Arts & Giving | Diary of a Somebody

Francis Outred

The weekend wind-down from the auction high

Francis Outred

February 21 2011
Francis Outred

Day: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

I collected my son and wife on Friday evening from Paddington station and it was the most incredible relief to finally realise that the week was over. They were both beaming from ear to ear and at once my heart melted. On Saturday I really wanted to sleep for hours and have a long lie in but my mind was still spinning from the busy week. My wife allowed me a lie-in until 9am and, in return, I gave her some rest by taking Alexander to London Zoo for the morning. This is a museum of animals, so although not completely detached from the art world, it does allow me to indulge in the sheer wonderment of childhood as we watch the komodo dragon waking up and the giraffes and okapis taking shelter from the rain.

Explaining the to-ings and fro-ings of the animals to my son is slightly easier than convincing a big collector to part with £10m for a Warhol and I am still frustrated that my very good friend who I advised to buy the big Warhol only managed to underbid it and not buy it – it would have been an incredible addition to his collection. In the evening we have friends for dinner who are both in the financial world and we discuss the proximities between their businesses and mine. He is one of the highest-rated media analysts in the business and he relates that his market has taken off since the beginning of the year. The global nature of finance means that his wife is currently setting up a sharia fund, and the moral codes and social etiquettes that need to be associated with this are incredibly interesting to me in the context of our business.

With two new babies on the way – theirs in March, ours in April – there is also plenty of baby discussion! Sunday consists of a visit to my mother with Alexander; she analysed my performance on the rostrum while creating a garage for Alexander to put his cars into! She is an expert on the Middle East and has been giving lots of TV interviews about the current unfolding situation and I am extremely lucky to have direct insight to such an important voice and needless to say very proud.

I follow this with my usual Sunday league football run-out in which we end up thumping the opposition 6-0 – we are currently on a three-game winning streak, an extremely rare thing, and have got ourselves to the dizzying heights of second in the table. Everything seems to be going my way at the moment – I am sure it won’t last. I can tell how well I played by the bruises on my legs. My wife is beginning to feel the effects of late pregnancy and doesn’t sleep well. At some point the excitement of an incredible week and the impending birth completely give way to the effect of extreme fatigue.

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