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Correspondent&#39s week

Looking back on a week that involved an out-of-body experience, four seminars, over 200 IFAs, 72 virgins, a one-legged man, a TV remote control, a Skoda Fabia, gridlock on the M25, a farm in Dunstable, a cockerel and my daughter&#39s birthday. It was always going to be an interesting one.

Straight to head office in Southampton. Five meetings later, I finish at 2pm and pick up a hire car for travel to Luton Airport. The 6pm Easyjet leaves on time (for a change) so I arrive home at 7.45pm.

My wife and I attend a Burns supper organised by a friend. A very enjoyable evening with fantastic food, haggis, etc, comes to an end with a red wine and whisky-induced out-of-body experience. I would not recommend it if you have not tried it before.

I wake up at 6.30am on Monday and get to work, putting some finishing touches to a presentation on the Green Paper that I am doing with our group pension sales manager (known to his colleagues as DL). I leave at 7.30am for the two-hour drive to Edinburgh. Present to 40 of Edinburgh&#39s finest IFAs before proceeding to Inverness.

Up at 7am on Tuesday to check email, then off to the hotel leisure centre for a swim and steam, as agreed under influence of alcohol the previous night. The average age of the people in the pool is 80. Nobody takes up my challenge for a race.

The seminar is attended by 30 of Inverness&#39s finest IFAs. A story about a one-legged man goes down well and gets a laugh. At noon, we head off to Aberdeen for another seminar. DL drives. At 12.03pm, I decide it was a bad idea letting DL drive.

The 3pm seminar in Aberdeen is attended by 40 of the areas finest IFAs. I decide to drop the one-legged man story and replace it with story about a colleague who tried to make a phone call on his TV remote control on a train. It gets a laugh but not as good as the one-legged man.

On Wednesday, the Glasgow seminar is attended by 108 of Glasgow&#39s finest (you get the idea, it is a Skandia seminar). I notice an entertaining story in the letters page of the morning paper about 72 virgins.

I decide to use it in the seminar but attribute the letter to our senior Glasgow sales consultant. Almost 108 IFAs laugh, one sales consultant does not. He tells me afterwards: “What would I want 72 virgins for?” A valid point very well made.

DL upsets the ladies in the audience with his mortality theory on why woman live longer than men.

Get up at 7am on Thurs-day, brush four inches of snow off my car and drive to Prestwick for a flight to Stansted. I arrive at the airport with a question in my mind – £21 return. How do they do it? Get on the plane, then immediately work out the answer to my question.

Arrive at Stansted and pick up a hire car, a racy Skoda Fabia. Drive to South-ampton for a couple of meetings. They both go well and are extremely worthwhile.

I leave Southampton at 5.30pm for my return drive. I reach the M25 at 6.30pm to find the authorities cannot handle a couple of inches of snow and the result is gridlock. A total of six hours and 30 miles later, I decide that the Skoda Fabia is without doubt the finest car I have ever driven – in first gear.

I give up on the journey and, 30 phone calls later, I have a room in a farmhouse near Dunstable. I arrive at 1am. The nice lady asks: “Have you come far?” Obviously not one for watching the late news.

I go to sleep planning:

1: How to get home on Friday. For my daughter&#39s birthday

2: A red wine weekend.

At 5am, I am woken by the farmyard cockerel. When your luck&#39s not in, your luck&#39s not in.

Billy Mackay is pensions brand manager at Skandia


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