If I had my time again, I’d probably play out the last nine months of 2005 in a rather different way. That is not to say that I would change the end results, because without those end results I wouldn’t be where I am now, but I would perhaps make some decisions sooner and spare myself a lot of pain.
It was during this time that my relationship with Helen began falling apart and, for reasons which I now see were not completely unconnected with this, things started going badly wrong at work, too. I was a partner in a law firm in Reading and one of the other partners was making it pretty clear that he didn’t want to work with me any more. This was particularly galling because, in fact, I always felt that the partnership should have kicked him out long before I ever joined, after a big mistake of his cost them several tens of thousands of pounds.
Unfortunately, because my mind was on other matters, I was unable to prevent him forming an alliance with two of the other partners – disappointingly, two who I had regarded as friends. Actually, ‘unable’ is the wrong word. ‘Unwilling’ is a better option, because once I knew what was going on, I didn’t want to be in business with them and I simply made sure that I came out of it with the best possible deal. Heck, I even allowed them to change the partnership deed to make it easier to get rid of me. It doesn’t mean that I will ever forgive them. Two of them are excellent lawyers who I still recommend to other people, but I do so out of professional duty, not because I want to see them succeed. As for the other, the one who started it all, well, I wouldn’t put him out if he was on fire.
It did make going to work a bit of a chore, though. And there was many a day when I either arrived at the office, or left it, singing the chorus to this song. And I still can’t hear it without seeing their smug, grinning faces. Nowadays, I use the song if I ever need to psych myself up for something. And it works.