The editor called me into his office this morning. I hovered nervously in front of his desk, heart sinking as I realised he was scrolling through my court reports on his computer.
‘Sit down for feck’s sake,’ he barked.
I sat in the chair across from his desk.
The phone rang, but he didn’t pick up. Michael peered in and went away again.
The head of the advertising department stuck her head in the door just long enough for him to growl ‘piss off, I’m busy. ’
I sat and sat, until I felt I couldn’t sit for a second longer and then he settled back in his padded office chair, tapped his finger against his teeth and said, ‘Did someone help you with these?’
‘No . . .certainly not,’ I answered, feeling an unmistakable thrill at the fact that I was actually entitled to be outraged.
The editor shoved back his chair, muttered ‘right. Let’s go for coffee,’ and strode out into the newsroom, sub-editors and reporters scattering in his wake.
‘MICHAEL!’ he bellowed, and Michael duly appeared from the photocopying area where he’d been lurking.
‘We’re going for coffee.’
‘Right,’ Michael replied. He turned towards the newsroom.
‘Lads – we’re going for coffee. Any problems ring me on my mobile.’
And with that I was swept out the door, into the front seat of the editor’s pale grey Rover, and whisked away to the Lakeside Hotel Breakfast room, where I had a very nice fresh scone with raspberry jam and cream, and two cups of freshly ground coffee poured from a slightly tarnished silver pot.
The editor did most of the talking, between singing snatches of Emmy-Lou Harris and drumming his fingers on the table. It turns out he’s a big country and western fan.
When we were heading back out to the car Michael whispered ‘This is his way of letting you know he’s pleased with your work,’ and I felt a small glow of satisfaction that I’d actually managed to do something right.
I’m still stumped as to who the lady in the photograph I found could be. I know Aunt Dee had dark hair when she was young, and by all accounts, before she became the priest’s housekeeper here, she was a bit of a beauty.
There’s an inscription on the back, but it’s so faded it’s illegible. I think I’ll bring it into the office tomorrow and ask Marie if she can work some of her computer magic on it.