Midweek Money: The day the bread bin ordered bunds

The Trader

ISN'T it remarkable how quickly you can change from a Master of the Universe to a whimpering toddler? I should know; I've spent the past two weeks battling the worst flu I've ever had. By the time I was able to move from bed to the sofa, I felt like the scraps from a vampire's banquet and was probably about as interesting to talk to. All the more generous, then, of Laura to pop in every evening on her way back from work to see how I was getting on.

"Don't worry, you're doing me a favour, too," she said on the third visit. "Rory's dragged all the others off to some hideous brokers' Christmas party, but I used you as an excuse to escape."

And with that, we got down to chatting. Findlay, it seems, has found out about a fridge that can e-mail you at work to tell you when you're low on milk or orange juice or whatever.

"Anyway," said Laura, "he was going on and on about it, and how you could put it in your kitchen cupboards as well. And then we realised that's what must have happened to that trader the other week, the one who did or didn't lose pounds 10m. He's obviously testing a prototype. His bread bin sent him an e-mail saying, `Buy buns!' and he misread it and bought bunds instead."

The following evening, Laura turned up again clutching a box of chocolates and a copy of the new trading system manual.

"I thought you might want to have a look at our great masterpiece," she said. "It looks great, doesn't it?"

So we found ourselves laughing about all the work we'd put into it, and how awful the trading system had been before we got it sorted out.

"Do you remember?" said Laura. "It had so many holes in it, we were thinking of gathering them all together into one big hole and offering it to the Jubilee Line. I wish you weren't ill; it's boring without you." Then she went home.

The next day a vast bouquet of roses and lilies arrived for me. Suddenly I felt a million times better, so when Laura rang to say she couldn't make it that evening, I didn't mind.

"I'll lie on the sofa and gaze at that amazing bouquet you all sent me. Did you choose it?" I asked. There was a pause.

"Choose it?" said Laura. "I didn't even know about it. I expect Rory sorted it out."

And we agreed that that must have been what happened, and Laura went back to her number-crunching. Later on, the doorbell rang. It couldn't be Laura, so it was almost bound to be Jehovah's Witnesses. But the voice over the intercom was a familiar one: "Hello Miss Invalid. Can I come in?"

I felt my heart skip a beat. What was Jaap doing here? And why was I so pleased to see him? As he walked into the flat he spotted the flowers and smiled.

"Do you like them?" he said. "I chose them specially."

I felt my knees go weak. But of course they would, I told myself. That's what happens when you have flu.

Suggested Topics
Arts and Entertainment

Will Poulter will play the shape-shifting monsterfilm
Arts and Entertainment

books
Arts and Entertainment
Paul Hollywood

'Whether he left is almost immaterial'TV
Arts and Entertainment

game of thrones reviewWarning: spoilers

Arts and Entertainment
The original Star Wars trio of Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill

George Osborne confirms Star Wars 8 will film at Pinewood Studios in time for 4 May

film

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

    Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

    Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

    Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
    China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

    China's influence on fashion

    At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
    Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

    The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

    Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
    Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

    Rainbow shades

    It's all bright on the night
    'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

    Bread from heaven

    Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
    Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

    How 'the Axe' helped Labour

    UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
    Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

    The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

    A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
    'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

    Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

    Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

    The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
    Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

    Vince Cable exclusive interview

    Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
    Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

    Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

    Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
    Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

    It's time for my close-up

    Meet the man who films great whites for a living
    Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

    Homeless people keep mobile phones

    A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before