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  • Writer's picturePeter Smith

FRIDAY 1st OCTOBER 1999; The Calm Before the Storm

It's been a very strange week. There has been little in the way of real news or developments; everybody is waiting for the official BoS offer document, which they have to issue within 28 days of the bid. Our initial response was a categorical "no" and an emphasis on the fact that the offer does not reflect the value of the company. But the response has been quite minimalist; there is a large element of keeping our powder dry until we see their official offer document.

The mood in the office has calmed down and most of my staff are clearly now a bit worried, with a few exceptions. My Scottish colleagues seem to take the bid as a sign of personal virility, particularly given that BoS is less than half NW's size, and one or two have mysteriously discovered intimate family connections with various Highland clans.

L is particularly pleased with himself. He is my senior manager responsible for major IT contracts, and is very obviously Scottish, despite having lived in the South-East for many years. His recent ancestors were important figures in the Scottish Labour Party, and as well as his various day jobs in the IT world over the years, he has been a speech writer for Labour Party grandees, a Thames Valley local government apparatchik, and is a local in Reading. He was a professional footballer in his youth, and (certainly if you believe him) has done everything, been everywhere ... He insists on wearing his kilt for black-tie dinners, which I personally find most offensive on a short Scotsman with hairy legs.

However, he swears that women find this irresistible, and after initial doubts, I have had to come to terms with the strange fact that he could be right. He is now convinced that very soon he will be doing my job after his countrymen swarm across the border and take Lothbury.

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