It had not been a good day for George. in fact, predictably, it had been a very bad day. The oil strike wasn’t going as well as hoped. Shell had filled up all of their petrol stations well in advance and most stations had enough fuel for four days, the length of the strike. Although there were a good number of panic buyers as he had driven through West London earlier in the day – there weren’t enough. TV film crews may have put some serious panic buyers off by doorstepping drivers as they filled up. George’s mood had brightened momentarily on hearing that another strike was planned for the following weekend. It was time to offload the position he had taken.
George turned his attention to the news that The Irish had voted ‘No’ in the referendum and called his friend Hugo, the City lawyer.
Ring… ring… ring…. ring….
George: Hugo it’s George. Just lost a fair bit on oil trades, lost a bet on the f*****g Irish referendum and Caroline is seeing her ex-boss again to finalise details about returning to work.
Hugo: Sounds bad, Sounds good…. won’t it be good for your financial planning if Caroline gets back to work… profit not cost centre… as it were?
George: Sure… but the downside is that her Mother is going to be about the place a bit more to look after the kids. I’ve offered to organise a replacement nanny, but Caroline wants her mother to help her, not an au pair… so game over on that one. At least Katja had a sense of adventure.
Hugo: OK… so you shagged the nanny… fine. Surely you don’t pay your mother-in-law?
George: Pay my mother-in-law for a shag? Of course not…
Hugo: George…. Not even you would shag your mother-in-law. I meant… surely you don’t pay your mother-in-law to babysit.
George: We do…. minimum wage plus tube fare each way…. cash.
Hugo looks at his watch, glances at the papers on his desk, glances at his screen to see five emails incoming, raises his eyebrows and sighs.
Hugo: Incoming. Need counsel’s opinion on something… urgent. Got to go.
George sits back on his chair. Most of the guys have left the floor. A small team working on pork bellies or some godforsaken US concoction are in a huddle about twenty yards away.
Ring…. ring… ring…. ring….
George: Two…. yeah… usual bar.
George took a cab to a bar nearby, made a quick transaction and headed off to Chelsea to see who was about. The cab pulled up outside The Builder’s Arms about half an hour later. He would pick up the car tomorrow. The Bar, as usual, was crowded… but there were some good looking women in a group in the corner. As George came out of the gents and walked back to the bar he saw Katja reading an email on a Blackberry…..
Complete with some rather good music….