Thursday, March 22, 2012
It's a cheap subbing trick that the sub editor's desk uses when they can't be bothered to think of a standfirst.
But that has nothing to do with chancellor George Osborne and his "Budget that rewards work"; his stern admonition to those wealthy who seek to avoid paying stamp duty on their big houses, "you have been warned" and various Despatches-box banging to emphasise his point that "Wallace and Gromit must stay in Britain".
What happened yesterday was basically a later Budget (he usually stands to deliver at 12 noon on the dot) and 59 minutes (with some interruptions from a rather boisterous House of Commons) later, we had to scurry into meetings/to our desks to knock out the stories. In all we did 20 stories for the paper AND 10 stories for the web - from a team of just five journalists (I wasn't writing).
With all that copy editing, and with various hiccups on the way - from the machine at Marks & Spencer not working at 7:30 in the morning (the time I used to get up, last week, before the Budget planning wrecked my sleeping pattern) through to one of the Panelists being struck with a mystery bug and another forgetting to write their blog and various other minor irritations, I was completely copy blind by 5pm. I literally could not see to look at the screen nor even to look at the printed word. Which for a journalist whose job involves writing and reading copy, this is not a good thing.
Thankfully the Santander press office took pity on our poor team and treated us to Benihana's in the evening - the food and the entertaining and slightly sexually disturbing chef almost banished thoughts of the boy-faced Osborne and his desk-thumpery.
However, it did not quite help.
This morning I was convinced that it was Friday. I sent out a twitter #FF to a bunch of people, most of whom said thank you; one was then convinced it was Friday and got worried that she'd missed a day of work.
I also started telling people I would see them tomorrow (thinking it was Saturday) when it blatantly wasn't and if my jeggings had not been hanging out to dry, I would have worn those to work forgetting that it is Thursday and I have three damn meetings.
Finally, I decided to go for my Friday morning ritual - a Cumberland sausage sandwich on brown bread at the Little Dorrit Cafe. Argle. Now I have to have one tomorrow as well ....
The only reason I can think is that on Wednesday, we did twice the amount of work that we would usually do on a press day and went out and almost died as a result. I think I also dreamt about work, which would add to my time-space-continuum confusion.
So thank you, George, for ruining my week, for stealing more money from female pensioners and seeking to shoo away all the wealthy people from the UK and send them scurrying to the Canton of Uri.
I am sure I am grateful. But you now owe me more than the £171 that the BBC's Budget calculator promises that I will be better off by as a result of Osborne's "working Budget."