Haven't you heard? It's all been changed

Tuesday, February 1st, 2005

When I go off tonight for my evening shift, it will be the last one I do for a couple of months. I'm scaling back at the Indy from four nights a week to just one, Saturdays.

While this will put a spoke in the wheel of my ongoing research into all-night petrol stations (I can't tell you how sick I'm getting of Wild Bean Cafe cheese and red onion paninis) it has a lot of advantages.

The biggest one is that it clears space to work on a two-month project for a small communications company on rather better money. This will be a relief, as I am in debt and just had to surrender ten years'-worth of savings to the tax man. How long ago seem the days when I was giving £20 notes to deserving beggers, paying tax bills out of my current account, and sending relatives off on holidays abroad! Only a year ago, in fact, but it seems a lifetime.

Another advantage, of course, is that I get to sleep at night and be awake during the day. After last night's shift I got to bed at about 5.30am and woke up at about 3pm. This is not my idea of fun.

It's not farewell to the Independent – hopefully I can go back to more shifts after the other project finishes – but it will be a welcome break.

In other stuff, my old deputy headteacher, who was up before the courts on numerous charges of abusing boys in his care, has been convicted on six or seven of the charges. I haven't seen the reports, so I don't know which ones or what happens next, but I gather that when it comes to sentencing there are mutterings about his age (70) and frail mental health being a factor. We'll see…

For those who asked, my grandmother is now recovering after an operation to put a metal plate in her hip following her fall. Hopefully I'll be visiting her again tomorrow – I went a few days ago, before the operation, and she was doped up to the eyeballs and not at all herself.

Today, in my very limited time awake, I ran the car through a car wash to get rid of the layers of Cornish mud still plastering it. I love drive-through car washes, have done since I was a child, but you don't see them so often these days. It occurs to me after today that possibly the reason why is that car radio aerials no longer retract as far as they used to – certainly ours didn't, as a result of which it snapped like a twig.

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I'm Andy Darley. Sometimes I want to say things. This is where I do it.