It's a fact. I can prove that all the time and relativity theories are wrong.
For years, the great academics, scientists and mathematicians of our time,
and indeed the great forefathers before them, have convinced us all that
there are 60 seconds in every minute, 60 minutes in every hour and 24 hours
in every day.
This is, without question, a load of tosh. I can prove without question
that, from the age of 30, time moves at a completely different speed to
those who are younger. I am mostly the same person I was five five years
ago, with a few improvements, I hope. When I look out and view the world,
it has not changed that much.
The countryside is still luscious and green, the birds still sing and it
rains all the time. It is amazing the observations that can be made while
stuck on the M25. However, and here's the scary part, my features have
started to change so quickly it is like sharing a bathroom with a stranger.
A: My stomach (overnight it seems) has grown into something that a
furniture maker would be proud of. The ergonomically designed contours make
a great place to balance my wine glass, a feat only made possible through
years of training.
B: Because of fashion, I used to lie on the floor to do my trousers up –
now it is out of necessity.
C: The conversation at the hairdresser's has changed. It is no longer
about the parties I am going to, no no, it is now about the different
shades of highlights in my hair. Another way of saying grey – she's very
However, the thing that really got me thinking about the passing of time
was the two new members of staff at our head office. They were born in –
wait for this – 1981. Arrgghh!
But I've only just left college, I exclaim, I'm still young and trendy. I
can still hear them laughing at that one. “You're old enough to be our
dad,” they say.
Oh lummy, it's actually happening to me. As much as my youth is maintained
inside my head, the outside indicates I look like their father. The cheek
of it all.
What was I doing at their age? Oh yes, I was a yearaway from joining this
great industry of ours, all by accident, of course.
I can't say I lay awake at night as a child in Norfolk planning my career.
The burning desire to get into financial services was, to say the least,
undiscovered at that time although, interestingly enough, I did meet
someone recently who did lie awake at night, he was that excited about the
prospect of becoming one of us, or at least I think that is what he said.
My first job in financial services was in the City. I was so well
“trained” I ended up selling myself not one but three General Portfolio
variable investment programmes. Doh!
It is scary to think back to the days before the Financial Services Act.
Thank goodness it arrived, the way people used to be trained was a farce.
By the way, I would like to point out that I did not work for them
Did you see the Panorama programme on the May 22? Who should have special
mention but General Portfolio. It appears that every time there is a
programme about misselling and bad practice, it gets attention.
And what individual should pop up again but Mr Patmore, ex-General
Portfolio head of sales. Bless him, he must be under the impression that
people really don't like his style.
He may well have his initials interwoven into his hall carpet (allegedly).
He may well have a business card that lists him as an author, music
publisher, motivational speaker, management consultant, pilot, personal
development consultant and international telecoms consultant but does he do
a good job?
I am sure he does. After all, he appeared to be champing at the bit when
he was asked to participate in an interview on Panorama. Or maybe not. I
wonder what he is doing with himself these days?
Time is indeed a funny thing, the older you get the more your memory seems
to fade, not for everyone but for some. You see, some of us will always
remember the bad things that happened in the past. A chameleon may be able
to change its appearance but it is still a chameleon.
Mark Howard is managing director of Maddison Monetary Management