A PR contacts me, having been alerted by google to an article of mine that has just appeared on the Telegraph Travel website, mentioning a client of hers, Le Touquet. She isn’t a subscriber to Telegraph Premium or whatever it’s called and would like me to send her the piece. I don’t subscribe to Telegraph Premium either – not being paid for work is one thing, paying to read it is another – and I have no memory of writing about Le Touquet in the recent past. I am reminded of the time The Telegraph applied my by-line to some alien remarks about a ski resort probably written by that two-headed ski monster Gill Watts.
However, the snippet used as a teaser by Telegraph Travel, beneath the headline ‘Why it’s time to rediscover your favourite corner of France in 2020’ is enough to connect the article with one of mine that appeared in the newspaper two years ago. Whether anyone has taken the trouble to update or check the information contained in it, I don’t know. The Telegraph hasn’t contacted me about the story, perhaps out of embarrassment about the recycling, though I wouldn’t count on that. More likely, if challenged they would encourage me to feel grateful for their endorsement of my work as being worthy of reuse.
Desperate measures, indeed. The Telegraph is not the only one at it.
Last Sunday morning began early, as often happens, when my bedfellow surfaced from sleep for just long enough to hit the radio button and wake me up. Depending on the hour, it’s either the World Service or Radio 4 that contends with the music of light snoring. The broadcasts I hear in this way – until the snooze function turns them off in mid-sentence – are often of great interest, and in this case it was one of Sir Mark Tully’s Something Understood essays.
This excellent programme, much loved by light sleepers among the listenership, has been axed by the BBC on the grounds that it doesn’t involve any shouty comedians and anyway they have enough episodes in the bank to keep the light sleepers entertained with replays, which is much cheaper than commissioning new essays. This one, about institutions, was first broadcast five years ago.
I had not heard it before and was enjoying it so much, I jumped out of bed and raced downstairs to listen properly on my computer’s BBC Sounds app, with pause capability and no danger of interruption from the snooze function.
The bit I enjoyed most was Henry Priestman’s song about redundancy, Don’t You Love Me No More, which I have since replayed many times and whatsapped all over the place. The lyrics may ring a few bells in the freelance community.
Now I’ve got time to think of the positive
If that’s what I got – thanks a lot
I hope my activity has earned Henry a few pence. And does Sir Mark get a repeat fee, I wonder?
See also http://france2wheels.com/oldstory/