Monday, 25 February 2013


One of the partners in the commercial law firm which often uses my services always calls me a lazy b*****. I'm never sure whether it's a term of affection or an honest assessment. I have to admit that I can't be bothered to pretend I'm busy when I'm not, which is the fashion these days.

But this is less about speculating how ambitious I am and more about trying to work out why I would write a blog. The simple reason is that I enjoy writing. I find life interesting, especially Caroline's life. I see stories all around, and make notes in little black notebooks and on a little black iPad. I shall be using those contemporaneous notes in my blog.

It's also a way of talking to someone, people in general perhaps. Caroline travels a lot for business and when she is away I am short of someone to talk to. Not football, the weather, the economic crisis in Europe: male friends, colleagues, are fine for that sort of material. But if there's something more personal,  more delicate, like what do I really think about Caroline's best-friend-at-work Antonia, then I'm short of a communicator. So you will have to do. 

The short answer is: I think she's cute. I like that wide smile and blond bob look. She's fit, which is probably something to do with the pole dancing classes she signed up for at her gym, done strictly for fitness purposes. She says.

Caroline, well she's shapely, exotic and mysterious, though I'd be careful before I called her shapely to her face. Sometimes such comments are misunderstood. And after three years being married, mystery can be forgotten. It used to be the seven year itch, now it's three. In the modern world, everything has accelerated, not just broadband speeds.

I think the three year theory explains what happened when C went on the career development course in a five star hotel in Spain. More on that next time I'm home alone.

Friday, 22 February 2013

Uncertain identity

Robert Fanshaw is not my real name. Probably. If you stick with my blog for a while you'll see why I would want to create some doubt.

My wife, however, really is called Caroline. She appears in the title of my blog because she leads a more interesting life than I do.

I am a junior barrister, as Forbes-Brown reminds me. Forbes-Brown is a partner in the commercial law firm that bungs work our way when petty squabbles work their way up to the higher courts. His office is museum of 1980s technology. Everything is still done on paper and his secretary prints out his emails and leaves them in a neat pile on his desk. My work is dull stuff, but if anything interesting happens with the ageing rock group that can't agree about royalties I will tell you. Or that American firm that bought a chocolate company and found it came with a load of bolshie old age pensioners in almshouses.

Caroline keeps asking when will I earn some serious money like everyone else in the legal profession. Her job is more interesting. She's a high-flyer with a dynamic corporate outfit which I will call Monsaint Medical Instruments (MMI). Caroline and half a dozen young colleagues have been identified as the potential next generation leaders in Monsaint. They are being given leadership training and special projects to play with. I've met some of her colleagues: they're a nice enough bunch, if you can stand the relentless positive attitude.

Fortunately life is not just work. Life is also football. I am one of the derided prawn sandwich eating Manchester United fans who clog up Virgin first class and the northbound M6 on alternate weekends. Caroline, a modern woman in many ways, does not understand football, but she did go White Hart Lane recently with the American boss of MMI. He and his ex-pat pals are Clint Dempsey fans. More on that in a later post. It's been a good season at Old Trafford but there have been too many anxious half-times.

Do men understand women better or worse than women understand football? In the course of time I hope my blog, and your comments, shed some light on this question.

Who are these people?

The world is divided into voyeurs and exhibitionists... It takes one of each to make a good marriage.

Robert and Caroline Fanshaw are an ambitious young couple trying to make their way in a complex world.

What happens when their private affairs collide with world events and the big issues of our times? Drama, comedy and x-rated scenes.