NEWS never stops in the busy world of the nationals and as such you are always on duty. This hit home to me with an incident at the offices on Friday.
It went like this. We were all called into the office of boss Macca for an update meeting and the subject got on to Kevin Pietersen's Ashes cricket column. After bandying some ideas about Macca picked up the mobile to explain to cricket correspondent Sam Peters exactly what he would require from England's prolific batsman.
"Sam, hi... Yeah wait a minute... just listen, can you speak to Kevin about exactly what it is like to play in a decisive test match at the Oval. You know, how to react to the atmosphere... yeh, hold on Sam... the best way to approach it and how you feel as an England... let me finish, Sam... yeh an England batsman trying to achieve the ultimate glory for your... what?... Oh, yeh forgot... Sorry Sam, don't worry." And the phone went down.
Macca then looked at his surrounding troops, surprised that their forthright leader had been cut off in full flow. "Shit, I forgot," he explained. "Sam's on a day off. He got married yesterday and I have just interrupted his wedding breakfast."
Stark contrast, you will probably agree, with Meeja Wales where you sometimes get the impression the school bell has gone, such is the stampede for the exit at the end of a "shift" for some people.
Mrs R and I are rapidly getting settled in the new house. We are surrounded by packing crates and had to do with paper plates for our fry up brekky on Sunday morning. It wasn't the best way to tackle a plate of bangers, bacon, tinned tomatoes and bread. In fact, Mrs R complained: "By the end of it there was a big hole in my plate."
Nothing new there, I suggested.
This morning we were forced to wait in for Virgin media to connect us with our new broadband, cable and telephone package. Our plan was to go out to celebrate Mrs R's birthday early (she is another year older and wiser on Wednesday) but we had to remain routed to the spot because of the annoying fact an independent courier had been enlisted to deliver said equipment and Virgin couldn't give us a clue what time it would actually turn up.
We did have a light hearted moment though when the bills arrived on the mat. The Virgin Media direct debit bill was addressed to a Mr N Rippleton. Not a particularly rare mistake, I have to admit, and a cross one has to bear when you have a name a bit out of the ordinary.
On opening the envelope and reading the contents, though, I must admit I creased up with laughter. Inside were the details of the direct debit they would be claiming from me.
The account details and the bank sort code were correct but under name it said the account belonged to a Mr Nicolas Gashead.
The person who had taken my order had somehow managed to get my name mixed up with the password I had chosen for my Virgin account. Still, I may well change my name by deed poll - it has a certain ring don't you think?
No objections from the wife, either. "I suppose I'm Mrs Gashead now, am I?" she ventured.