Newsroom Blog

Random Thoughts From 3 Wandering Minds

Welcome to the Newsroom Blog.

By now you'll probably have realised that there are three of us in the newsroom - Ashleigh, Huw & Becky. We'll try and update this as often as possible - but you'll understand that if someone makes a coffee then it's tools down for a bit. You won't find a huge amount of journalism here - it's just random thoughts from 3 wandering minds. Hope you enjoy and feel free to drop us an email.

June 8th - Huw

OK - where did the first part of the year go? They say time goes quicker as you get older but it seems like the  months are just flying by at the moment. So we had the election - lots of fun for us. Pretty much a whole night spent at the Leisure Centre in Luton. It's odd going in somewhere at 9pm and then coming out as the sun comes up - I haven't done things like that since I was a student. Becky has now joined the team so she'll joing our continuing effort to remember to update the blog. Soon be Christmas.

February 22nd - Huw

Went to see Avatar 3D at the weekend. Now I'm not one for sci-fi type films but was basically nagged into going. Got seats right in the middle of the cinema and got set with my little glasses. Now I've seen 3D before at places like Universal Studios so was expecting it to be a bit like that. Also thought I'd get a headache within half an hour. But OMG - totally amazing. Love it! The effects were amazing but the story was a bit of a yawn. In fact I did fall asleep twice in the quiet bits! Roll on 3D TV!

January 28th - Huw

No two ways about it - we've been rubbish at writing our blog. New Year's resolution - sort it out!

There have been a few changes since October. Regular readers will notice that Ashleigh has now joined us. She steps in to the role vacated by Chris Maskery who's moved on to pastures new. I'm also currently recruiting for a replacement for Laura. After 2 years working in Dunstable, she's decided to move down to Wiltshire to work there.

So at the moment it's me and Ashleigh being helped out by our regular freelancers Paula and Warren.

October 19th - Ashleigh

Hi I’m Ashleigh. I’m the newest recruit to the Dunstable news team and currently on my third week here. The past two weeks have been very eventful indeed.  I’ve interviewed Harriet Harman as she visited the GM plant in Luton,  have spoken to various local MPs about events occurring within Hertfordshire, such as the new Bioscience campus being built in Stevenage, and have even met Basil Brush and Bernie Nolan as they glam themselves for this season’s panto at the Grove Theatre in Dunstable! This year’s its Cinderella and, I’ve never been a panto fan myself, but I might pop down to see this one!

So after these two weeks I have to say I’m pretty shattered. I decided to have a nice relaxing weekend being lazy in front of the box. Well, what a time to watch TV. How exciting was X Factor?!! Seeing Whitney back on our screens was great. I did feel sorry for her though when she had a slight wardrobe malfunction. And Cheryl was great too wasn’t she. Not sure about the outfit but loved the hat she was wearing. From X Factor to the F1 Grand Prix in Brazil and what a race that was! Jenson Button is the World Champion after coming in 5th and Lewis Hamilton made it onto the podium in 3rd. Never have I seen a race which was as exciting as this one. There were crashes galore in the first lap, a tiff caught on camera between two drivers, and drama in the pit lane! I’ve never seen anything like it!

What a great weekend and a great couple of weeks!

October 5th 2009 - Laura

Well that month flew by! I am writing this at 7.30am and looking out the window it's still a little dark and grey, a sign that Autumn is well and truly here! In preparation for the colder weather I bought myself a new woolly hat. I wore it this morning and it kept me very warm.

I've got a cheeky start of the week day off tomorrow, I am heading home to Cambridge tonight to go to a gig with my sister, and as I have to be up at 4am a late night and an early start don't mix too well. I love watching live music and haven't seen a band play for ages. I have a number of things to look forward to this week, one of them is my guilty pleasure, watching the new series of Gossip Girl. It's an American sitcom set in New York with lots of fashion and trashy story lines - it's great.  

