I had thought that my journalism days were pretty much over, once I left the newspaper office for the final time. Twenty-five years of it was probably enough for anybody, and new challenges beckoned. But I didn’t reckon on missing it.
Looking back, one of the reasons my dissatisfaction grew with a managerial role is that available time for journalism decreased by the month and by the year. All writing ceased, with the exception of leader columns and the ‘any other comments’ boxes on HR forms.
But journalism is, in essence, what I have done since I left school. When I got my first trainee’s job I couldn’t believe somebody would pay me to go out and have a chat with somebody and then come back and write about it. It’s a wonderful way to earn a living – like being professionally sociable.
Of course, it’s not all a love-in. There are times when people really don’t want you to write about them. I’ve been threatened and even chased a few times over the years.
But generally speaking it is quite flattering for people that somebody actually asks them what they think on a subject, and then takes their opinion and presents it to an audience of thousands, sometimes hundreds of thousands.
So fast-forward to June this year, and my former colleague and the editor of Cornwall Today, Kirstie Newton, asks me if I’d consider writing them a column. Apparently she reckons plenty of folk would be interested in learning more about some of the interests I’ve been banging on about over the years – the chickens, for one, but other things like bread-making, my annual pilgrimage to the autumn hedgerow to fruit for liqueur production. Maybe a spot of fishing. Sounds a bit River Cottage, I guess, but I love doing those things and – guess what – am keen to share them with a wider audience.
I’ll stick all those columns on here as well, as they’re published, starting with October’s magazine which will be out in a couple of weeks.