Today started with a breakfast meeting with my Umbrellabuilders chief executive, Donovan Morris, and Lester Twomore of the Brolly Lottery Fund. We have a good natter and catch up, which was pleasant enough but for some reason Donovan and Lester insist on having kedgeree. I hate kedgeree. If God had intended us to eat fish and rice for breakfast he wouldn't have invented croissants and coco pops, now would he?
I am a big admirer of the work Lester has done at BLF and its umbrella grants schemes have certainly come a long way from the early days when its reputation was clouded by such harebrained schemes as providing umbrellas for guinea pigs in Peru. But I do take the opportunity, when Donovan nips to the jacks, of ordering Lester in no uncertain terms to keep his greedy hands off the unclaimed umbrella loot. We want this to set up our umbrella bank yet there are rumours that the government has earmarked BLF to allocate it. Lester comes round to my way of thinking, especially once I have held his face over his kedgeree and almost choked him with his flashy tie, and all is back to normal once Donovan returns.
I head back to the office in good spirits, especially as it starts absolutely pissing down with rain. The streets are awash with colourful brollies and it fair puts a spring in my step.
However, there is trouble looming when I get to my desk. Apparently BUBB's trustees have somehow found out that our office cleaner, Kevin Bogg, is my brother. They are appalled that I have been paying him out of BUBB funds. Their concern isn't the obvious nepotism, indeed they applaud that, or that I have paid him too much. They say that by only paying him £2.50 an hour we run a reputational risk of not complying with the minimum wage. I have been ordered to put him on a salary of £6,500 a year (not bad for a few hours a week, almost as much as I get for chairing Umbrellabuilders), which is apparently the going rate for cleaners these days, and hope that the papers don't find out. I am not happy about this and it rather appears that Kevin has taken me to the cleaners.