September 1st 2009 - Laura

I can't believe it's September, it'll soon be Christmas and then 2010! I had a lovely long bank holiday as I had Friday off work too. So I headed down to Croyde in North Devon with some friends for some surfing and camping. In fact I attempted to surf Hurricane Bill on Saturday. I've been surfing once before about 6 years ago. I've realised this level of frequency is really not enough. We had a lesson on Saturday morning and our South African surf instructor Rich recommended surfing at least every 6 months to see improvements. So I might try and head to the coast a little more often. One thing I have realised is that cold sea and camping don't help recovery from a cold. Woke up this morning at 4am feeling very sorry for myself. I've been drinking lots of lemon and honey to battle through though!

August 21st 2009 - Laura

Now I don't like to moan especially on a Friday when it's nearly the weekend BUT our hot water tap at work is broken which means a caffeine fix at 5am is a little more difficult. Rather than a kettle we have a heated water system which usually you can just stick your mug under and have a piping drink instantly. But it has been broken for about a week so instead we're using urns. Now this would be okay but at Christmas our engineers kindly make mulled wine or mulled cider which is really tasty but the smell and taste is difficult to remove. So I've been having a cuppa tea with a hint of mulled cider - yum! Anyway rant over. I went to watch Coco before Chanel the other day it is a beautiful film, shot really well, but it doesn't tell the whole story of Coco and leaves out some vital parts of her past.

August 7th 2009 - Laura

It's nearly the weekend. I'm really looking forward to it as this weekend I'm really busy. I get bored quite easily so like having things to do. Although last weekend was interesting as on Saturday night I went out on patrol around Luton with Sergeant Ruth Connelly she's the licensing officer. Funny seeing the night life from the perspective of the police rather than one of the drinkers in the pubs, bars or clubs! One of the best things about being a journalist is the people you get to meet and interview, and this week I got to meet a really interesting couple from Dunstable. Rita and Reg Hedgecock have been married for 57 years and since 2003 they've been sending parcels to British soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan - read the article here. Whatever you think about the war in Afghanistan, seeing the hundreds of letters of thanks from the soldiers who receive these parcels its hard to disagree with what Rita and Reg are doing.


July 24th 2009 - Laura

It's me again - but with a new photo, fancied a change and this is me in action - reporting! It's from a holiday in Kenya, when I visited a couple of World Vision projects. Anyway back to now - I went to see Public Enemies at the cinema the other day. It's the one with Johnny Depp, Christian Bale and Marion Cotillard. It's a great film and you don't even have to know anything about the American gangster John Dillinger. It's set in the 1930s and I love the clothes and style - Marion Coutillard looks effortlessly elegant. I'm now looking forward to seeing the film Coco before Chanel next month - and I'll continue to dream of one day owning a Chanel handbag!

July 5th 2009 - Laura

It's Sunday and I'm writing on the blog, that's because I'm working today! I've had quite a busy week and the best part of it has to be Monday night. One of the engineers here at Heart is moving to Heart Birmingham and for his leaving party he decided he wanted to go wakeboarding. So 20 of us hit WakeMK on Monday night. Now foolishly I expected we'd be able to stand up straight away but no - before your allowed a proper board you have to have a board that you kneel on. I was at a slight disadvantage as I wasn't able to wear my contact lenses so couldn't really see very much at all!! My first two attempts I plunged straight into the water. But then I got a little better and even made it to the second corner of the course before falling off. Despite not making it round the course it was great fun and I can't wait to go again!

June 24th 2009 - Laura

It's been a little while since I posted on here - okay it's been a month - but as Chris said we've been moving. It almost feels like we've always been here, and although I think it might be a little distracting it's much better than being all alone in the attic. Especially in the summer when the attic is unbearably hot! I had a couple of days off last week to go to Southampton. My sister's just finished a photography degree there so I was checking out her final exhibition - and like a very kind big sister took all of her stuff from her flat back to my parents house where she is moving back to for a little while. I am loving this sunny weather been sitting out in my garden after work each night and it is meant to be scorching for the weekend but I'm off to Spain early Friday morning!!

