After two weeks' holiday, Monday feels like a return to school. First, check sat-chel – whoops, handbag – for mobile, keys, purse and homework project.
Strangely, big boss Tony Hazell is not particularly interested in my essay on what I did on my holidays. Instead, he wistfully gazes at Justin Harper's empty seat (he is on holiday), wondering how he can manage to go for another two weeks without Monday morning's football chat.
Well, he could always try ever-ready Liz Phillips, Money Mail's answer to the Duracell bunny. Even though it is only Monday morning, Liz is already off, hardly pausing for breath. Nope, no idea what it is about but it is like lift music – after a while you do not pick up the words but you would miss it if there were silence.
So, no chance to tell my chums about the hols (Crete, since you ask – very nice but weather not that clever and, please, no more feta cheese ever again). Instead, I turn my attentions to Abbey and Banco Santander and the Spanish tax forms.
Tuesday is even busier. The Duracell bunny has gone hyper and at one point volunteers to write two stories, get the tea and god knows what else. I write about ropey pension performance (is there any other kind?). We are here well past our bedtime.
Wednesday is more rel-axed. Get call from the lovely Tim Cockerill, now of Rowan Dartington, ann-ouncing the birth of new baby Hugh Alfred. Get email from erstwhile Money Mail posh totty Jane Wallace from her luxury condo in Hong Kong. Jane is expecting her second sprog. It is going to be a boy called Tyler. Panic. How has Honkers turned Jane into a Chav?
Jane emails back – fav-ourite names at the moment are really Edward (after Bonham-Carter?) or George (Luckraft?). Phew, I fan myself down with a copy of the Daily Mirror's 3am magazine, Wednesday's must-read.
I have lunch with Berry Birch's Cliff Lockyer. He is half an hour late because the traffic is bad. Yep, that's London, it is always bad.I have been sitting in a tot-ally empty restaurant with only my mobile for comp-any. I have now memorised several of the numbers and I nearly understand what Bluetooth is, hence I am not in the best humour at lunch.
Mr L is in a confessional mood. He admits it was a major blunder to think that no one would be bothered by BBN's dumping of its misselling liabilities on the FSCS. I do point out to him that a man of his many years experience in the industry would maybe, um, have worked that out in advance.
I spend part of Thursday in Harrods with a friend who is buying an outfit for a wedding. She tries on a very glamorous jacket with suitably hefty price ticket. The shop assistant asks me if I have my outfit for the event. I am not going, I snarl. Do not look at me with your commission-hungry eyes, I do not want any life insurance, I cry (whoops, must get back to work).I run out and get lost in a sea of tourist backpackers in the food hall, don't they have food abroad?
I only find way out by remembering that the Krispy Kreme concession is by the exit (you will thank me for that info one day). I get on a bus (full of tourists) which is going the wrong way. I vow never to leave Kensington again.
It is Friday and the office is quiet. Duracell bunny not in yet and I am eng-rossed in this week's Heat magazine borrowed from Tony's wonderful secretary Emma. It is a bit like Nat-ional Geographic – you can discover all these tribes you never heard of and there are plenty of body parts (but less hair and no maps).
I buy lots of cake at lunchtime as it is DB's birthday. Isn't it amazing how some people, even while munching a flapjack, can still express their opinions about pensions/long-term care/Iraq and Paris Hilton's hair-don't. Just imagine what a success DB would be as a multi-tied adviser.
Charlotte Beugge is deputy personal finance editor of the Daily Mail ”I'm not boring, am I? I've trained my parrot to tell me I'm not but even he doesn't say it with conviction” – AMI's Ben Stafford on his ability to reel off complex mortgage regulations.
The Diary has finally had a communication from Francis Ghiloni and it seems his claim is that not all the events discussed were leaving do's at all. Anyway, in his own words:
“I have read with interest the Diary pieces regarding my departure from Britannic Asset Management and I thought that I should set the record straight. Yes, there have been a number of do's but they have been my ack-nowledgment that my audience clearly wants me and I do not feel I can let them down.
“At this point in time, given that I do not know what the future holds for me, I have not completed all the venues for my one-man show. There may well be more to come, either as a goodbye or as a celebration.
“However, I am sure you are confident the details will be available to you from the 'sources close to the sources' when the time comes. Indeed, a picture may even turn up.”
The Diary is sure that readers cannot wait to get photographic evidence of Ghiloni's, er, performances. Maybe the Edinburgh Fringe Festival next year. Watch this space, readers.
Urgent diary, urgent diary stop press. At the last minute Diary has finally received communication from Mr Ghiloni. However it seems his claim is not all the events discussed were actually leaving dos at all. Anyway in his own words:
“I have read with interest the diary pieces regarding my departure from Britannic Asset Management and I thought that I should set the record straight. Yes, there have been a number of 'dos' so far but these have not been related to the 'how many leaving nights does one man need…' theme that you have been running. Rather they have been my acknowledgment of the fact that 'my audience' clearly wants me and I do not feel that I can let them down.
At this point in time, given that I do not know what the future holds for me, I have not completed all of the venues for my one man show. There may well be more to come – either as a goodbye or as a celebration.
However, I am sure you are confident the details will be available to you from the 'sources close to the sources' when the time comes. Indeed, a picture may even turn up.”
Diary is sure that readers cannot wait to get photographic evidence of your, er, performances. Maybe the Edinburgh Fringe Festival next year. Watch this space readers.