One morning the phone rings and a familiar voice says: “Chreestoff!”

It is my old friend Alistair, who appears in a number of these Tales. For some long-forgotten reason, he has always called me Chreestoff. He is the only person who does.

He cuts the pleasantries short: “Chreestoff,” he says, “I have three items of business.” “Fire away,” I reply. I assume that this is about work.

“First item,” he says, “lunch!” So we fixed a date for lunch.

“Second, I have finished my book on Marshals of Napoleon. I will be grateful to discuss how I go about getting it published.” “No problem at all,” I reply.

“Third, I have been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, and told I have between two and five months to live.”

I was silent for a while before saying softly: “I don’t like that third item of business.”

Alistair gave half a laugh as he replied: “I’m not too keen on that one either!”



Chris Thorpe

Chris Thorpe is a respected independent lawyer in the upstream oil and gas industry, and an established lecturer and author. Chris has a LLB in law from Magdalene College, Cambridge and trained as a barrister in London. He worked for eight years' as an in-house lawyer for BP and Marathon. Since 1991, Chris has run his own upstream legal practice, CPTL, which has acted for many upstream clients. He has extensive experience of international upstream transactions, principally in the North Sea, the FSU, Africa and the Middle East. Chris has spoken at many UK and International Conferences and Seminars, both public and in-house. His most popular current lecture is Fundamental of Upstream Petroleum Agreements, a two-day course with accompanying book.