Chapter 32 – Hopes & Dreams

Snow crunches under my boots. Glasgow’s Street of Hope has a new glistening carpet. I walk into Thomson & French. My place of hopes and dreams. Candles and coal fires are lit. Warmth and light are the world’s most important commodities.

Today we find out if our bid is successful. The great guardians of Glasgow’s planning process, the Dean of Guild, need a new set of maps for their city. Long days and nights invested into this most gruelling and lengthy commercial process.

Competition was exceptionally fierce. Whittled from four large cartography businesses to two. Thomas & French v Cary & Fortis. Glasgow v Edinburgh. Our great rivals courted the principal in their grand offices in George Street. Wined, dined and entertained. Their approach based on the Capital’s splendour and opulence.

Our approach centred on history, culture and heritage. We know every nook and cranny of this great city. Our maps will proclaim its grandeur to our children’s children’s children and beyond.

My staff gathers waiting patiently. Every ounce of skill, knowledge, ability and emotion sealed in our bid. This contract will secure our future and cement our place as the country’s foremost cartography business. If we lose then it’s a massive dent in the future of Thomson & French. Life is tough. Such moments hinge it on a knife-edge.

The letter arrives.

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