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The Mortgage Mole


Mole is partial to a bit of apr豠ski so when a last-minute opportunity to join the Cobalt Capital ski trip to Les Gets along with fellow hacks David Prosser and Esther Shaw from the Independent, Rebecca O’Connor from The Times, freelancer Laura Brady and Strategy editor Robyn Hall came along, there was no stopping him.

With Cobalt bigwigs Julian Ingall, Andrew ‘Monty’ Montlake and Dean McCarthy along for the ride plus PR polecat Dominic ‘Not the hotel’ Hiatt, what could possibly go wrong?

Well, car crashes (x 2), ski crashes (x 1), stuck chairlifts (x 1), near death ski experiences (x 9), near death non-ski experiences (x 3), forgotten luggage (x 1), dodgy chat-up lines from ‘Dirty Dog’ Hiatt (x 33), lost keys (x 1), lost 2,000 Rolex (x 1), visits to gendarmerie (x 1), broken plumbing (x 1) and trouser-dropping incidents (x 3).

“It was certainly an event that I will not forget in a hurry,” Monty piped up to Mole on his return. Indeed.


Monty’s first night car crash was, perhaps, the most spectacular event. Driving back from the chalet after sorting out the plumbing while the hacks had been enjoying dinner, Monts managed to plunge into a massive ditch.

“It suddenly came out of nowhere,” Monts ‘fessed up. “Not even Julian’s 4×4 could get it out.” And despite the frantic 3am efforts of Hall, Monts, McCarthy and the polecat plus a rather large dent from Ingall’s 4×4, the car stayed put for the next 24 hours.

Entente cordiale

Hall’s prowess on the slopes has seen dramatic improvement over the years but it wasn’t enough to stop him crashing into a bright orange ski instructor at over 40mph. The collision sent the cheese-eating surrender monkey flying.

“He just came out of nowhere,” a battered and bruised Hall explained. “I was in total shock but it was a hell of a way to cure a hangover. Trust me, an extremely angry shouting Frenchman is not what you want to see first thing in the morning.”

Highs and Lows

On the last night of the Cobalt ski trip, Mole paid special attention to Strategy supremo Robyn Hall. After re-enacting the Battle of Waterloo on the slopes, a relaxed Hall indulged in a game of darts with fellow revellers. And lo and behold, he scored a stunning 180 to send the bar into a frenzy.

“I have never seen anything like it,” enthused Montlake. “There were manly hugs all round.”

Alas, unable to cope with his new-found fame, Hall went downhill fast from there. After a game of ten pin bowling involving more vodka shots than strikes, Hall tottered off to local Eurotrash club The Igloo, where his dancing exploits ended with his collapse. Tired and emotional, he was led out by Cobalt’s head man, Ingall.

“I had to try five times to get him in the car,” slurred Ingall. “And when we finally got him to bed, he fell out and slept face down on the floor.”

Mole was very proud.


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