Robert Cadogan normally worked through lunch. Not from any particular drive or principle, but because the tide of each day left a fresh detritus of messages and tasks along the shores of his desk. He felt an impulse to clear these before the next moon cycle, akin to the small birds which scurry up and down the mud twice a day all their little lives. It was a trait that had been mistaken by managers for work ethic; something in their eyes both useful and slightly pitiable. The consequence had been a mid-career significantly longer than his contemporaries. His workstation had accumulated a patina of coffee and sandwich filling stains richer than any of its neighbours. The spider plant on top of his cabinet was that much stringier.