June 9th 2009 - Chris

Well its been a long time since any of us blogged! Thats probably because we've been on the move!! After many years in the 'news-loft' (our own office up some stairs) me, Huw and Laura have now moved down to the main office to join the rest of the common lot here at Heart Towers. Whereas before I had a lovely view of outside, now I have to look at Babs and Producer Tom!! On a totally different topic, I did the Whipsnade 10k on Sunday, not quite the marathon, but we can't all be Laura! I came 337th! If you ran it (or you don't believe I could run 10k in 55 minutes!), all the results are here.

May 18th 2009 - Laura

Last week I thought summer is here - I had my first BBQ of the year, homemade burgers, chicken kebabs with courgettes, mushrooms and pepper and sausages, then I had my first strawberries of the year. And I was looking forward to having my first pimms this weekend, but it just didn't seem right with the rain outside. I know us Brits like to have a moan about the weather but surely this year we can have a hot summer. Last June we ran a week full of stories focusing on the credit crunch, a year on and things have just got worse, so I expect lots of us will be planning to holiday in Britain this year, so surely its only right that we should be able to see a little sunshine as we save our pennies!

May 11th 2009 - Laura

Waking up at 4am in the morning is not natural. As Chris is away this week I'm covering his breakfast shift. I like to think I'm a morning person but this is very early morning. Hopefully I'll get into it as the week goes on.

Anyone who is revising for exams I totally understand what you are going through. This year not only did I decide to do the London Marathon I also decided to do a GCSE in Spanish. I had my Spanish oral exam on Saturday and I was so nervous building up to it - had been revising lots in the evenings when I got home from work and reciting my presentation as I drove to work every day. I'm not sure how I will have done but I couldn't believe how quickly the time went and how much Spanish I spoke! I've got a listening exam this week and reading next week so it's back to the books for me later. But as I'm working the breakfast shift I think I'll enjoy the sunshine and revise in my garden!

May 8th 2009 - Chris

In just a few hours I'll be at the start of a holiday adventure! I'm going to Marbella for a week and I can't wait! The only slightly bizarre thing about the trip is that my friend Mary bought the week in a villa from a charity auction, which means it's me, my girlfriend, Mary and 5 people I've never met! Its gonna be a bit like Big Brother goes abroad. I'm also going to have to do that very British thing of talking louder and waving your hands about, as I can't remember any of the Spanish I learnt in school. Anyway, I'll let you know how it went when I get back, I really should go and pack a suitcase. Adios!

May 6th 2009 - Laura

So I finished the marathon! Just to clarify it hasn't taken me a week and a half to finish it, it's just taken me this long to write about it. I have to say it was one of the hardest things I've done. I think the photo proves that I think I look a little tired! Physically I think I was fit enough and was going well to 17 miles but then mentally I found it challenging. I hadn't prepared my willpower for people around me walking. My brain just started telling me to join them. So I didn't end up doing it in the time I wanted but I did finish and raise lots of money for a charity I believe in, the Alzheimer's Research Trust. Now I haven't rushed to sign up for next years event but I'm not going to say I'll never do it again. And I might even be joining Chris in a 10k round Whipsnade Zoo next month! 

April 29th 2009 - Chris

Well, as promised I thought I'd let you see the tash I grew for my friends Stag-do! The slightly embarassing thing is that I was the only person who grew one!! It was also strange how people walked past, then do that 'did I really just see that' double-take. Hilarious! I have now gone back to being clean shaven(ish) but I have another stag do in a few weeks where a tash is compulsory, so I'd better get growing again!

April 27th 2009 - Huw

Well Laura managed to finish the London Marathon in a fabulous 4'59" - I recorded what was coming out of the "red button" yesterday and think I found her crossing the line. It was really inspiring watching all those people running from the comfort of my own couch. I do love the nutters as well - one thing Britain does really well, is produce ecentric people. Saw one bloke dressed as a donkey and another one as a 10 foot high nurse - excellent! Can't imagine that happening as much in the New York or Berlin marathons some how. Great weather over the weekend as well - in fact so good yesterday I took full advantage of it and went to the cinema. Saw "State of Play" which I thought was a bit dull!! Controversial, but there it is.

April 20th 2009 - Laura

Just a quick note from me today to say, Chris has got rid of his beard! It’s back to just a little stubble again; it looks a lot tidier which perhaps is a bit of a mumsy thing to say. But the full beard just looked scruffy!

