More surprises

Well my last posting on the subject of surprise endings took a while to get going. To be honest  I was scratching around for inspiration until Mr Josh happily popped into my mind. I was actually going to write about two quite separate subjects before that and I might still get round to them later.  But the surprise thing seemed to resonate with me and it might have been a little  intuitive because lo and behold we were delighted by some more surprises which are worth sharing I hope.

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Footballers eh

I hooked up with a very old mate from uni the other night for a beer. He’s a semi-retired Cardiff-based teacher who’s been on a 6-month assignment at a very good girls school in Kingston and we’ve been catching up a bit over that time. His contract finished at Xmas but he has sort of fallen for this part of SW London so he’s continuing to come back to do some tutoring and some rowing. He’s one of my oldest mates – well he would be given that we left Aber Uni 40 years ago – and he’s lived a life as a sports mad, red-blooded bachelor ever since. In fact his life style has hardly changed since I first met him. Continue reading

Friends and their kids

Yesterday we had our old friends J and G over and their lovely kids E and J. It was a super day, just great to catch up and J is as madly generous as ever. I can’t believe it’s 18 months since we last saw G. But almost the nicest thing was the realisation that all of our oldest friends’ children have turned out to be really decent people in their own right; well-adjusted, good company, fun, engaging and the sort of people you’d like to be friends with too. Just like our own kids. And in almost all cases there’s more than 40 years age difference between them and us old buggers. Delightfully they even forgive my occasional slips into industrial language without resorting to it themselves. Great kids; I love ’em.


It’s eclectic!

At the risk of being accused of watching too much daytime TV, another thought occurred to me watching Frasier this morning. Have you nerticed how televsion sets and props are often an important character element in great sitcoms? Well I have.

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If you’ve ever known me, now’s the time to call….


I wrote about catching up with my old mate S the other day. Well I don’t know if there’s something in the water or LinkedIn’s suddenly started working properly or people have heard about my medical stuff but I’ve had a wave of contacts from some really old friends/colleagues recently from the days when Cellnet had a logo that looked like the one above. I mean friends from way back when, rather than they’re wrinkly and aged (a property I’ve got the patent on).

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Grand day out


Well our very good friend S is over from the States on business and spending a few hours with us in between his breathless gambols around the commercial centres of W Europe. I’ve written about S several times; we met when I joined the Post Office’s Telecommunications section after leaving university, back in the Middle Ages. He was a smart lad and I was a dopey herbert if truth be told. An unlikely pairing, we became firm friends and remained so even after he and wife M and the boys emigrated to America quite a few years ago now. I’m fairly sure he didn’t leave to escape me if that’s what you’re thinking. He’s still involved in high level telecomms stuff  and these trips are a welcome way for us to keep in touch even though he’s always on a manic schedule and of course we do miss seeing M and the lads (nay men).

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Is that Jeremy Clarkson looking over his shoulder?

Well David Beckham’s gone and announced his retirement now but surely the biggest news item in this week was the publication of yet another of my postings in the fabulous high50 site. Alright David might have stolen the front page headlines but it was big news in this household I can tell you and I’m sure old Clarkson must be quaking in his Sunday Times boots at such an amusing new columnist. Long-standing readers may remember this posting about one of my early public appearance successes heading up the marketing function at mobile network Cellnet. I still blush today at the memory but you’re welcome to enjoy my indignity:

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the jaguar’s heart

A couple of year’s ago over in Italy we met up with a great American couple, James and Mary Lou, who were staying with our neighbour Pauline. Sometimes I find Americans to be pretty hard work – all that openness and incesssant chat can grate a bit. But these guys were effortlessly laid back and engaging and they got the Italian thing too. We all hit it off straight away and have been friends ever since. I heard from James the other day (they’re back in LA at the moment) to tell me that he’d written a novel and had had it published as an e-book on Amazon and Smashwords. Entitled ‘The Jaguars’ Heart’ the synopsis is bloody breathless:

“The Jaguar’s Heart opens explosively during the assassination of a U.S. presidential candidate and takes the reader on a high speed ride into the world of Sangre de Dios, a shadowy drug soaked cult steeped in Aztec and Mayan mythology and sorcery. The cult’s demonic leader promises immortality for the chosen few and slavery for the rest of mankind when the end of an age, 2012, arrives.

 Jesse J. Rideout, former covert operator now a fugitive and artifact smuggler, must undergo a mind-bending transformation to learn if the cult leader has real occult power or if his followers are deluded by exotic hallucinogens, and then destroy an ancient horror to avert a war between the United States and Mexico.

 Katarina Castillo, daughter of the aristocracy, is Jesse’s partner in their desperate attempt to stop the cult, which has subverted the highest levels of U.S. government. Their only ally is the secretive Society of the White Rose, sworn enemy of Sangre de Dios.

 This riveting page turner examines the conflict between individual morality and patriotism in the conscience of a hyper-perceptive young covert agent recently recruited from a special operations military unit. The Jaguar’s Heart is also the story of a young woman facing unimaginable horror and discovering new depths of courage.”

Now if that doesn’t make you want to have a read nothing will. If you fancy a killer thriller check it out at:  or at

It’s around $5 which is only like 3s 6d as the Dollar’s sicker than the Euro at the moment. My mate James Morgan Ayres the author. Whodathunkit. Enjoy!