Start at the bottom: Neil Start tries to hold his own with the sector's big fish

TUESDAY: Bleary eyed after nightmare. Dreamt was running RSPCA but every time opened desk drawer in my CEO suite found dead goldfish. Near hysteria when David Bellamy called in and peered into half-opened drawer/coffin/abuse chamber. Woke up screaming. Vorderman, neanderthal flatmate, still up watching reel-to-reel Countdown but broke off to decode dream. Came up with great ambition, profound inadequacy and pathological fear of father figures. Unholy trinity.

WEDNESDAY: Spooky or what - Jerome, acting chairman, dispatches me as his representative to emergency meeting of animal welfare charities at RSPCA HQ. Definite pecking order in room lined with photos of parrots.

Big charity reps sit at top end of long table, use first names, talk a lot and make free with catering trolley. Minnows like GAG take foldaway seats, sit by toilet door, keep quiet and make do with glass of water.

Big issue: treatment of animals in circuses. Virginia McKenna makes moving speech about lions in cages too small for budgies.

Subconscious ambition puts up my hand to speak. Relate details of live goldfish rifle range at circus spotted by GAG supporter on Isle of Man.

Group horror evaporates when knock water over neighbour, head of donkey sanctuary. Profound inadequacy bubbles up. Letter of protest to papers agreed by big boys while I mop up. Promise to email it over before close of business for approval of all organisations present.

Thursday: Animal welfare charities letter appears in press. GAG plus Birmingham Budgie Collective (BBC) only ones left out of loop. Jerome furious with me. Retreat to pick items for next GAG Christmas gift catalogue.

Phone rings. Bad line. Catch something about coming back "to get it right".

Line goes dead. Realise too late it was Anka, sometime Latvian receptionist at GAG and mother-to-be of what could be my child. Celebrate by placing order for 300 goldfish-scented nappy bags for catalogue.

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