Those times were hectic beyond belief, on some days we had a three-truck convoy driving through the villages and usually the trucks contained some very wealthy individuals – some old-timers and some newcomers. Most were very nice guys but a few had decided that they had more importance than others and, as such, needed much more of my attention.

My day started around 7.30am and we’d generally leave the hotel around 8.15am in search of Koi. Dennis would do all the lead driving, my job was to negotiate prices, estimate freight charges, photograph all Koi purchases, note if a Koi was to be kept in Japan or not and make notes of it all as we went along.

By the time we returned to the hotel at 4.30pm it was already dark. Whilst everyone else could relax, take a shower, do some shopping or take a nap – that’s when my work started all over again.

I had photos to send to overseas clients and I had to document my own Koi purchases together with Koi belonging to guests. After that, I had to update all my guest’s accounts with daily transportation costs and new purchases plus shipping or growing costs. Incidentally the vast majority of these were NOT cheap Koi. Next came a separate record as to where each Koi was together with details of breeders who had been paid and others that had to be paid.

In that two-month period there would also be three shipments to arrange and only I could do this. I had to give written instructions to each breeder specifying which one or two Koi would go into each carton and also specify the weight of each carton and then advise them the date, place and time that the cartons had to be delivered to the truck that would take them to Narita.

Of course, there were also overseas bank transfers to check daily – very few ever returned without over spending.

It was a ritual that the rest of the party would start in Nomole around 7.30pm but it was rarely before 10.30 I’d be ready to shower and change, on many occasions it was later especially if overseas customers were on the ‘phone.

After that, all that remained was to print out the accounts for each guest, walk over to Nomole and hand each guest their account. Some would pay there and then others would pay next day at breakfast.

Then there was the odd knock on my bedroom door – usually around 3.00am when someone would ask – ‘Peter you know the Sanke that so and so bought yesterday at so and so’s for £X – I’ll give you £X plus y for it.’

Yes it happened.

65 days straight, 7 days a week at 55 years old to 61 years old.

Not complaining at all – it was my job, the best job in the world for me.

I soon discovered that Whisky helped…..but it never once stopped me spotting Koi.

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