Start at the bottom: Neil Start proves the star turn at a meeting of the big fish

Wednesday: Trustees' meetings are in theory every quarter, but in practice the only one at GAG that draws a quorum is the annual approve-the-budget session.

Gather at chairman David's because what is usually the mildly unpleasant office aroma of fish food and fish droppings - all carefully harvested and recycled as cups - has been replaced by a gut-churning pong from the new organic range of tank plants that, we were told, would produce a crop of sea anemones to sell in direct-to-your-door flower business. So far the only resulting colours have been grey, white, green and yellow - on the faces of staff as they rush to loo.

Mrs David - formerly Anka the Latvian receptionist, who is now pregnant with my child even though Mr David thinks it's his - serves up fish food vol-au-vents. Met three of the trustees before: Tory MP who offered me a job; self-serving environmentalist/academic who answers every question about fundraising by offering signed copies of his latest book; and senior civil servant who is chairman's brother-in-law.

One newcomer is an ex-producer of BBC wildlife programmes who shows unhealthy interest in Anka's swollen but beguiling body.

All senior management team members give PowerPoint presentations about plans for coming year. I prefer to skip technology and look them in the eye, although this is clearly disconcerting as Tory MP stares over my shoulder mumbling "DC will like that". Finish rousing talk on raising media profile, lobbying government, charity partnerships, stunts, rallies and newsletter to be greeted by silence. "I've a mate who once wrote in the RSPCA's magazine who might help," ex-Beeb producer finally offers.

Try to look grateful and ask for his number. "Afraid I've lost it," he replies.

Friday: Summoned into David's office. Both wearing gas masks because of anemone odour. Try to ignore French polishers still working to restore his Conran sideboard after my vandalism. "Neil, wanted to tell you how impressed the trustees were with your presentation." My jaw drops open like goldfish.

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