I USUALLY looked forward to my newspapers at the weekend.
A rare chance to pore over them at leisure, rather than the frantic burst of activity which greets each morning during what we journalists otherwise recognise as office hours.
But not today.
This morning I don’t care much for Glasgow’s bloody gangland feuds, or allegations made against footballers or actors.
Nor for the tittle- tattle on the back pages, far less the business pages I usually reach for first.
It all seems unimportant, trivial.
No. Instead the only paper I am interested in seeing is the Sunday Mirror.
A paper which gave me weeks of badly needed work when I first moved to London, one which is still staffed with many friends and former colleagues made during my time on its sister titles at the Daily Mirror and Sunday People.
And one which is still grieving the loss of its defence correspondent Rupert Hamer.
Rupert was a popular and influential member of the team. Armed with a razor sharp wit, a healthy dose of smarts and a winning, handsome smile, he strayed into places others didn’t dare tread, bringing us the news from the front line.
But he was no maverick. He was married with three children, so not one to take unnecessary risks. God, how hard will it be for them this morning to pick up the paper?
A paper packed with photos and tributes to their man, ‘Corporal’ Hamer.
It makes for emotional reading for all lucky enough to have known him, to have laughed with him, to have drank with him and to have admired his work.
Even his newspaper ‘rivals’. Friends around the dinner table again once the various papers were finally to bed.
Yesterday, pulling together this week’s special edition, it won’t ever have been lost on his colleagues that at precisely 2.34pm, seven days would have passed since the moment he died in a field hospital in Camp Bastion.
Yet they will have been used to his not being in the office on deadline day. That was his job. They would simply wait for him to call.
One I spoke to last week said simply: “Nothing else matters this week.”
In many ways journalists are like a family, bonded by the work they do. So today if you are reading any reports from the frontline, spare a thought for those out there doing their job and loving every minute of it, just as Rupert did.
Better still go out today and buy the Sunday Mirror, show some solidarity with those still reeling from the loss of one of their own.
Read the agonising detail from photographer Phil Coburn who survived the blast which killed his best friend.
And learn about an extraordinary man, doing extraordinary things, killed in a manner which is sadly becoming all to very ordinary for far too many like him.
· Shaun Milne previously worked with the Mirror, Sunday Mirror and Sunday People.