I saw just the tail end of this, a little bit

Finally, a story that, while strictly speaking has nothing to do with language, deserves repeating. It comes from an obituary of long-time Daily Mirror journalist John Knight, a noted bon vivant of Fleet Street.

He once went on a three-day lunch and on his return to the office was asked where he had been. “On the piss,” he replied. “Oh thank goodness for that,” said his editor. “We were worried in case you were ill.” Ah, truly those were halcyon days.

Not on Fleet Street but in some work I did for a few advertising agencies. Monumental lunches where no food was eaten….

7 thoughts on “I saw just the tail end of this, a little bit”

  1. Yes, in my father’s day you could turn up at the office at 10am, spend the morning sexually harassing your secretary, have a three-hour boozy lunch with clients then spend the afternoon on the golf course. Now it’s starting at 8am, mandatory diversity awareness courses, breathalysers and sandwiches at the desk.

    And is the economy growing any faster?

  2. Sounds vaguely immoral in the current ‘woke’ era but so true: a 12:30 to 16:00 lunch wasn’t unusual, with another session in the evening. You could go missing for days. Used to kid each other we’d never make 40, yet unbelievably here we are (the fortunate ones). In the old days it was the principal way to foster relationships and garner information. Crawling home back of eleven, up and out by seven. It’s what everyone did in their 20s and 30s if they wanted to succeed. Then again I guess it depends what you determine to be ‘success’.

  3. Recall asking my father why he hadn’t been around a little more when I was a kid. Working ten hours a day wasn’t exactly unusual in his day either.

  4. Bloke in North Dorset


    Working Saturday morning was accepted as part of the normal week well in to the ‘60s in some industries in the north. If my parents hadn’t moved during the summer the grammar school I was slated to go to also worked Saturday morning, although Tue and Thurs afternoons were sport.

  5. Ayup.

    My school near Oxford had Wednesday and Friday afternoons for within-school team competitive sports (with sports-as-exercise twice a week after the last period), an extra period Thursday afternoon, and four periods every Saturday morning.

    Aye, life were grand.

  6. @BiND “Working Saturday morning was accepted as part of the normal week well in to the ‘60s in some industries in the north.”

    ‘broken time payments’ was of course the reason for the split between the north and south into what became rugby union and rugby league.

  7. Working Saturday morning. My father worked in an insurance office in the City of London, I remember him working one Saturday morning per month in the early 60s so the office was open but clearly not much demand for a full level of staff and the commuting time would have been significant for half a days work.

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