I really like Glen Innes. I really like it. So (I hear you think) why are you leaving? It's for personal reasons unconnected with this rough and lovely town.
What do I like about it? I've met more interesting, funny people here in a year than I met in the previous ten years floating round the world. When I say meet, I mean engaging, hearing your (often) wise thoughts and observations.
This town is a swirl of gossip, and that's good. People talk to me and make me laugh and make me cry. Some front me up in the office. Others smile warmly. It is life - up front life - and it's fabulous.
Being the sole reporter on the Examiner is the most demanding and the most rewarding job I've had in decades. Foreign correspondents usually report second hand, just relaying what’s in the local papers.
But reporting here is genuine journalism. It’s about democracy. Without a local paper, social media poison pollutes the news.
But local reporters - your newspaper reporter - ascertain the truth (imperfectly) as best we can, honestly and without bias. At odd times, the former mayor wasn't speaking to me. At the moment, the current mayor isn't. I have discovered that a reporter can't really have friends. The great corrupter isn't the wad of cash in the brown envelope but over-closeness to people we write about.
I will bat for Glen Innes for the rest of my days. I will defend it, flaws and all. I will sing its praise. And I have every intention of returning.