I know it's Christmas and I am meant to be writing you messages of good tidings, happy greetings and well wishes, however, it's the week before Christmas and one of the busiest of the year for local newspapers. 

Throw into the mix that the schools have seemingly broken up a million days before the actual event this year (that's an exaggeration, they broke up on Friday), then it's a wonder I can hear myself think, let alone edit seven newspapers and write a 600-word column. 

However, here we are, please forgive any typos, bad grammar and rogue sentence structures. 

The Christmas frenzy is well and truly upon us, and it feels like I am constantly chasing my tail, always with a vague feeling that I have forgotten something, somewhere. Cards? Check. Wrapping paper? Check. Sellotape? Check. Presents? Check. Sanity? Errrr... 

However, with Christmas comes staff parties. After being on hold for Covid, and then socially distanced, this year the staff do is officially back. And there have been some great events over the past few weeks. Each of my centres held a staff outing - Winchester, Basingstoke and Salisbury. 

All three were great fun, but all were wildly different, and all of them threw up surprises. 

In Winchester, we went to the Bishop on the Bridge and had a lovely meal. The staff there were so excellent when one of our party felt ill (not through booze I might add). They all deserve a medal. 

In Basingstoke we went to the Leisure Park, after employing our first young reporter this year, we wanted something inclusive and fun - so it was off to the bowling alley and then Beefeater. Both were excellent, and our young reporter surprised us with her unusual but effective bowling technique, now forever known as the 'Lola scuttle'. 

Salisbury was probably the most memorable, but not for good reasons. We went to the Ox Row Inn for a traditional Christmas three-course meal, all was going well, we had eaten our food, pulled our crackers and were enjoying a few drinks when the table next to us found out we were from the local 'rag'. 

They were less than pleasant, and for a table of directors, it was quite surprising that many of them wanted to have an actual fight with the local newspaper.

They were upset that we had reported on their company's failings. As a major company in the area that the public relies on, we often receive complaints about this firm, and to be honest, we could write double the number of stories that we already do on them. We only write what the public tells us, and if the readers of the Salisbury Journal are queuing up to tell us about how annoyed they are at this company, then it's our duty to follow up and highlight poor service. 

Interesting - but not surprising - that after a few glasses of wine/sherry, grown men in highly paid positions feel like they can showboat. Little did they realise, they were just shooting the messenger. No matter what they shout at my reporters, who are just doing their jobs by asking questions, their service will remain poor unless they listen and start doing something about it. 

There's an easy way to not make headlines - and that's not to do anything wrong. 

It did raise an interesting point though, about the abuse that we get in our jobs. It's not something that's widely talked about in university courses - that taking a reporting job can be pretty thankless. 

A recent survey of 1,200 UK workers by CV-Library on the least trusted professions, puts journalists second, behind politicians. Third were car salesmen. 

Apparently, it's our lack of morals (pardon?), greed for money (have they seen how little we get paid?!), unreliability (probably because we are always working) and irritating nature (OK, this one may be true) that sets us apart. 

For anyone following the national PPE scandal involving Michelle Mone, I hope this has shown the importance of journalists asking questions. She has now admitted that she lied to reporters when she denied repeatedly having been involved with a company that made millions of pounds in profits from UK government PPE deals during the pandemic.

Despite her lying to the press, journalists uncovered the truth - and hopefully, the public can see that by lying to the press, she also lied to them.