Delicious irony

Well yesterday was a great day really. I headed in to London to see my old friend J who runs a very funky graphics design agency. We had a great meeting on how I might be able to help build awareness for him and his creative work now that I’ve sharpened up his online presence.  All very exciting. En route to meeting up with him near Waterloo, I drove in to north London and parked up my car very close to where we used to live on Muswell Hill Rd. It was lovely to walk through Highgate Woods again on the way to Highgate underground station. Now you may not know it but because of the hilly terrain, the station was built in a deep cutting excavated beneath Highgate Hill. During the war, the deep-level platforms at Highgate were used by many as a shelter from the bombing of London by the Luftwaffe, and, later, V-1 and V-2 missiles. The entrance is a long way down. You can in fact get an up escalator to the surface from the booking hall but there’s only one way down via a steepish path. I’m not sure these pictures do it justice….

 

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Memories

Now you know you’re getting old when your children hit middle age, right? Well tomorrow we’re having a party for our lovely, beautiful, eldest daughter Rebecca who had her 40th birthday earlier this week. It’s a cliche but it really does seem like yesterday when we were waiting to take her home from the hospital after her birth. Where do the years go eh? I’ll stop with the well-worn phrases now.

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Looking back

I had a bit of a surprise this week. No it wasn’t seeing Rob Brydon canter over the zebra crossing with his kid right in front of me this morning. Nor was it the guilty verdict handed down to that dirty old git Max Clifford, a man who made a fortune exposing the perverted little peccadillos of many a sleazy celebrity. Isn’t life ironic eh? It will be sweet justice for his victims I guess to see him banged up for a long stretch knowing the    lads who will make Max Mad will be lining up in the shower block. No the real surprise was a telephone call from an old colleague, A,  from Cellnet days who I hadn’t heard from in almost 25 years. It was an early morning call and he asked about my health and the family, which was decent, but it quickly became apparent that his main purpose in calling was because he had an issue with what I’d written in this blog posting back in 2007:

https://pastapaulie.wordpress.com/2007/07/02/silverstone/

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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:

http://www.high50.com/blog50/my-stamford-bridge-humiliation

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Published…at last!

Time to move on eh. One of the few bright moments in a very dark couple of weeks was a little e-message I got from the editor of a great online magazine called High 50, confirming that I’d won an amusing story competition (using an old blog posting) and would have the entry published. Well you could have knocked me over with a quill. After nearly 700 postings and well over half a million words I’d finally managed to get a piece of writing recognised.  Continue reading

Nelly and the elephant

ImageRemember this image because it’s absolutely perfect for this piece. It’s about my nan, affectionately known as Nelly, who was indisputably the kindest, warmest, most decent person I’ve ever known and I loved her utterly. She’s no longer with us of course – she died just before Carol and I got married almost 40 years ago. But I think of her often and this evening I had a fond smile at her memory sparked by a clip from tonight’s TV. Continue reading

heroes

It was sad enough to learn that one of my heroes Paul Newman died recently. This morning I was reading that Seve Ballesteros is in hospital following a dizzy spell and partial epileptic fit, which looks certain to be caused by a brain tumour. The biopsy is tomorrow and I wish him a speedy recovery but it doesn’t sound hopeful does it? I admired him enormously, not just because he was a superbly gifted and brilliant golfer but also because he played (well at least before his back problems developed) with a  huge smile on his face and because he dared to believe that some poor kid from Spain could become a Grand Slam Champion and, subsequently, that Europe’s players could beat the seemingly invincible Americans at the Ryder Cup. He taught his peers that anything was possible. And he was right. Continue reading