The globe-trotting part of my job never stops it seems and I am currently in Washington for an international bean feast for umbrella head honchos from all over the world. It will be a week of high powered presentations and will help determine global consensus (as long as the Americans say so) for umbrella policy over the next century.
Mind you, I am lucky to have got here at all. I initially thought for some reason that the event was being held in Washington, Tyne and Wear. It never occurred to me that a nation such as the USA would have any interest in umbrellas...surely they all drive everywhere rather than walk? But fortunately my excellent director of strategic direction (map reading etc.), Fab Jobsworth (Oxford, naturally), managed to get me to the airport and on the plane and now here I am.
I already knew that Barack Obama is secretly quite an advocate of umbrellas, having once owned one when a student. But it is something he tried to keep quiet during the campaign lest it harmed his chances, despite being subject to a spoof version of Rihanna's timeless umbrella opus. When he was elected I did send him a text message congratulating him and saying I hoped this would usher in a new era of US-led global umbrella advocacy. But I never expected things to move on so fast. He has been subject to hyperbole that would make Jesus blush but like all effective leaders he takes advice from the right people. Messiah, second coming, saviour of the free world. By all means use any of these epithets when describing me if my undoubted influence on Barack leads to a great new age for umbrellas. And once that is sorted I'll give him some advice on sorting out the financial system, the Middle East and drug related gun crime in Blacbury's infamous ghettoes.