’Tis the season not for digging in, but for rounding up

SURE, I don't mind the seasonal spirit, and the festive feasting definitely goes down the right way (the speculative PCYC gym membership I've bought to start January 1 is testament to that).

But at this most edible time of the year, what I like best is not the digging in, but the rounding up.

For instance, as I sit here mid-afternoon, just one day before the Christmas public holiday, I'm rounding up.

"Sure, it's 3.21pm - but let's call it 5pm..." and sneak off.

Earlier today, I was jostling around the Gladstone Fish Market - and everyone else was in the same mood.

On ordering two kilos of banana prawns, the girl behind the counter shovelled in a few too many.

"Round it up to three!" was my jovial assessment.

It's the time of year for a bit of extra generosity - definitely to good folks behind the cash register but hopefully a bit more than that, too.

But back to rounding - I started at The Observer in February but I'm rounding up my time to an even year.

And Friday marks my last day.

The decision to jump ship wasn't an easy one.

While Gladstone - and all her news, characters and controversies - has provided a big year, there are still plenty of things I'd like to get to the bottom of.

Like, why do GAPDL's billboards call us the Gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, while GPC's ads insist we're more than 40km from the natural wonder?

You'd think they'd have grabbed a coffee at RockSalt and got their story straight by now.

Also, how do developers figure housing demand will continue to grow when the boom workforce is peaking and Glen Eden property prices dived 40% in the past 12 months? They're staying mum on that one.

But mainly, there's still so many fascinating local people I haven't met, and amazing local stories that need telling.

Luckily, I leave behind a crack team of Observer reporters - and believe me, these enthusiastic young journos are onto it.

And when I say "leave", this is one story that's not a typical Gladdy tale. I'm staying right here to go to an exciting new role with CQUniversity.

Gladstone, in a year this Melbourne girl has had the odd mixed feelings about you. But I'll round them up to love.



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