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Correspondent&#39s week

I drift into consciousness to the strains of Bridge Over Troubled Waters.

It is still dark so it must be a weekday – it is, it is Monday.

Within minutes, I am rehearsing my speech for the Women&#39s IFA Group Award dinner. I say speech but the four other finalists and I have been asked to speak for only three minutes, hardly an endurance test. I stumble on the second sentence so give up the idea for the time being and concentrate instead on Sarah Kennedy&#39s blonde jokes.

The dinner is looming large over this week&#39s activities. The dinner and award mark the culmination of Wig&#39s first full year.

By 7.30am, I am on the A50 heading towards Leicester. It is a big day for Hornbuckle Mitchell. Steve Hornbuckle, who started the company in 1982, is stepping down as managing director, so lots of changes and I am becoming a shareholding director

The board meeting goes well, which means I have time for the usual accrued phone backs before the presentation on the changes to the staff, which is then followed by dinner for everyone.

Tuesday brings meetings with two clients.

The first is a client whose small self-administered scheme I have looked after for the last eight years and also advised both him and the company on various issues.

He has just completed the sale of the company and I am advising him where to invest the proceeds. It is hard for him to come to terms with the fact that money is now finite and understandably he is concerned about the volatility of stockmarkets and whether they are going up or down.

After a comprehensive discussion, he is ready to invest.

The second meeting is an annual review.

Back in the office on Wednesday and lots to do with client reports, emails, dictation and, because we are moving offices tomorrow, I want to get the contents of my office crated before the end of the day.

Two of my fellow (male) directors offer to give me a hand with any heavy items – an offer that coincides with a sighting of a Glouc-ester Old Spot on the Manchester flight path.

On the way home, I drop off my crates in my new office in our wonderful new barn conversion.

Or it will be when the builders have finished it – completion has been delayed for the second time because of Murphy&#39s law, the one that governs the relationship between 10-ton diggers and underground cables.

The plan for Thursday is to work from home, keeping out of the way of the removers – rumour has it they are closely related to the digger driver. This means I can work without interruptions – heaven!

Then, together with “he who I very occasionally obey”, head calmly for the hotel and dinner venues via London City airport with time for a couple of rehearsals on the way.

The dinner is held at Cabot Hall in Canary Wharf and we arrive promptly at seven for champagne cocktails that are served in the gallery overlooking the dining hall, where a string quartet is already playing. It is a truly stunning setting. As more of the 250 guests arrive, it becomes apparent what a tremendous amount Fiona Price has achieved in such a short time.

It is good at last to meet the four other finalists, having read all about them. I have decided which of them I think will win. I have also finished the first of my self-imposed limit of two glasses of wine. Then we move down to dinner – a first-class meal followed by three excellent speakers.

Now it is the turn of each of the five finalists to say their piece after which a quiet voice – Fiona&#39s – announces that I am the winner and I really do not believe it. Lots of hugs, handshakes and champagne later, I fall into bed.

A ride on the Docklands railway for a morning meeting of all the Wig Regional Co-ordinators, I am the North-west co-ordinator and it is the first time that I have met most of the others. We achieve a lot in terms of shared ideas and are all very enthusiastic about the future of Wig going forward.

Then it is back to the new office in the afternoon to celebrate my win and the fact that the underground cables are still intact.

Viv Belcher is a director of Hornbuckle Mitchell


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