My mortgage week – Alan Hill

Monday: My week starts at 5.45am. Between now and 9am I&#39ve got to get my three sons ready for school and fit in a few hours revision before my CeMAP Bridge exam at 10am. (The exam was tough but I&#39m pleased to say I passed.) At 1.00 pm I am meeting our architects to discuss the new office and at 3.30pm I pick the boys up from school. My wife Debbie (a fellow director at First Mortgage Options) has gone to New York to beat the daylight out of her Visa card and just as I think she will be home to take over, she rings to say the flight is overbooked and she is taking the next one.

Tuesday: The day starts badly after spending forever trying to fathom how the washing machine works. I give up and bundle everything into bags for the launderette. Drop the boys at school and get to work at 9am. My main priority is to get the non-regulated life panel quotation system signed off ready for launch by mid-December, together with the buildings and contents insurance panel, which is due to launch by January. My plans to leave the office for London at 4pm are thwarted because Debbie&#39s not due back until midnight. I have to pick the boys up, feed them and get them to bed.

Wednesday: At last, Debbie and her shopping have returned. I get up at 4.30am and leave for London. I am meeting our sales and marketing director Mick Clarke at 8.30 am. Our first meeting is with our PR company to discuss the schedule for launching a new range of products and services in the first half of 2003. We then have meetings with a few mortgage journalists, which I was apprehensive about. But they were great and were as concerned about the forthcoming changes to our industry as we were. Drive home listening to the Arsenal V Roma match, which is a bit galling for a Spurs fan, but it keeps me awake! Home at 10pm.

Thursday: During breakfast Debbie asks where I&#39ve put the clean washing as the boys need clean shirts for school. I knew there was something I&#39d forgotten! At work, Debbie&#39s the ultimate professional – no-one would have known that she was contemplating the murder of one of her fellow directors. At 11.30am, interview a mortgage broker for a position in Your Mortgage Options Limited with a view to supervising the brokers who don&#39t pass the exam by December 31. Arrive home at about 7.00pm and decide to put on a DVD and open a bottle of plonk.

Friday: Three meetings scheduled for today – our monthly sales meeting, followed by the 2003 forecast and finally, a working lunch with all the directors and department managers to go through the products and services being rolled out in 2003. It&#39s best to let the staff know first, before they start to get enquiries from brokers. Arrive home at about 6.30pm and, after sorting out my youngest sons school fantasy league team transfers before the deadline on Sunday, I pour a glass of Rioja and start writing this diary.

lAlan Hill is managing director of First Mortgage Options. His diary runs from December 16-20 2002.