On Monday, October 6, 2003 a young trainee journalist took in the view from the window at his new desk overlooking Windsor Avenue.
On Tuesday, July 17, 2012, the same young(ish) fully trained-up journalist took in the same view of Windsor Avenue while contemplating the news that he had to have his desk cleared by the end of the week.
A lot had changed in the intervening nine years. Not least the fact that his view was now through iron bars, a precautionary step taken following the burglary at the Lurgan Mail office in 2008.
Many of you will be aware that the Lurgan Mail has relocated to our head office in Carn.
I knew it was coming, but I must admit when the official announcement was made on Tuesday, the speed at which we were expected to ‘move house’ did take me a bit by surprise. I suppose one advantage was there was no time to dwell on things.
As I write this I’m in our new hub coming to terms with my surroundings. For those who have ever been in the ‘MAIL’ office, the main difference between it and Carn is there’s less stairs and more people.
Personally, what I miss most about our office in Lurgan is not having anywhere to display the sort of junk I wouldn’t get away with having on show at home.
When you become an adult you’re meant to stop putting up posters and hang pictures instead. You’re meant to put ornaments on the mantelpiece instead of toys. And under no circumstances should beer mats be randomly pinned to the wall to ‘lift’ a room.
But my work area was different. It was my space and my rules. It was described as my nest and ironically one afternoon I had to vacate it when a bird found its way into the office and then got into a flap. I’m not great with untamed creatures and I will readily admit I left the scene in a girly panic, returning to find blood on my telephone and feathers on my keyboard.
The blood and feathers have since been removed, and it was with a heavy heart that I returned my desk to its original state in preparation for the move to Carn at the end of last week.
In the desk drawers I was taken down memory lane by a number of souvenirs I’d hoarded over the years. They included a toy giraffe taken from a geocache in Lurgan Park, a letter suggesting Yer Man should run for Mayor, a chocolate dispenser in the shape of an Everton boot (a gift from Clint - he couldn’t get a Leicester one, so he picked another team that played in blue), a handful of Swedish Krona from my trip to Sweden where I had incorrectly assumed they traded in Euro, a photo from the time I interviewed Caprice at Rushmere then offered her a bottle of Buckfast, and a piece of the original gas pipeline which ran under Lurgan town centre (which still smelt strongly of gas).
Asides from feelings of sadness and disorientation, at least the office move has given me the opportunity to use such proverbs as ‘a change is as good as a rest’, ‘all good things must come to an end’, and ‘don’t put all your eggs in one pot then watch it, because it won’t boil’.
Friday was our first day in Carn and upon arrival my first task was to find out where I’d be sitting. Right in the centre of the room was a desk with a yellow post-it note on it which read, ‘GREME’.
Such is my ire at the misspelling of my name, the person responsible for my new desk might as well have written ‘CRETIN’. However once I’d calmed down I spotted an opportunity.
From this day forth if anything goes wrong here in Carn and the finger of blame is pointed at me I’ll be able to say, “Technically I don’t even work here - you’ll need to speak to Greme”.
The answer to last week’s teaser was: Neither of the brothers are correct - if something is cut in half, one half can’t be bigger than the other.
Here’s this week’s teaser: A man is trekking across the wilds of Galway with his wife and two sons when they come to a river they have to cross. They find a boat by the river bank, however someone has helpfully left a note in the boat to say it can only hold up to a maximum of 150 pounds. As luck would have it, the man and his wife weigh 145 pounds each. Their sons each weigh 75 pounds. How will the family get across the river using the boat and how many trips will it take?