I think Summer has arrived it's feeling really stuffy in the newsroom. We're in the attic and so in the winter it is freezing and come summer we're sweltering! 

April 16th 2009 - Chris

So I’ve grown a beard, not an unusual thing to do, but it’s divided opinion in the office, I mainly grew it because 1) I couldn’t be bothered to shave, and 2) I’m going on a stag do this weekend and intend to shave it into a comedy seventies moustache!!

Even though there is a reason for it, I still really like it; I may grow it back after the stag do. My favourite comment so far is from Laura who said, in an amazed voice – “has your girlfriend seen it?” She may as well have just said – you look awful, I can’t believe anyone would go out with you. Unbelievable. So I’ve done a quick straw poll around the Office – 1 person (me) thought I should keep it, 1 person (Huw) couldn’t care less, and 10 people think I should shave it off!!!

Well, I’m keeping it for the tash (photos soon), but then it looks like the razor’s coming out.

April 16th 2009 - Laura

I thought it was about time I should put my thoughts into our blog. So I have the pleasure of sitting opposite Mr Chris Maskery and since coming back to work on Tuesday, after the Easter break, I’ve noticed he’s looking a lot hairier. He normally has a little bit of stubble going on which I guess is expected as he has to get up at some unearthly hour to read the breakfast news bulletins, and I expect it’s too much hassle to shave.

But now he’s got a full blown beard going on. I’m not sure whether he’s getting ready for the festival season or perhaps it’s because he likes surfing and is getting into the summer beach bum attitude. I hope it doesn’t last long; it’s a bit off putting!! I’ll try and get him to put a pic up here so you can see what it looks like.

April 9th 2009 - Chris

If you want an amusing image to cheer up your day, imagine me and Babs trying to play Squash yesterday. I've only ever played about 4 times, she'd never played at all, there was several points where we couldn't hit the ball because we were laughing so much! Still -I thought we were pretty good, Gaz reckons he's amazing though - watch out Mr Wesley!!!!

On a totally different topic, do you know what really annoys me? Satsumas ands Tangerines that have 'easy-peel' on the pack but when you try to get into one it's the fruit equivalent of Fort Knox. I got over my embarassment of being a 28 year old bloke and having to buy Oranges with High School Musical all over them simply because they were easy peel, now , sitting at my desk I've got about 250 peices of peel over my keyboard, orange fingernail and my fingers are covered in the orange juice - there's barely any fruit left!! Serves me right for trying to be healthy (I've given up eating chocolate for Lent - can't wait till Sunday!).  

April 7th, 2009 - Huw

Nearly Easter - you've got to love the number of Bank Holidays in April & May. Seems not everyone does though - had a message on Facebook from Poppy down in Hemel - she's bored with the hols 'cause she doesn't get to see her mates at school. Personally I can't wait to get away from the 2 deadbeats I work with in the newsroom - I think that comes under the heading of things I should keep in my head and not type. Oh well, I'd better delete it. Funny how everything is getting more and more web based these days. Check out this article from The Guardian on how things are changing with Twitter in the newspaper world! Enjoy. Click Here

April 2nd, 2009 - Huw

Got some Michael Jackson tickets - off eBay. They seem to be getting cheaper. When they first went up there was a huge mark-up - in fact I saw some for £15,000. Now they seem to be around £100 each. Not too bad when you consider they were selling for £75 with a £9 booking fee. Never really understood that booking fee. On holiday once, a hotel added a "convenience charge" to my bill and couldn't explain what it was for. Why don't they just add it in to the price? Saw a booking fee of £2.50 on a £17.50 car park space at the O2. Think I might try it with my wages.

31st March, 2009 - Huw

Finally I get to drive home from work in the light. I love the end of March when the clocks go back - it starts to feel like we all made it through another winter! Would love to believe all the stories I've seen about this year being a scorching summer - it seems the logic is that if we have a rubbish winter then we get a great summer. We'll see!! I do know though that it's set to be warm by the end of this week. Roll on the weekend.