Saturday, March 31, 2007

Getting a habit writing blogs whilst in the pub watching football. This time we're playing Arsenal - 2-0 half time and all very entertaining, especially Peter Crouch.

Now officially on holiday for a week although work keeps forgetting as my email inbox keeps filling up. I guess if they don't hear from me for a few days they might get the message! Next week is part planned at present. 2 days powerboat training off Blakeney in North Norfolk, and then a day spent at Lowestoft where they keep a former lifeboat. Want to fit in something else on Monday if I can - just not sure what - maybe horse riding if I can book it.

We're only in Norfolk for 3 weeks so Helen not doing too much otherwise she'll be too knackered to go home! So far we have had an afternoon at Pensthorpe - amazing bird sanctuary down the road from us where it was warm enough to sit outside - not bad for March. Unfortunately the pub we often escape to has closed so most other afternoons are spent in the cafe at the Anglican shrine - it's not bad, all very new, and you get the pleasure of Shane, the non-stop talking manager. Haven't a clue what he's saying half the time - not sure he has either - but he's very funny.

Holiday officially started Thursday but I ended working from home until about 10.45pm. This after a 14 hour day Wednesday.

Wish we were in France right now to follow Hey Gravity tour. Reports back sound good. Looks like Michael McDermott deal finally reaching a possible conclusion. Seems to have taken forever but I hope will be worth it. His recent concerts in the States have been described as stunning - so emotionally charged they have reduced the audience to tears. I hope he gets invite to Greenbelt this year - with new faces in the office never quite sure what they want. I had invited Rachael Yamagata - big star in the States and could be even bigger when new album released - but no apparent interest from Greenbelt which was disappointing as she really is quite brilliant.

And the final score is 4-1 – England’s Number 1 striker is back!

Friday, March 30, 2007

I saw this comment on Michael McDermott's myspace site - thought it deserved a mention

"Michael, I met you at my dad's (Mike Jerkatis)class reunion. Thank you for all the great advice. Dan was very nice to us. I wrote about you on my profile, check it out. Thank you for being such an inspiration to an 11 year old! I'm still too young to see you play in most venues, but if you do another show in Beverly, we won't miss it! We have bought your cd's. You are very spiritual and you write with such emotion. Thanks again! I will always remember your kindness! Love, Ashleigh"

Saturday, March 24, 2007

In Norfolk - it's wet! Missing all things Hey Gravity! Lucky French - they are getting them big time.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

It's been a while since the last bids finished but little from me on the blogging front.

Normally finishing a bid is a good time when you take a holiday, re-charge the batteries and start to think about what next. For reasons I cannot go into it's been a difficult time with work and the result is a slight change of roles for me. I've got a few weeks to sort things out, but like a phoenix I'm rising from the ashes of a difficult situation. Helen's been great giving me loads of free life/work coaching sessions! Result is I've been very positive throughout this time and slept at night - staying out of headmind (as Helen would put it).

On the positive, my boss was grateful for the effort I put in towards end of the 2 bids we submitted end of February - working through the night for the last 2 weeks and reading 2000 pages one night to check document OK. At the end of my feedback session he shook my hand - meant a lot as I believe a handshake can be worth a thousand words. Once got forced into a fight at school - the other kid wanted to prove he was tougher than me - I won when he was persauded to submit - but at the end of it I shook his hand - totally blew his mind and I hope made him think twice before picking on someone else in the future.

Main lesson for me of the last few months is, when doing people favours to ensure changes to my workload are agreed in writing.

So what now? Next bid already started and will be fairly manic as shorter time to prepare. Cannot wait for June when it all finishes. Aside from bid work I also do some other blue sky work for the Group and that is going really well - next week being crucial as we try and close a deal. I'm buzzing with ideas at the moment so need to stay in a job to ensure I can deliver them!

We hope to escape to Norfolk later this week. Only 3 week stay because of work and I will commute most days to London. However, bid folk have all been told to ensure they have a week off to relax. Hard for Helen and I to jet off to an exotic island for a week so will enjoy Norfolk. I will have a few days off - powerboat training off the Norfolk coast. Going to sit a few exams that will mean I'm qualified to drive a powerboat all over the world. So for Christmas Helen you now know what I would like!

Going to Norfolk will mean I miss great gig this week at Madam Jo Jo's in London when Hey Gravity are in town before tour of France. Lots of TV and radio appearances over coming weeks for band in France. Work prevents me getting too involved at present. Was great to listen on-line Friday to Michael McDermott playing live in Chicago - was being broadcast on radio over there. New album now put back to June because of label discussions. But I have lots of copies of the advance promo.

Few other exciting bits of news to report. We beat Barcelona - just. The last week I've been fighting a heavy cold and cough. Helen and I went to see the fashion model exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery last weekend - reckon they could have called it the Kate Moss show as she seemed to be in every other picture - pretty explicit stuff so not one for the children. It was interesting though to read and see the thinking behind the photographer's mind - and why models agree to do the things they do for photo shoots.

At moment I'm sat watching the 1st half of villa vs Liverpool with annoyed of Birmingham getting angry about penalty appeal. Very scrappy game so late lunch soon at a non football bar (The Phoenix - Camberwell - excellent food,music, selection of beers and ambiance) will not be too big a wrench.

Will try and upload some of Michael's radio gig when I get the chance. In the meantime you can listen to him below talking about Chicago. It was a piece he recorded recently for radio for Chicago Day. Created a lot of interest from listeners calling in to say how much they enjoyed it and how it had made them look at their hometown differently.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Michael McDermott - Chicago

Michael McDermott discusses his love of Chicago

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

If you've ever fancied your own Banksy print but could never afford the prices they now fetch, you can always go to his shop at and download a series of photographs that he has put there of various works - must confess fairy tale cottage one of my favourites.

Monday, March 05, 2007

A quick post - follow this link to see the new Hey Gravity video Risen. Love it.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Just 1 day to go - YIPPEE.

The week has consisted of little sleep, long nights/early mornings as we finalise bid 2. For me it's now a quiet time until documents start to return from the printer and then maybe an all-nighter, or hopefully, a 3am finish. Tomorrow I expect we will celebrate in style - for me this will mean minimal alchohol - not sure my body would cope.

Last night we swept the board at rail awards so everyone very up-beat, and knackerred. We had a masseur on site through the night which I was pleased about as I had suggested it after the last bid. I reckon Greenbelt Ops should get one for all the venue managers who have to work long hours at the festival.

Next week we start on the next bid so no chance of a big break. We are all being told to try and take a week's holiday in March to relax and they have made a very generous offeer re this. For Helen and I though the dropping everything and jetting to the Maldives for a week is not an option. Hopefully we will make it to Norfolk for just a few weeks, most of the time though I will be back to 6 hour daily commutes. Trying to find something I can do for a week whilst there to make it a real holiday. Had hoped to do a power boat training course but nothing seems to start until April. Next option may be to see if there are any cordon bleu cookery classes at Morston Hall - home of one of the best restaurants in Norfolk. Otherwise I will have to search for something else to do. I did think we could move into the Hoste Arms (part owned by Stephen Fry) in Burnham Market for a week but would be too much for Helen.

For now though, one last push and we can all sleep tomorrow.

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