Baubles and balls
Mole, continuing his jetset lifestyle, picked up an award last month at Westminster's plush Cinnamon Club – runner-up in the Bradford & Bingley media awards' trade magazine of the year category. And it went on. A dash across town to Grosvenor Square later and he was partying the night away at the Broomstick Ball. The annual charity bash, hosted by Bristol & West's London and Scotland sales manager Diedre McManus, raised a whopping £65,000 for Cancer Research UK – almost double last year's total.
Then, no rest for poor hungover Mole as it was back to the US of A. No conference this time but the New York marathon with Messers Duffy and Avrili of Hamptons and Charcol fame. After an arduous seven-hour flight there's nothing quite like having a stretch limo drop you off at New York's stylish Milford Plaza hotel in Times Square – certainly a blessed relief for the city's latest would-be Godfather, Avrili. “I'm scared of flying,” he confessed to Mole. “Give me this baby any day.”
Running 26.2 miles takes guts, stamina, will-power and alcohol. Duffy and Avrili were quick to fit in some last minute training for Sunday's run. After hitting the hard stuff in the limo it was straight into Irish pub Garvey's to top up on the Guinness. “It's full of carbs,” Irish Rogue Duffy explained. “It'll help balance my dietary intake whilst ensuring swift and supple limb movement.” Mole was happy to help before moving the party to the top table at posh Italian eatery Don Giavanni's. “Avrili's obviously pulled strings,” mused Duffy. “There'll be a horse's head in my bed next.”
Day two and it was up the Empire State Building to scope out the course and an impromptu encounter with Michael Bolton of BM Solutions. Mole could only wonder what he was doing in New York – after all, it certainly wasn't to compete in the race. “I'm on holiday,” he told Mole. “I've been off all week – it's a great time to be out of the UK.” Indeed. Refreshed with a $250 Napa Valley chardonnay, Mole and crew were soon off to Brooklyn's famous River Café to take in more carbs. But with the marathon fast approaching and a date to watch Man Utd on Sky the next morning it was an early night all round.
When it came to race day, the Irish Rogue tried his best to get out of it, being responsible for our heroes missing the last bus to the Staten Island start line.
“Walt and I tried getting a cab,” he later told Mole. “But we didn't have the money for the fare so we did an early runner.” But on they both puffed, Duffy finishing the course in an impressive four hours and nine minutes and Walt trailing a little at four hours 24 minutes and 17 seconds. Winners all round with a staggering £7,050 raised for good causes. Mole salutes our champions.