The mortgage mole

Bristol balloon

August gets a bit sweaty underground, so Mole was all too eager to live the high life aboard a hot air balloon, courtesy of Bristol & West. Decked out with air-sickness bag and waterproofs &#39just in case&#39, Mole duly trekked over the fairground and beer-tent-filled hills of the Bristol balloon festival – only to find rain had stopped play. Sensing a PR disaster in the making, Bristol & West marketing boss Dominic Toller lifted deflated spirits with some timely champagne, immediately followed by a ride aboard the vomit-inducing Octopus. Dom&#39s &#39swig and spin&#39 strategy paid off, as Mole staggered back to earth vowing never to leave terra firma again. Lenders full of hot air? Never.


After revving up some foot-tapping kitsch in the form of Abba tribute musical &#39Mamma Mia&#39 this month, Mole was not surprised to see two bosses from Hamptons International and Square Mile &#39Take a Chance on Me&#39 – or rather on a glamorous blonde Canadian colleague – in the bar afterwards. Steadying her nerves with a cigarette the next day she told me: “One moved his hand towards my bottom, and the other&#39s was moving that way too. So I stepped forward and they realised they were only holding hands with each other.” Mole would like to make it clear the male connection only lasted as long as it takes to reach for the next G&T and that a bit of &#39Knowing Me, Knowing You&#39 never came into it.

Gone to Market

There&#39s a rumour going round the marketplace suggesting that one eminent mortgage pundit leads such a busy professional life that some of the little details of his personal life are being put on hold. A reliable source tells Mole that he spotted this person&#39s Christmas tree still up in his lounge, fairy lights and all. Seems to Mole that this is either a Bit belated or he&#39s just getting ready early.

Racing ahead

Mole&#39s pleased to report that his very own reputation precedes him these days. Kevin Duffy, managing director of Hamptons International Mortgages and Mole&#39s host for a day out at Epsom races last week, warned the collected lender and broker representatives that the Mole was present. The room blanched collectively, grabbed their Pimms and stood as far away as possible. It took Mole some time to persuade them that this was a purely innocent and rather pleasant day out. Dirt-digging was just not on the agenda. Simply call the Mole hotline and I will reveal all.

Sugar and spice, cocaine, rats, and all things nice

Mole is terrified enough by Scot Am&#39s John Malone at the best of times, but the prospect of his daughter, a budding biology postgrad at the university of Oporto, Portugal, sounds even more spine-chilling. Fresh from holidaying around the Iberian peninsular, Malone senior bragged of his daughter&#39s penchant for injecting pregnant rats with cocaine before dissecting them – all in the name of medical research, of course. “Mole could have a very uncertain future if my daughter ever got hold of him,” he told me.

Last week&#39s winning caption: “Hello driver – any chance of stopping at a few green lights – we&#39ve still got some wine to finish and these commuter trains aren&#39t supposed to arrive on time anyway, are they?” From David Hugill, CAM, London