Chapter 26 – A Rest and a Brutal Return to Reality

I try to call Tim at five. It’s four in London and the lunchtime drinks party must be finished by now. His mobile is turned off and I leave him a short message, wishing him a happy Christmas. In the evening we walk down the road to Notre Dame. Altar servers holding lit torches standContinue reading “Chapter 26 – A Rest and a Brutal Return to Reality”

Chapter 25 – A Christmas of Two Halves

I go home to change at five. The Circle of Wine Writers Christmas party, a good opportunity to catch up with other wine professionals, is taking place tonight. Tim is a regular at such gatherings, which, I suspect, he sees as ideal hunting grounds. I call him to suggest we go together. He sounds surprisedContinue reading “Chapter 25 – A Christmas of Two Halves”

Chapter 22 – Coming Clean and Coming Down

I make for Jen’s office. I may as well get all my awkward meetings over in one go. She’s on the phone when I walk in. ‘Hold on,’ she says to her caller. ‘Do you have five minutes?’ I ask. She gestures for me to sit down before turning her attention back to the phone.Continue reading “Chapter 22 – Coming Clean and Coming Down”

Chapter 18 – The Consumer Wine Fair

A flock of visitors spills inside the room as soon as the gates open. They’ve paid twenty pounds each for their ticket and most of them intend to drink at least forty pounds’ worth of booze during the next few hours. The more practised aim for the Champagne stands before they get too crowded orContinue reading “Chapter 18 – The Consumer Wine Fair”