A couple of weeks ago, our home internet connection was cut off – through a misunderstanding. We then had to wait all this time for the new service to be connected. Glitches in the server also meant we had to hold off posting for a while. That said, looking on the positive side, I’m sure that if we were in Outer Mongolia we would have had to wait longer. In any event, the period of exile is now over – and so this blog is back online.
Yesterday afternoon, Charmian (Love), Jieying (Zheng) and I went across to the London Stock Exchange to help launch the Clean & Cool Mission to San Francisco next February that is being developed by Polecat, Enterprise UK, the Technology Strategy Board and Volans. More anon.
Adelaide Convention Centre, detail Winged figure Sculpture mushrooms Mushrooming shadow Turtle skeleton in Museum of Southern Australia Opals Opalised plesiosaur Mock-up of plesiosaur in pursuit of lunch Knapped flints – exquisite Display Array of spear points Streetscape A king King and shadows War memorial Railway tracks, looking from my room south into sunset – conference centre roof, fountain and sea
Back this morning from a whistle-stop tour of Australia, mainly focusing on Adelaide, where I keynoted the annual sustainable development conference organised by the Minerals Council of Australia. My panel was chaired by Sue Sara of Xstrata, and was made up of Mike Rann, Southern Australia’s Premier, and John Strongman, ex-World Bank.
One thing I will long remember from the reception on the first night at the Museum of Southern Australia was the skeleton of a plesiosaur, where the calcium in the bones had been replaced in part by silica, turning them – in part, at least – into opals. Me next, please.
On the evening of my keynote there was a dinner at the National Wine Centre, where we were treated to a range of wines made by the d’Arenberg winery. Chester Osborn did a series of highly colourful introductions to the wines, which were great fun. My personal prize for the most elaborate wine name went to the 2006 Galvo Garage Cabernet Merlot Petit Verdot Cabernet Franc, though I confess I preferred the 2006 d’Arenberg ‘Dead Arm’ Shiraz. I also rather liked the 2008 Noble ‘Mudpie’ Viognier Pinot Gris Marsanne, so named, Chester explained, because the same ingredient s went into it as into a mudpie, mainly earth wand water.
Stopped off in Singapore briefly on the way, to meet up with Kevin Teo and Allen Tan of the Volans office based there, and Elim Chew, the well-known Singaporean entrepreneur. She gave Elaine and I a pair of chubby-bottomed cast angels, very much on the flying theme. There was a point to them. A highlight of the trip back was reading George Friedman’s extraordinary book, The Next 100 Years. Read it cover-to-cover. Amazingly provocative.
Travelling to Singapore and Australia this evening, so visas have been on my mind. Have two passports, to facilitate getting visas while travelling, but no visa needed for Singapore. Nor, it turns out, to become a citizen of Hopenhagen, so I signed up to the latter last night. This is an international movement to drive action on climate change at the United Nation’s Climate Change Conference (COP15) in Copenhagen this December.
The idea is that Hopenhagen will allow citizens to become active participants in the climate change dialogue and make their voices heard to world leaders and conference delegates attending the meeting. The ultimate call to action will be to secure signatures for the “Climate Change” petition in support of the UN, which calls for a climate treaty that is “ambitious, fair and effective in reducing emissions.”
Recognizing the tremendous role that communications will play leading up to and during the conference, the UN engaged the global advertising and media industry through the IAA to develop a comprehensive communications program to drive public awareness and generate action. Hopenhagen will complement the UN’s “Seal the Deal!” campaign.
Heard about the campaign from Miles Young, Global CEO of Ogilvy & Mather, when we sat next to one another at the Unilever dinner at the Tate Modern a week or so ago. For more information, or to sign up, go to http://www.hopenhagen.org/home
One of the stories my mother has told over the years (and we went through again this morning, at my request) is that of her oldest brother, Peter Adamson, who was part of a smuggling trio in the immediate aftermath of WWII. Known to insiders as ‘Pete, Gus and Hank’, they flew somewhere between one and three old Walrus seaplanes back and forth across the Channel, bringing back perfume and various sorts of alcohol.
On one trip they took a young blonde, who on the trip back managed to sleep through panic stations when the intrepid – but seat-of-the-pants – smugglers teetered on the edge of running out of fuel. They debated pouring some of the illicit brandy into the fuel tank, but we don’t know whether they did or not. My memory is that Peter was asked to leave the RAF during the war, because he crashed too many aircraft.
People my parents knew in the Royal Navy have said the adventures of P, G & H were well known at the time, indeed, the Walrus(es) used to land close in to the fleet, to offload wares.
Would be interested to hear from anyone who knows more of the story.