to journalist rather than involving either of the more innocent types.
I spend a long time speaking to the delightful Ali Neale from SimplySwitch.com and Kay Gorman, late of Churchill, before chatting to many of the Lansons boys and girls. After the week I've just had, it would seem churlish not to drink as much champagne as humanly possible, so I indulge away. I manage to make the last Tube home, but not without a few stops and stumbles on the way.
The old Scottish trick of Anadin with Irn Bru should be marketed across the world. I may have been one of the drunkest people at the party, but as I type this, not even 12 hours later, I'm full of beans.
Ronan Kelleher tells me that of all the people he has called to invite to an upcoming press event, I'm definitely the liveliest. Probably number one in the top 100, so to speak.
Anna Day is a personal finance reporter at The Daily Mirror
”I cut my hand last week so I haven't been able to do much. I've been living like a student all weekend and it's great.” – NU media relations executive Rob Pell.
Nick Hucker at The Exchange is taking part in the longest cycling challenge…ever. The challenge, to to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Relief, is an 800km cycle in eight days from the Iguassa Falls in Brazil to the Atlantic Coast near Sao Paulo.
Nick has already raised £4,000 for the charity through various events, including shaving off all his hair. So for a chance for him and his gleaming head to weather the trials on the 800km trek, please give generously.