Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Thanks Sparky …

Happy New Year.


Thursday, December 26, 2019

Keep It Simple (from The Times)

Four Royal Marines have planned to row across the Pacific in 2020.  They asked Rowing great Matthew Pinsent for any tips.

The four times Olympic Champion nailed it:
1)   Row ten hard strokes.
2)   Turn round and ask “Is that Australia?”.
3)   If no, go to Instruction 1).


Monday, December 23, 2019

Danger. Danger.

What’s the most dangerous place over Christmas / New Year?

An aeroplane.  Any aeroplane.

How many of us have caught a cough or a cold after being trapped in a metal tube for hours on end, surrounded by flu germs, coughing passengers, and the dreaded sneezers?

An unlikely source – the UK Institute of Sport – has just issued guidance to athletes on how to minimise the risk of catching cold when travelling to/from training or events.

Four pieces of common sense that, given the amount of time I spend on planes, I can personally vouch for:
1)    Choose a window seat to reduce contact with potential germ-carriers – avoid being trapped near the hurly burly of the ever busy aisle.
2)    Avoid seats near the lavatories.  That’s where all the people visit!
3)    Disinfect the arm-rests, seat-belt buckles and tables.  That’s where the germs live.
4)    Drink plenty of water.

Stay Healthy.

Season’s Greetings.


Friday, December 20, 2019

Foodie Friday – Nothing beats a good old Parisian Brasserie – especially at Christmas.

Back in The City of Light, catching up with old friends – couldn’t resist going back to La Belle Epoque and visiting two classic brasseries – both within walking distance from my Parisienne haunt for the last 30 years – The Ritz.

Le Gallopin – opened in 1876, superb classic bourgeois dishes – snails, frogs legs and veal sweetbreads.

And Le Grand Colbert – beautifully decked out for Christmas, more snails, foie gras, oysters, lobster and my favourite, a whole grilled kidney – all washed down with excellent value for money Bordeaux.


Thursday, December 12, 2019

Raise the Glorious Flags

On this critical Election Day in the UK, I was given this paragraph from Winston Churchill’s autobiography by Historian (and entrepreneur at Oxford’s Foundry) Judson Alphin (thank you Jud).  Oh, what I’d give for a leader like Churchill today.

Here are some thoughts on inspiring a bunch of young adults to become the best they can be; to Dream, to Move, to Dare to Risk.

Thank you Winston (and Jud).

“Come on now all you young men, all over the world. You have not an hour to lose. You must take your places in Life’s fighting line. Twenty to twenty-five! These are the years! Don’t be content with things as they are. ‘The earth is yours and the fulness thereof.’ Enter upon your inheritance, accept your responsibilities. Raise the glorious flags again, advance them upon the new enemies, who constantly gather upon the front of the human army, and have only to be assaulted to be overthrown. Don’t take No for an answer. Never submit to failure. Do not be fobbed off with mere personal success or acceptance. You will make all kinds of mistakes; but as long as you are generous and true, and also fierce, you cannot hurt the world or even seriously distress her. She was made to be wooed and won by youth. She has lived and thrived only by repeated subjugations.”


Wednesday, December 11, 2019

The Boys are Back in Town

Just out.  Scorsese has done it again.  He’s brought back the Big Three – De Niro, Pesci and Pacino (plus Harvey Keitel).  Three hours, 30 minutes on Netflix.  Gripping.  Intense.  Must be close to De Niro’s best ever.  Bittersweet.  Reflective.  Touching.  Legacy.  Regret.  Pain.  Love.  Duty.


Watched it on a flight from Miami to Paris.  Time passed quickly and slowly.

Also enjoyed watching:
-        Echo In The Canyon.  I missed it this Summer – out on Netflix.  My favourite group The Byrds, The Beach Boys, The Mamas & The Papas, Joni Mitchell, David Crosby, Jackson Browne, Tom Petty and co.  A look at how Laurel Canyon folk rock got up and running.  Jakob Dylan takes centre stage.  The soundtrack album is great.
-        And on TV.  Series 3 of Goliath on Amazon – Billy Bob Thornton nails it again.  Series 2 of London Kills on Apple – a UK production.  And of course HBO’s ‘Murdoch’ take – Succession.


Friday, December 6, 2019

Foodie Friday – The man who brought small plate dining to America.

I was at The Bazaar in South Beach, Miami last week, revelling in José
Andrés’ Caviar Cones, Oysters topped with Caviar, Japanese Tacos, Iberico Sliders, Brussel Sprouts with lemon, apricots, grapes and plantains, Octopus Romesco – small portions, all exquisite.

My third time there and it’s still entertaining, stimulating and delicious.

José’s empire is now 20 or so restaurants strong.  He’s worth an estimated $50million – and has just won an American Express Icon Award at the World’s Best 50 Restaurants ceremony.  His restaurants are exciting, well designed, full of laughter and fun – and the food’s pretty good too!


Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Inspiring Business Brilliance

Three years ago I joined 21 year old Jake Millar’s journey to drive Faster Business Learning among young leaders / entrepreneurs under the Unfiltered banner.

This week has been momentous.
·       A new Board – Jake and I are joined by a new Executive Chairman – Guy Haddleton, founder of $10billion phenomenon Anaplan, and Crimson Education’s founder Jamie Beaton.
·       A new funding round of NZ$2.4 million completed.
·       A landmark article ran recently in NBR telling the story to date.
·       A new strategic focus on the US, and Unfiltered Live events, developed and agreed.
·       A new Purpose and 2020 plan in development.

Exciting times.