The week started with two days in Horgen, Switzerland, at the annual Sustainable Asset Management (SAM) conference. First day didn’t grab me, but second day was livelier – and I met some interesting new people. The snow fell pretty much throughout the proceedings.
When I got back, the 2 Bloomsbury Place office was thinly populated, with Sam in Gujerat and our two Canadians – Charmian and Amy (Birchall) – leading a study tour of London and Oxford for nine Chinese foundations. Still, some very interesting visitors through the week, including Lily Lapenna of MyBnk, and the Chinese tour team yesterday – when we had some 15 people to lunch. Typically, the staircase was crowded in by a chap with a huge ladder trying to fix a leaking roof over our rather critical ‘Ladies’, just before the tour arrived, but happily the landing was clear by the time they came laughing up the stairs.
Elaine came in to help and I enormously enjoyed the conversations. Several of the visitors enthusiastically took photographs of the banner that Zheng Jieying had done for me after her internship – and which Alejandro and I had pinned up earlier in the day.
Weirdly, the British Council brought a gift to celebrate the tour, a leaping silver fish made by the Miao people of China. I asked whether they had chosen it because of the Volans association with the flying fish – and they said they had had no idea. Complete serendipty. It will join the flying fish painting Alejandro and Sarah gave me for my 60th birthday last year – and the print of the flying fish sequence from The Life of Pi, see my 29 February blog entry – on the wall of the 2BP ‘salon’.
A box of chocolates that David Hertz of the Brazilian social enterprise Gastromotiva brought in for me a week or two back on his way back to Brazil from Vietnam. The Chinese gobbled them up. Once everyone had gone and we had finished the washing up and hoovering (the picture under the banner in the second photo down above, is of me hoovering ahead of the Volans/my 60th birthday party last June), I savoured the afternoon-sun-illuminated trees in the garden, and then we headed home – stopping off at Peter Jones to look at potential coffee machines for Volans.
Today I was out early, for a session with a physio under Barnes Bridge. Lower back problems. Glorious, low sun and thick frost. The Moon was astounding last night, pretty much full – and literally flooding the house with its light. Must take the binoculars out this evening and see if I can see anything of Mars.