IT was worth it just to see the moths at last liberated from his wallet. The wonderful one was awarded a promotion on Friday - he's now No 2 on the desk. The boss informed us it was quite ok to congratulate him and that he was sure Withers would buy everyone a drink in The Yard after work.
Withers wasn't so sure. Obviously the Boss doesn't know our scroogelike colleague very well. WoS most miserable man met everyone's congratulations with a humbug answer, declaring: "I may have been promoted but the boss can't tell me what to do after I finish work."
The wonderful one was brilliantly trapped when it came to his round, though. He was sneaking back to the bar when I asked, quite discreetly I thought: "Get us a pint of lager, please, mate."
He nodded disgruntledly. Then the others around the table, around nine at the last count, chimed in with their orders, too.
I couldn't resist following him to the bar and seeing his little face crease up in despair. "Nine pints of lager £22.50... the look on my colleague's face... priceless" as the ad might say.
I spoke too soon about the labradoodle not being a suitable dog for the Prince of Darkness. It does, in fact, have all the hallmarks of a serial killer.
The Prince was recently inundated with baby rabbits after his fluffy pets indulged in the leisure activity for which they are best known. But no sooner had these little ones joined the land of the living than the devil dog pounced, carrying them around in his drooling jowls. Oh dear!
Not only that but this young pup has all the hallmarks of progressing to a life of crime. Apparently it has also taken to stealing the Prince's wife's underwear off the clothes line. Someone, somewhere, is already doing a psychological profile of Caerleon's most wanted animal.
One day to go and then Wren and I are off on holiday. We are indulging in a bit of a road trip - but I'm not sure whether I am Thelma or Louise. First port of call is my house in Newbury Park, just outside Ilford, then it's on to see the Fat Kid in Southend before visiting Wren's parents in sunny Suffolk. From there we are going to have two days in a luxury hotel in Brighton, then return south in time to see the Gas play their first home game of the league season against the mighty Crewe. Finally, it's off to the luxurious Hotel Du Vin in Cheltenham on the basis that I thought the Gas would be playing in the Gloucestershire town at the time I booked.
Wren says it will be lovely to spend such quality time together, but added the rider: "We'll probably be at each others throats by the end of the week!"
Last night I cooked Gnocchi with bacon, cheese and mushrooms. Apologies if I've given you this recipe but it is a good, filling snack which doesn't take too much trouble.
Buy a vacuum pack of Gnocchi, empty into a pan of boiling water and wait for it to rise to the top. Meantime warm the oven on gas mark 4.
When Gnocchi is done put into an oven-proof dish and mix with thick chunks of blue cheese and a small amount of cream. Put into the oven.
Heat a frying pan, add olive oil, then cook chopped bacon and mushrooms until the bacon turns crispy.
Mix the Gnocchi from time to time then after 15 minutes dish up and put the bacon and mushrooms on top. Top with chilli flakes.