I’ve been a journalist for decades and I’ve written stories on everything from courageous deeds to horrific murders.
I’ve seen the High Street pedestrianised and businesses come and go.
But this is one of the most difficult pieces to write.
Tomorrow, after 33 years with the Fife Free Press, I’m leaving.
This is the only proper job I’ve ever had.
I came to the Press expecting to be here for a few years before moving on.
But then life happened.
I met my hubby and we had our son, then we had our daughter and they started school and life settled into a pattern.
I got to know more and more people in the town and further afield in Kinghorn, Burntisland, Auchtertool and Cardenden and I grew to love the area.
I’ve always loved my job and although it was my choice to leave after being offered Voluntary redundancy, I am going to miss it.
It has been a huge part of my life.
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For as long as I can remember people have known me as ‘Tanya from the Press.’
Now I’m wondering what ‘Tanya without the Press’ is going to be like.
I’m not planning on sitting back and putting my feet up. I’ve still got a few good years left in me yet.
But it’s quite a thought after all this time to go out into the big, bad world and do something different.
For a start I’ve not had a job interview in over 30 years!
I’ve seen many, many changes in our industry – not all for the better.
I must be one of the few remaining journalists who can remember battering away on a huge Olivetti typewriter (it was ancient even back then), before the introduction of the very first computers and all the technological advances since.
It’s certainly a very different job from when I started out.
But at the heart of a local newspaper/online website are the people it serves.
The communities whose stories you are there to tell.
The High Street traders who are struggling to survive; the groups doing their best to make their communities better places; the councils and health boards struggling with ever decreasing budgets and growing criticism from the public and the countless individuals who are doing extraordinary things every day.
It’s a fascinating job and every day brings its surprises.
Many of the people I have met through my work have gone on to become really good friends – the wonderful staff at The Cottage Family Centre and our Maggie’s Centre to name but a few.
I’ve always been an inquisitive person, call me nosey if you like, and it’s going to be difficult not knowing what’s going on in the towns.
I’ll probably still be scouring social media for story leads and interesting tales. The newspaper ink will be running through my veins for some time yet and it will take time to flush it out.
And on one last note I want to say a huge thank you to my many colleagues for putting up with me, to my contacts for all their stories and tip offs and to the many people who have gone on to become friends.
I’m not going far, so keep in touch.