Spain 5

HTML clipboardHaving made the initial discovery that Tom had gone off on a European jamboree I looked at the emails confirming his movements and activities.  From what I could see from the emails the first booking for a flight had been made roughly three weeks before he disappeared.

“It looks like his trip was not a spur of the moment thing” I said

“How do you know that?” Asked Mrs W

“Because it would seem he has a whole load of messages starting from about three weeks before he disappeared until yesterday confirming travel and hotel arrangements both in the UK and Europe.  In fact he has a message here confirming a hotel reservation for last night at the Sveta Sofia Hotel.”

“Where’s that”

“Sofia in Bulgaria by the looks of things”

She leaned over my shoulder and peered at the screen.

“What on Earth would he be doing in Bulgaria?” she asked almost under her breath

“I was about to ask you the same question, but clearly you are non the wiser”

“Well I’ll be” she said softly and then stood up “So he is in Bulgaria”

“No he was, by now he should be in Milan or so it would seem” I corrected her ” You see there is another email here for a flight from Sofia to Milan for today, plus there is another one from Hertz for a small car in Milan”

“Will you go to Milan and see if you can find him as soon as you can?” she asked urgently.

“I will if you want me to, but…”

“Want you to” she snorted with indignation “Of course I bloody want you to” she said almost shouting “that’s what I am bloody well paying you for, you tell me he has flown to Milan and hired a car today, its the best indication that he is alive and of his whereabouts” she said really angrily.

I held my hand up in front of me “I appreciate that you’re paying me, but it is for that very reason I am not sure of the wisdom of charging off to Milan just at the moment.  Look, I know you want to find out what has happened to your husband asap and if you want me to shoot over there and look for him then I will, but at the moment there is not much to go on.”

She looked at me sullenly but said nothing so I decided to persevere with my explanation

“Milan is a big place and at the moment all that we know is that he had a flight booked to there from Bulgaria and has hired a small car.  Now then we don’t have a hotel or even know if he was staying in Milan or moving on, In fact come to that we don’t even know he went there”

“Why wouldn’t he go there, he’s booked a flight and car for God sake” she exclaimed in frustration.

“Booked and take are not tht same thing are they and as for the car, well as I said he has booked a small car which will probably turn out to be a Fiat Panda and Milan is full of bloody Fiats, haven’t you seen the Italian Job?”

She looked as if this was working and she had calmed down a bit, but breathing heavily through her nostrils like a bull and till looked seriously pissed off with me.  “Now then if you want to pay for flights, hotel and other incidentals whilst I swan about looking for a needle in a haystack, then I am more than happy to do so.  You’re the one picking up the bills here, but what I am saying is I want to look at everything coldly and in my own good time and see if there is any kind of pattern to all of this.”

She walked away from me and looked out of  the window and brooded for a few minutes.  I for once kept my big mouth shut.

“I suppose you’re right, its jus thatt……Oh I don’t know what’s going on”

Whilst she was reflecting I opened up another browser window and called up Google and then went back to Yahoo and sent an email to Cyclops with the log in details of Toms  account and the message PRINT ALL.

The confirmation that the email had been sent appeared and I clicked OK and then went to the sent folder.  There was my message I selected it and then hit delete.  Then I went to the “Trash” which although was marked “No files” I hoped would have my email in it.  I was right, I selected that and then clicked delete again.  Did I want to permanently deleted this message? Oh yes.

“What are you doing?” She asked looking at me intently from by the window in what struck me as being a slightly suspicious, hard and aggressive tone.  I looked at her and saw for the first time a very tough looking woman behind a polished exterior and magnificent chest.

“Oh nothing much at the moment” I said casually making no effort to hide the fact I was still working the keyboard.  I pretended to be distracted by something on the screen and then continued slowly “ I am looking at some of these emails to see if I can get a picture of what’s what, but there’s a fair bit to go through.  I can come back to it later”.

She looked at me with hawk like eyes and a Dobermans ferocity and nodded her head.

My client was not a happy girl and I thought it might be an idea to take a break.  I logged out of the account and stood up and walked over to her and put my hand on her shoulder.

“Are you OK?” I asked – of course she wasn’t OK, but to be honest I couldn’t think of anything more profound to say.

She looked at it then at me and gave a very thin half hearted smile.  “I am sorry if I snapped at you, its not your fault, it upsetting not knowing what is going on.”

“No problem I understand, look I need to make a quick phone call and why don’t we go and have a coffee and a cake, my treat”

She nodded “Yes a change of scenery will do me good”

I rang Cyclops and talked to him about the job in Sunderland

“Norm what the fuck are you on about, that’s all done and dusted”

“No its all in the email I sent you” I said reassuringly

“What is”

“The details and names and accounts for the those people that we need to follow up on so we can get the ASBOs sorted.”

