Mole was intrigued to read last week that ailing Aston Villa Football Club has appointed ex-Bank of England governor Sir Mervyn King to its board of directors.
The former bank boss is bolshy about the club’s chances and claims the Lions can once again be “one of the top clubs in the world”.
The beautiful game has a history of appointing seemingly inappropriate people to its boards – think Norwich City with Stephen Fry and Ed Balls (whose team, by strange coincidence at the time of writing, was scheduled to play Villa the very next day).
But this is one football appointment that makes perfect sense to Mole. As Merv presided over the beginning, middle and end of the biggest financial crash in UK history, who better to help turn around a club that is bottom of the Premier League and faces relegation?
The range of interesting hobbies in the mortgage market is broad, Mole has observed, and few people exemplify this better than New Street Mortgages sales & distribution director Adrian Whittaker.
Whittaker tells Mole he spends much of his spare time outdoors rowing Cornish pilot gigs. The rowers of these traditional six-oared boats are not easily put off by the cold, wind or rain.
Whittaker says that, despite the inclement weather of late, he has still managed to get out on the water and test his mettle. Last weekend, as the rest of the UK mortgage market sheltered indoors from 40mph gusts and rain, Whittaker was out on the Cornish waves.
“We didn’t really leave the harbour,” he says modestly. “But it really was blowing a hooley.”
Mole can’t help thinking that the sport of Competitive Pint-Lifting is far better suited to that kind of weather.