Tuesday, June 26, 2012

My (pre-Euro tournament) letter to the FA

Strangely prescient, as it turned out. Maybe now we've been knocked out he'll get round to replying.

Dear Mr Bevington

May I begin by congratulating you on the appointment of the new England Manager, Mr Hodgson – a fine man with a proven track record of leading average international teams to the second round of major tournaments.

Following Chelsea’s historic Champion’s League victory in Munich, and the sudden appearance of a spectator, in full match kit, at the trophy presentation to lift the famous cup, I am writing to ask if there is any chance I might be allowed to lift the Henri Delaunay Cup next month, should England be victorious?

Like John Terry, I have always wanted to lift a prestigious international sporting trophy, ever since I was a small boy accustomed to the bitter taste of defeat in egg-and-spoon races at Sports Day.

Should this prove impossible to arrange (I realise that, as a Scouser, Steven Gerrard may be sensitive to the notion of letting anyone else near his silverware), are you able to wield any influence over the presentation of the Olympic football medals, or do I need to write to LOCOG?

Many thanks in advance for your assistance in this matter. I look forward to hearing from you.

God (or the alternative religious or civil authority appropriate to your culture and belief system) for Roy, England, and St George!

Yours sincerely.

Jeremy Davies  

Friday, June 08, 2012

Here's my Sitting and Thinking Place

That was the title of a song from a Beatrix Potter tape I used to listen to when I was a kid. It came back to me on a recent train journey from Cambridge to Ipswich for a meeting. Chugging past fields and rolling pastures, with no reception on mobile communication devices, it struck me how liberating it can be to be incommunicado for a little while. Alone with my thoughts, I had a chance to get them in order, as well as just having the chance to take in my surroundings and observe my fellow passengers.

News that London's Underground network is to be connected to the WWW via Virgin Media's wifi wizardry will no doubt be hailed as a great breakthrough for business in the capital, where the famously "Always on" economy will no longer have to include the disclaimer "Always on except while you're on the Tube" - with associated boosts to productivity, working hours, GDP and the rest. But is this really a good thing?

Quite apart from the mental strain of living such relentless lives (26.4 million working days lost to stress-related illnesses last year), there is the simple fact that everybody, at whatever level of an organisation or walk of life, simply needs time to think. As the string of high-profile business collapses shows, we work in such a knife-edge economy that the slightest mis-step or bad executive decision can have calamitous commercial effects, and considerable knock-on effects for businesses elsewhere in the supply chain (think of the collapse of Zavvi, or Clinton Cards).

At a time when companies are pumping money into creating sleep pods, breakout rooms and thought spaces, in an effort to provide some thinking time, it seems crackers to take away one free outlet already available.