My introduction to the world of country newspapers came in the form of an indignant, well-dressed woman in a smart green suit who threatened me with dire consequences if I dared to print a story about her driving mishap. Although I was unaware of her little main street bingle, she was fuming in anticipation of some unwanted publicity in the Harden Express.

The Express is a weekly, and I was its recently appointed reporter, subeditor and editor all-in-one, putting to bed eight to 12 pages every Thursday before setting about to clean the office toilet and vacuum the floor.