Nope, Nothing Happening Here (But Retiring)


Hmm. So Fiction Ed Shirley is “retiring” from “The People’s Friend”. Fiction Ed Karen is “retiring” from “My Weekly”.

At the same time.

That’s all very suspicious, isn’t it? Something has to be going on — something we’re not telling you. Doesn’t it?


Here’s the thing. DC Thomson has always been the kind of great company where people are largely happy and stay forever.

That means a good proportion of our magazines staff are of a certain “vintage”. Staff like me and Karen, although I think she’s maybe two or three years younger than me.

Now, I can’t speak for Karen, but a lot of factors brought me to my retirement decision.

One was a new awareness of how precious and uncertain life is. Not that I have any health issues, thank goodness, but you never know what’s around the corner, do you?

It’s something that hit home earlier this year when we lost a couple of colleagues. One was current, and a few years younger than me. One was a few years retired (early), but still a contemporary who had worked here on the “Friend”.

One of my writers — a fit, robust chap — had the wind knocked out of his sails by a sudden onset of illness. I’ll be honest: it made me think.

Nothing suspicious going on

Mr Fiction Ed has been retired for ten years. It’ll be nice to spend more time with him. (And he will get used to that, eventually . . .!)

Most of my friends are retired. My sister, to whom I’m very close, is retired.

After 44 years of the 9 to 5, and in what is a supremely enjoyable but undeniably high-pressure job, I’m ready to join their club.

Karen will have her own reasons, though I’ll bet there’s a similarity to mine.

But I promise you, there’s nothing suspicious going on.

I don’t want this to be a long-drawn-out farewell, so this is my last post on the subject for now.

For the next three months, it’s business as usual.

For more from Shirley, read her blog here.

Shirley Blair

Fiction Ed Shirley’s been with the “Friend” since 2007 and calls it her dream job because she gets to read fiction all day every day. Hobbies? Well, that would be reading! She also enjoys writing fiction when she has time, long walks, travel, and watching Scandi thrillers on TV.