01 March 2013


Today marked the end of my placement at Nursing Times. It feels like it’s flashed past quicker than one of those plastic rabbits greyhounds chase around a track, yet at the same time I can’t quite remember what PMA looks like. I’ve got a fleeting memory of a chocolate caterpillar birthday cake on a desk, but I don’t hold out much hope for that still being there tomorrow.

I liked placement, and not just because of the card and treats I got today. Or because I managed to get an invite to the NT celebratory wedding lunch (the news and production editors are getting hitched in a couple of weeks, I hope they do a story on it).

During the two weeks I've predominantly written features. Well, actually, I've only written features (not saying this is a bad thing, I'm still fairly unsure how I feel about news). This has mainly been through setting up interviews with nurses for the weekly ‘role model’ piece, for which contacts were passed on through other people. So, when I went out of my way to find my own (admittedly, because my little brother used to be a health-care assistant and came in useful for once) I almost felt like giving myself a little pat on the back too for how impressed the editor was that I’d used my own initiative. 

Although, I wish she’d been a bit harder with me in other areas. When I commented that I usually struggle to sign a piece off despite having more than enough time and information to write it, she said she quite liked people like that.

I really don’t need encouragement. You see, I ‘tinker’ so much it’s a wonder my laptop doesn’t rattle with the amount of fragmented words and phrases that I’ve imported, drafted and rejected, and then imported again.

I don’t like deadlines. I prefer ignoring them. Or stretching them to the point that it's touch-and-go whether they'll snap and ping me in the face. It worked for Hunter S. Thompson, but I need to realise I’m not as talented, cool, or LSD-ed up as he was.

Consequence is, I’ve managed to leave with three pieces still to polish off. Let’s not even mention resubs.

Anyway, Nursing Times is a Emap publication. It’s a bright, light, white environment with tea on tap and in which pretty much everyone only works from 9.30am to 5.30pm. Ten magazines (alright, I might have just made that up but it’s something along those lines) are on the same floor, ranging from the edgy fashion rag Drapers to Heating and Ventilation News. Or Weekly. Something like that. Either way, we should really keep Vintage Business going if that’s managed to survive. But, no one really talks to each other across different publications. Ironically, I recognized one of the feature writers at Drapers as I’d served him in Pizza Express back home. I’d almost definitely kept him and his fellow Drapiens waiting ages for drinks then served their prosseco into wine glasses. Needless to say my vague attempts at eye contact to create the opportunity to launch into this tale went unnoticed. However, as I’ve still got his card there’s really no reason not to put it in the contact book…

NB: Do your placement at Nursing Times. 

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