Into obscurity

Longtime readers of HouseGoesHome may remember me frightening a young whippersnapper many years ago at Mamamia by babbling about being a journalist during the Recession.

I was telling her about my evening plans and happened to mention I was having a drink with someone that I’d known forever and somehow the phrase “we met during the Recession” exited my mouth. The young person giggled nervously and parroted “The Recession!” in a squeaky voice and I had the horrible realization they weren’t even born during the aforementioned financial crisis.

Later, I retold the mortifying tale to another young person, who needed an explanation of exactly what the Recession was. And I felt a bit like a tribal elder as I intoned “oh, they were dark times … interest rates went up to 17% … there were no jobs … I went nine months without a single job interview …”

Anyways I made the same mistake this week when I was asked to introduce myself to a new staff member during a Microsoft Teams meeting.

For some reason the words “I’ve been a journalist for almost 40 years” popped out of my mouth.

Most people were gathered in a meeting room and I’d dialed in, which meant I couldn’t see if anyone’s mouth was gaping open.

So I ploughed on and dug myself even deeper into obscurity.

I announced: “When I started out as a cadet journalist you lined up and got handed your pay in an envelope – bills and coins … and they gave you a VDT allowance for working with these new fangled things called computers.”

I have no idea WHY I told a room full of people that.


They must think I’m a total weirdo now. An ancient total weirdo who has somehow been put in charge of the corporate digital strategy for their organisation.

I actually freaked myself out too. I’ve been a journalist for almost 40 years. Far out that’s a long time.

I miss the good old days of journalism sometimes, especially the amazing colleagues I had the chance to work with along the way, who I’ve formed lifelong friendships with in the process.

They keep popping back into my life randomly through the most unexpected channels and we pick up our animated conversations right where we left them off.

People in the media are champion talkers, some of them even talk more than me. Bless them. I’m looking at you Mandy ….

Another former Woman’s Day colleague noted last night that she’d randomly run into five former workmates in the past fortnight. She wondered if it was a sign we should have a reunion. Stay tuned!

Me with some of the Woman’s Day staff when we won Magazine of the Year.

PS That’s me as a cadet journalist at the Newcastle Herald at the tender age of 17 in the black and white photo at the top. We went on a cadet excursion to Williamtown RAAF base before I headed back to work to line up for my $121.60 pay cheque for the week.

PPS Have an absolutely fab weekend, especially if you’re making it a four-day one.

Song of the day: Cher “Turn back time”

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