Birchenall only looked about 70. That means he can’t have been more than - what?” Quickly I do the maths. Surely not. “That means he can’t have been more than about 45 when we were at school,” I say to Nick, incredulously.

“I know. Scary,” replies Nick. “I’m sure Birch-Them-All looked about a hundred back then. Even through a haze of chalk dust. He looked younger at your party 25 years ago.”

“Maybe retirement works. Or maybe he moisturises,” I suggest.

“Get the beers in… Granddad,” says Nick pointedly, downing his remaining half a pint.

“The only people who were young at the party were my kids, the waiting staff and your girlfriend,” I reply.

“You mean the lovely Mirjana? Well, I’m just brushing up my Godparenting skills with her,” says Nick.

I choke on my beer. “How did you manage to swing that with Emma? I was surprised she even invited you.”

“Oh, we’re best pals again. I took her out for lunch and…”


“Just kidding,” says Nick.

“Look, we need…” I begin but Nick interrupts. “We stayed in actually. Had oysters.”

“Ha-ha. We do need to talk business Nick.”

“I’m absolutely happy to renounce Satan,” says Nick, crossing his heart.

“I don’t mean Godparent business. I mean your business. The one that’s going bust,” I say, emphatically.

“It’s not going bust. It’s a cash flow issue.”


“Anyway, Caroline Davidson…”

I correct Nick. “Davison. There’s no second ‘d’.”

“The fragrant Caroline, whatever her name is. I was talking to her at your party and she suggested I… We? That we chat to her SME lending team. She thinks they could do something for us. So, am I a clever boy or what?”

I’m lost for words. And after a moment, “Let me get the beers in.”

City Dad will continue next Tuesday. For previous episodes go to cityam.com