It’s been almost a month since I wrote anything here, and I’ve been equally quiet on Twitter as well in recent weeks. But it’s now come to an end.
It would be easy to say that I did it for Lent, but I didn’t. I’ve just been too damn busy to get the juices flowing, but the level of frustration by not blogging and tweeting has been huge and many an interesting issue has passed that I should have commented on.
As from today: it’s back to writing as usual and if I’ve got time over the weekend I’ll try and catch up on some of the stories I missed.
It was a nice enough morning as I recall. The sun was shining and the journey to head office was an easy ride for once. I was meeting my Director in NTL to review the plans for redundancies, and I was “under threat”.
The formal meeting went well, the regrets were expressed that all present were “at risk” and that “options would be investigated” but actually my heart wasn’t in it. I knew it was time to go. I’d been lucky enough to be in at the start of a new company that had grown hugely and some might suggest successfully, but it was now different. To put it simply “the suits had arrived”. The culture was being destroyed and the focus had no regard for customers or services and my heart wasn’t in it anymore.
Redundancy was offering a potential new dawn. I felt good. And as I walked through the office to return to my car, all the TV screens in the building were showing the same pictures. A tower block in New York on fire.
A “small plane” had crashed into a World Trade Centre building. Many people were “at risk” in the fire. The pictures seemed pretty benign until that moment when the second Jumbo flew low over Manhattan and into the second building. At that point it was clear that everything had changed.
The world was now “at risk” and my concerns about what might happen to me post redundancy were trivia compared to the concerns of the people in New York, and elsewhere, looking for loved-ones.
I sang God Bless America for the whole journey home and for most of the rest of the week. I found a new career, NTL became Virgin Media, New York remains scarred and is rebuilding. But the threat remains.
I heard a lovely story tonight on Live at the Apollo, probably a repeat, but what the heck.
Man comes home from a night out with the boys. Has had a few, may 2 or 3 too many. When he gets to the front door and finds his key the deep breathing begins. And so does the audition: the audition to say “hello”.
Not “HELLO”, or “Heeelooo”, just the right word in the right way and with the right inflection.
How many men have been to that audition and failed?
It was a joy to watch the highlights of the famous Barbarians v New Zealand match last night on the Beeb, how they condensed it into half an hour amazed me. But a number of things struck me during and after the programme about how the world of rugby has changed. Here are some thoughts: