Thursday, March 31, 2022

The Dying Art of Friendship

Some notes inspired by David Brooks, Robin Dunbar and Robin Dyke – with thanks so all my 150 ‘meaningful’ relationship people, my 15 ‘closer’ friends and my five ‘besties’ – thank y’all!

  • Maximum number of meaningful relationships most people can have – 150.
  • Invitees to an average American wedding – 150.
  • People on an average UK Christmas Card list – 150.
  • Number of people in early human hunger/gatherer communities – 150.
  • Circle of ‘close’ friends – 15.
  • Most intimate circle – 5.
  • Biggest influence on closer friendship, shared views on music, politics, professors, world view and similar sense of humour.
  • Time needed in another’s company to progress from acquaintance to friend – 45 hours.
  • Time needed to move from casual friend to meaningful friend – around 50 hours – over a 90 day period.
  • To move into most intimate – another 100 hours.
  • Hours devoted to intimate friends over a month – 8½ hours each.
  • Hours devoted to closer friends – two hours each.
  • Hours devoted to the larger friend circle – 20 minutes.
  • Extroverts spend social energy across more people and have more but weaker close friendships.
  • Introverts invest in fewer people but have stronger ties to them.
  • A crucial factor in friendship is social skills – something which is eroding rapidly in the face of our increasingly on-line world/life.
  • Our happiness is hugely dependent on our ability to understand and be considerate to others.
  • The average person can expect to have a close relationship breakdown every 2.3 years – usually through lack of communication.
  • Good friends
    • stand up for friends when they are not around, 
    • share important news with them, 
    • confide vulnerabilities, 
    • provide emotional support.


You can’t make Old Friends!  And as the Lone Ranger said “To have a friend, a man must first be one.”



Monday, March 28, 2022

Eight Pandemic Learnings

Here’s what I’ve learned about handling a Pandemic from a Leadership perspective.  (Presidents / Prime Ministers to note!)

·       Protect Your People.

·       Trust the Science.

·       Collaborate Connect Create.

·       Go Hard.  Go Fast.  Go Early.

·       Test Trace Isolate.

·       Adapt Improvise Overcome.

·       Communicate openly, truthfully, consistently and clearly.




Wednesday, March 23, 2022

So Happy It Hurts


The world is re-opening.


Live music is back.  Time to ‘Kick Ass’ as Canadian rocker Bryan Adams reminds us on his new album, So Happy It Hurts.  The title says it all.  As he says, it’s time to believe “It’s never gonna rain”.


Tune in for a classic, upbeat, positive, fun 40 minutes to rev us up and get out there.  “Let’s do this.  It’s up to us now ...”



Monday, March 21, 2022

Covid Good News – Drink Red Wine

That glass of Bordeaux/Burgundy you’re drinking with dinner is reducing your chances of contacting Covid-19 by 17%.


A new study analysed health data on 480,000 UK residents and found that subjects who drank one or two glasses of red wine a day had a 10% to 17% lower risk of contracting the Coronavirus than non-drinkers.







Wednesday, March 16, 2022



As the world re-opens, we’re all facing multiple priorities – some of them important, most of them urgent.


The temptation to develop pages and pages of to-do lists has never been greater.  The business of busyness is like a boa constrictor enveloping us.  Time to stick like glue to a Power of Three:





Timeless principles:

“If you don’t know where you’re going, all roads will take you there.”

“Think of many things.  Do one.”

“To be everywhere is to be nowhere.”







Sunday, March 13, 2022

Another reminder to live your best life every day


Warnie suffered a massive heart attack and passed last week.  My favourite cricketer of all time.  An Aussie larrikin and Top Man.  He was a visitor to Portland Road whenever he was in New Zealand.  We played tennis together – and of course cricket in our net at Portland Rd.  (Eldest son Ben claimed his scalp and bowled him out once!!)  He could smash a beer or two and was full of mischief, fun and sunshine.


Can remember a couple of big nights in Adelaide and Sydney too – (vaguely!!).


The skies are greyer without him.



Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Fun in the Sun


Have been in Barcelona all week working with ISDIN – Spain’s number one sunscreen/skincare company.  An inspirational CEO, ex NASA scientist Juan Naya, and a top, top team of passionate folks dedicated to inspiring folks to live healthy, happy, beautiful lives.


Over a memorable six hour (!) dinner at the great Paco Perez’ two-star Michelin Enoteca on Friday, Juan told me about some advice he’d been given by one of the Company founders – Mariano Puig – as he entered his final days.  Mariano told Juan about the five stages of life his own father had taught him:

-      Learn to do,

-      Do,

-      Teach how to do,

-      Make others do,

-      Let others do.


We talked about knowing when to move from one stage to the other.


Surprisingly obvious.  Priceless.



Sunday, March 6, 2022

Let Freedom Ring (I)


In one of my favourite cities – Barcelona, in one of my favourite hotels (Arts Hotel), in one of my favourite rooms (Arts Suite with my own personal gym and wraparound sea views), for one of my favourite companies (ISDIN) for a week’s work on a favourite project (helping create healthier, happier, longer lives).


We’re back!!


Saturday afternoon, a blast from the past.  Dunne’s Irish Bar behind the Cathedral on the Via Laietana, watching Scotland v France (Six Nations Rugby), England v Wales – and then Manchester City v Everton.  Pub packed with big screens, expats from the four Rugby countries.  La Marseillaise, Flower of Scotland, Land of my Fathers and Swing Low Sweet Chariot belted out by optimistic, hopeful, loud, mainly 25 – 35 year olds.  Girls drinking pints of IPA/cider, boys on lager/Guinness (not a glass of wine in sight, a search turned up one bottle of Campari for my Man City aperitif – after my Rugby black velvets).  Food was Irish comfort – Irish Stew, Shepherd’s Pie, Fish ‘n Chips with some Catalan nods – croquettes bacalhau (codfish croquettes!).  Games were great (City scraped a fortunate one/nil win), and mateship and bonhomie through the roof!!!!


My first social pub rugby in 2½ years.


Laissez les bon temps rouler!



Wednesday, March 2, 2022

Inga The Winga

My friend Inga passed away last week.  A great rugby player.  A great man.  A great father.  A great husband.  A great friend.


We go back 30 years.


All my kids loved him.  He boxed with them (in a boxing ring we had in Portland Rd for a while), he played rugby with them, he swam with them and he played squash with them.


He lived with us for a while, he worked for me as a Pepsi Cola Ambassador with his great friend Michael Jones.


He inspired everyone he touched.


The world is poorer for his passing.