“ASBO’s am I missing something here?”

“Yes you are a bit, that’s right,  look just check the details and the clients instructions, but I need you to look at them asap.   Yeah yeah yeah no I am good, no , its going quite well here and I think we might be on to something.”

The penny had dropped with Cyclops and as I was talking I could hear him at the keyboard

“Ah right got it, are you logged in at the moment, because I think you will need to log out before I can get in”

“No that’s not a problem and in fact I am taking the client for a coffee and cake and I will take up in  a few minutes so if you could get those bits sorted I would be obliged.”

“Its done…. I’m in……and I have them in front of me I will forward to you but will print all just in case” Said Cyclops and I could hear the printer in the background

“Oh and I might well be off to Italy, but I will touch base with you about that.  We’ll speak later”

We had our coffee and a very average Danish Pastry and Mrs W seemed better, but a little distracted.  Went back to her room and I started to have another look through the emails and then decided to have a look at Toms bank account.  Mrs\Willis logged me in and I could see that there had been a fair bit of activity on the account over recent weeks.  Not massive amounts, but quite a few payments for flights, hotels and cars. However after only a few minutes Mrs Willis said she had a headache and could I come back some other time.  I said I could.

“Mr Norman I appreciate your comments about the cost, but I really would like you to go to Milan to see if you can find Tom”

I went to say something and she add “Immediately please.”


It was 11.30am  I rang Cyclops and brought him up to speed and I headed home to get some stuff sorted and to get my thoughts together.  I was not convinced at all about going to Milan, not that I have anything against Milan, just that I do have something about leaping in with both feet before you have had a chance to look at all the factors and weigh up all the considerations.

In short my overriding feeling was that this was going to be a bit of a waste of time.

Whilst I was enjoying the tube Cyclops set to looking for flights and hotels etc and also started going through the emails for a clue as to where Tom might be staying and by the time I was at home he had got me a flight out of Gatwick to Milan at about 6pm and found me a hotel in the centre of town and got me what he called “A right touch” on the price.

And so it was that I found myself once more suffering the indignities of airport security and the joys of the “Duty Free” shopping area.

Old habits die hard and grabbing sleep whenever you can is part and parcel of my life.  There have also been a lot of occasions when finally being airborne has been the first time we have been able to shut our eyes safely for days.  I cannot tell you how often I get on a commercial flight and am knocking out zeds before they have even done the safety demonstration.

On this flight I was marginally better and stayed awake through the demonstration and was doing well until the wheels left the ground.  I woke up ten minutes before we landed and my thoughts were the same as when I had got on the plane.

What the fuck am I supposed to do when I get there?

I got a taxi to my hotel which it turned out was a super swish 4star place in the centre of town and Cyclops was right, he had “had a touch” as he got my room for 114 Euros a night where as it would normally have been nearer 200 Euros.  I don’t want to sound ungrateful, but the place was a bit OTT for my liking, but it did have a lot of extra features and amenities but more importantly it had a bar.  Apparently it is a very trendy bar and all the best people are seen and meet there.  V Impressive.

Having freshened up I decided that I had been negative on the way here and that I knew exactly where I should go and what to say and in order to start my work in Milan.  It was obvious even to me.

Une Nastro per favore

6 Responses to “Spain 5”

  1. havingmycake says:

    “Peroni Nastro Azzurro is Italian style in a bottle. It brings out the Italian in you.”

    LOL… So, which part of Uncle Norman is Italian…?

  2. dl says:

    Seems like Cyclops is a bit of a gem. You two go back a long way?

  3. havingmycake says:

    Can you email me, I have a question for you and I don’t seem to be able to find your addie on here… 🙂

  4. Sally Lomax says:

    Good post Norm.

    BTW thank you for your email. Am still looking at it. How much would it cost?

  5. JH says:

    I bet that beer cost more than the hotel room.

  6. Uncle says:

    Joanna – I would love to tell you it is my latin good looks or that I resemble Rocco Steffano, but alas the nearest I come is my love of Italian women (actually all women)beer,Italian cars, food, sunshine, Olive oil, stroppy attitude, arrogance and coffee. Apart from that…..

    DL- Cyclops is a top bloke and real rock. A team is only as good as the support and he has been responsible in striking the balance of using modern technology and communications to its max yet keeping things simple. We dont do complicated, I think we are all to stupid.

    Sally – Thanks you should have had an email from me. If you can get us the info we should be able to do it.

    JH – Your not wrong about the price of the beer, but what price a good cold beer?

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