I love a leaving do don’t you?

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This week we said goodbye to our editor Nigel who has gone to work in Norwich – I suspect he’ll have the added advantage of getting friendly with Delia Smith.

Anyway we had a buffet (no quiche but a selection of hot samosas instead) and a couple of sherries in the Lord Nelson to mark the occasion.

Speeches were made and hands shaken.

I was particularly amused by the great tradition in the newspaper industry of making a special front page. I have a couple on my wall in my miniature-second-bedroom-cum-study in my small Felixstowe flat with sea views (distant).

Of course, the occasion got me thinking about myself – though I rarely need an excuse – and all the wonderful leaving do’s I have had from all those bizarre jobs I have done over the years.

My first ever was from Harrods where everyone I worked with bought me moisturizer and exfoliant – perhaps they thought I had bad skin – and some cut glass crystal wear which I’ve still got.

Someone also gave me a long cigarette holder which I thought odd at the time but has since come in handy fancy dress-wise.

Anyway, after speeches were made – I think they asked me to remember them when I was famous – we popped along to the Duke of Gloucester, a pub on Sloane Street – I wonder if it is still there – for a few drinks. I don’t remember much after that apart from an overriding sense of relief.

Incidentally, it was during my time at Harrods I became interested in journalism – partly because I used to serve a very pleasant lady who Lord Lucan visited the night he disappeared.

A few years later I was on the Isle of Man, where I worked in international banking where I lost so much money on a currency deal I had to be taken aside and asked if I had muddled up Hong Kong dollars and Turkish Lira.

In the end I knew my future needed consideration after I fell out with a client who was a UN ambassador or something and wanted to call me back as he was having lunch on his yacht and I said that wouldn’t be convenient and could he tell me his mother’s maiden name or I shall put him on hold to Handel’s music for the royal fireworks.

By the time I left that job – they gave me the slightly odd combination of a hairbrush and a bottle of port – it was everyone else who displayed an overriding sense of relief.

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