Time to move on: 1500 Sundays will never be the same
NO more dogs barking while I try to work on Sunday. A familiar environment to plan ahead. Welcome face-to-face contact with colleagues.
I was eagerly awaiting my return to The Queensland Times office.
Sadly, that isn't planned now as we move into the new phase of QT history.
Working remotely has become the new norm.
While I'm proud of what has been achieved in lockdown the past few months, I had hoped to again continue my Sunday morning drives into work to prepare for the busy day ahead.
It was a ritual I had performed more than a thousand times since starting my sporting career at Queensland's oldest newspaper. In fact, I calculate I have worked about 1575 Sundays at the QT office in Brisbane Street.
While I've regularly ventured from there to cover games around the sporting fields of Ipswich, the QT newsroom has been my little working sanctuary.
Often noisy, sometimes eerily quiet but always a place to get lots done. Especially with tight deadlines and sport in full flight.
How quickly pleasurable experiences can change.
With the last QT being printed on June 27, it's time to embrace a digital-only future that will continue to provide comprehensive Ipswich local news and sport.
It will be challenging without a number of my fine colleagues who have also served the city so well. Their loss to regional journalism will be significant.
However, as sad as I am for them, I know they have the skills and dedication to find new employment moving forward.
The digital-only QT team preparing to soldier on from next month is rich in Ipswich knowledge, passion and pride.
The team loves the place their live and work in and will no doubt keep providing regional coverage that no-one else can. I hope Ipswich people support us, by securing a regular subscription, to keep our marvellous city on the regional map.
In sport, I will endeavour to cover my many rounds as much as possible, something I have missed in recent weeks.
I will be back on the proverbial warpath every Saturday and Sunday following a host of sports and sourcing entertaining and relevant stories from the wonderful Ipswich sporting community.
Those exceptional qualities were showcased in last week's special online series on my top 35 Ipswich coaches at:
Moving forward, the digital world will provide more opportunities to recognise and honour the Ipswich sportspeople making a difference.
Unfortunately though, it won't be regularly from my favourite little working corner, close to my beloved printer and near a kitchen that is like a water cooler - so many real life stories are told there.
Sundays will never be the same.