Episode six: Morning meeting

I LEAN back in my chair, hands behind my head and look up at the ceiling. It’s been a whirlwind few weeks. Pregnant. Then pregnant some more. And on top of that, we’d spent last weekend at Emma’s parents, celebrating her birthday and with Emma desperate to tell her parents about her – our? – condition.

But we’d agreed to keep the Happy Event – oh the euphemisms – to ourselves a little while longer. Just in case. Or hopefully, until we’re sure…And then Noel would be the first to know.

And so, to cover our usually alcohol-fuelled tracks, on arrival Emma had unilaterally announced to her father, in response to his hopeful, opening gambit of “Drink?”, that we were both taking a break from booze for a few weeks. “Sharpening ourselves up for tennis.” After which she threw me an apologetic smile. And then asked me to get the luggage from the car. “Tennis?” asked Noel, incredulously. “Go and help daddy” replied Emma, insistently.

Needless to say, Rufus got a far longer than usual walk Saturday lunchtime, via the Hen and Chickens. And the Cock and Rabbit. A walk from which he returned surprisingly clean and full of beans. But after which I, also clean and half full of three swift pints, needed a brief doze. “Sharpening myself up for tennis” I reminded Emma. With a not so apologetic smile. 15-all.

I run my fingers through my hair. It feels thick on top but I know that when I angle the two mirrors in the bathroom in such a way that I can get a good look, the hair on top is thinning.

“So how did the job interview go?” I turn to face Sandy as he bears down on me. He’s come straight from the airport after a couple of days in New York at a senior management meeting. “I know you dragged yourself in late yesterday and it looks like you’ve already stopped working here, so what's a boy to think?” he continues, as I reach forward to shuffle papers on my desk.

He always returns from these quarterly meetings in a bullish mood. “No loyalty. Give the man a huge bonus and he repays me like this.” He’s standing right behind me now.

“Morning Sandy. Good trip?”

“Yup. Anything going on?” He’s already walking away.

“No. Quiet few days.”

I turn back to my desk. My eyes widen. I glance at Sandy as he enters his office.

No, surely he can’t have seen it. The search engine on my computer screen displays the first 25 of 29,750,000 entries relating to “twins birth”.

For previous City Dad columns, see www.cityam.com.

For the next installment, read City A.M.’s Lifestyle section next Tuesday.