I WISH I could say the radio alarm had failed. But I can’t. Anyway, with infant twins in the house, neither bugle call nor drum roll is ever required for reveille. Nevertheless, at 6.45am I’m already 45 minutes behind schedule.

The Perth flight leaves at 11am and it’s clear I won’t make it into the office before departure as I’d planned.

Juliette will have to courier the Cooke-Webb Mining documents to me at the airport. Hell, I’ll have more than 19 hours airborne to study them before arrival and even Sir Roderick’s “buffoon of a son-in-law” and his colleagues at Osgood’s have worked out that CWM is attractively undervalued and distinctly vulnerable; iron ore, with an enticing sideline in gold.

I grab my phone and hit Juliette’s number. A moment later the home phone rings. Damn. As I dash to answer it, or at least to terminate its ringing, Noel staggers sleepily from his bedroom. “Daddy.”

“Where’s Juliette?” I growl - to myself rather than to Noel - in the absence of a response from her. I look at my phone. Aggh. I’ve hit the wrong number. It seems I’m the early morning caller disturbing my own household’s sleep.


“Noel, get back to bed. It’s early,” I bark.

“Have you already been to Australia daddy? Have you got my boomerang?” This is a considerable advance on “Are we there yet?” ten minutes into a three hour car journey.

“No. Now get back into bed.”


“Noel.” I turn, raising my voice. “I’m late. Be quiet.” Noel shrinks from me. He begins to cry. “Daddy,” he whimpers, clinging to my leg.

“It’s alright son. I’m sorry.” I put my hands around Noel’s golden-haired head, the colour and shape of my father’s head. My phone rings. It’s Juliette. I ignore it.

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