Finally! A morning where I actually slept all the way through to my 6:30am alarm call. Conversely, I felt even more knackered as a consequence. Despite several presses of the appropriate button, I managed to avoid any repetitive snooze injuries and was heading south in the Yeti, combating the drizzle by 7:15am.
Not sure whether the rain kept a lot of commuters at home but the A1 was considerably clearer this morning than the past three, allowing me to get used to the little Škoda 4×4. I won’t spend much time talking about the Yeti here, but I think I may have a new favourite.
I’ve already got into a nice little routine when I get to Bauer’s offices: up to the magazine floor, get logged on, coffee made and then spend the time poring over a variety of news sites ready to work on Thursday’s News Watch feature. Quite a fruitful day for stories too, so there was a range to select from.
Then I had time to study the notes Ben Pulman had left for me regarding the embargoed story I mentioned yesterday. Clearly now, you may have put the timing clues together and realised it was about the facelifted-for-2012 Audi A4 range and all its S4 and allroad derivatives. Reading it online, I was satisfied to see that Ben had simply tweaked a couple of sentences and added in a link to the similar story from a few months ago when the A5 was released.
The next task Tim (Pollard) emailed me over was a press release from Honda about a guy in Maine, USA called Joe LoCicero, who had become something of an internet sensation. The reason? He owned an Accord in which he’d covered a million miles. Certainly makes Banger Does Britain look a little lame. I set myself more of a speed challenge with this one, researching the back story and building a story out of the (brief) press release. I’m sure seasoned pros will laugh at the slowness but I was pleased – just under an hour had passed between Tim’s initial email and it appearing on the website. I also allowed myself a little Honda model name punnary within it… Apologies in advance.
I’d also learned a lesson from Sarah-Jayne Harrison, CAR’s web producer – she’d gently told me off the day before for sending her all the photos through without any direction for how I wanted them to be assembled to support the story. Made amends today, though with the high-mileage Honda story.
Once this was done and online, I was downstairs in the archives looking through back issues of CAR for a very specific range of photographs. Now, all jobs will inevitably have duller downsides and this was undoubtedly it for this week. Normally I love looking through old magazines but this was essentially a scan of the contents pages looking for specific requirements. Unfortunately, after almost four hours, it turned out to be a bit of a wild goose chase, with not enough material being available for the planned task. I can’t say what the task was in case a variation of it is still used in the future, but sadly the knock-on effect was any hope I’d got of writing some related copy for the magazine evaporated. C’est la vie.
Final writing task of the day was editing a piece about the Audi Urban Concept written by CAR lifer, Georg Kacher. He’d driven a working prototype of the Frankfurt show car and had produced a review that appears in the current issue of CAR Magazine. I was asked to edit it down a little and make it suitable for the website – it won’t be published until tomorrow though, but have a look out for it then.
As it transpired, that would be my final writing task of not only the day, but my whole CAR experience. Tomorrow I’m out of the office all day helping out with the driving for a four-car photo shoot. Gutted on one hand I’ll not be back at the coalface but on the other, not many work placement folks get to go out on shoots.
Ben produced a plan of who would be taking which car, meaning that after just a day, the Yeti’s gone home with someone else until Friday evening when I collect it again. In the meantime, I’ve got this Volkswagen Scirocco. It’s one of the four on test, alongside… Well, you’ll have to wait until tomorrow’s diary to find out. Before I could go though, Ben wanted check out my driving in the sporty VW to ‘check I wasn’t a nutter’. I guess I must have passed, by virtue of driving like a pensioner.
I managed to grab five minutes with Tim before I left to talk about how things had gone over the week. It’d be a somewhat unseemly to go over the details of the conversation, but I could almost feel my head swelling such was the positivity. Knowing I’m writing to a standard that’s considered good enough to think about a career change has left me a lot to ponder.
Brief this evening I’m afraid as I’ve got an early (5am, ouch!) start tomorrow to get to the rendezvous point.
Summing up Thursday? Disappointed that my office-based spell’s over but really looking forward to tomorrow and feeling on quite a high about how well received my work has been.
CAR Magazine logo © Bauer Media, all other images © Keith WR Jones 2011