Friday, 10 October 2008

An interesting week.

, originally uploaded by

A nice picture to begin this entry, courtesy of Andy, to stop him complaining about my narcissistic tendencies to self-promote my Flickr pics on my own website and therefore demolish him in our nerdy contests to see whose pictures get the most hits each day...

It's been an unusually (if reassuringly) busy week for me. I spoke at the TravelPlan awards on Monday, a reassuring reminder that big corporations are beginning to take cycling seriously for financial, health and environmental reasons. On Tuesday I spoke for Mars in Stratford-upon-Avon. 'Wah'* of the day, and source of much personal amusement, came when I asked the local taxi driver what river Stratford-upon-Avon was on. He fell for it perfectly. The Mars talk went really well, especially as I broke from my normal spiel and experimented with a new corporate talk called 'Lessons from the Road'. My corporate talks go down really well, with excellent feedback, yet I am having zero success in convincing any speaking agencies to make an effort to get me engagements. Cycling round the world, sleeping in ditches, living cheap: they seem to feel it's not as glamorous or relevant to corporations as an Everest climb. So, as seems to be the norm in my life, I am just ploughing a lone furrow and doing it by myself. 
Wednesday I spoke for RBS, trying to cheer up some credit-crunched bankers, then on Thursday I spent an interesting day learning from a photographer. Richard Foster and his team are still-life whizzes and I spent the whole day watching them not quite manage to take one complete picture of a phenomenally expensive watch. Their attention to detail, high standards, and extremely high skill levels were really interesting to watch. They also sat down to eat roast chicken for lunch which was an unexpected bonus!
In the evening I watched a photography lecture, including this excellent short film about the sad demise of the Walthamstow dog racing track.
And today I was back in the SOUTH office wondering where we can look next for sponsors. Ben was hard at work geeking away at the new SOUTH website (watch this space!) and sadly I was too inept to be much use to him. So I made a few cups of tea.
This afternoon, as opera played through the sunshine from over on Parson's Green, Richard from Mountain Equipment came over to the flat to deliver some SOUTH branded training kit (pics here). Top quality equipment which will be well-used in the months to come, smart-looking logos to help convince sponsors that we are serious, and a nice present to send me encouraged into the weekend. I'll be back to the sponsorship-chasing-coalface withe enthusiasm on Monday morning. But, until then, I'm spending the weekend with some friends from Kyrgyzstan. Enjoy your own weekends.

* defines a 'Wah' thus:
Used within the British Army as response to an answer to an obvious question that you have set the other person up to answer. Can become quite frustrating as you become paranoid answering any question in case it is a 'Wah'!
Steve "Is that a can of beer in your hand, Bill?"
Bill "Yeah!"
Steve "Wah!"
Bill "Bugger, been Wah'd again!"



Blogger Andy said...

Thanks Al... (photo taken by the legendary Martin Hartley)

10 October 2008 at 17:33  

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