Friday, 27 March 2009

Washed out in Washington

By heck it has been an exhausting week. But really useful in terms of getting a different perspective on how people view the future of umbrellas, especially during the downturn. What is clear is the consensus from different groups that it is a real opportunity and should not be wasted. Now is the time for blowing our own trumpets and reinventing wheels. Or should I say spokes

I have a fascinating chat with Dwight P Reinhardt III, ceo of USURPS (United States Umbrella and Rain Protection Society). "Reuben," he says (I keep telling him but he is too important to remember something as trivial as a name), "the way I see it is like this. The car industry is on its arse. You know that, I know that, Barack knows that. People will have to walk distances unimaginable in this country for 50 years. And there will be rain. Lots of it, even if the carbon emissions causing some of it reduce. You can't hold back the weather. Now is the time for umbrellas."

And the word from those in the know is that Barack is already considering setting up an Oval Umbrella Office to explore the possibilities of brollies that are not the standard round shape. There is a whisper that he is very keen to talk to me to draw on my experience with BUBB but that may only have been me talking to myself.

I overhear a bunch of understated Americans chatting near the pancake station at breakfast today about some irritating limey guy who keeps wondering around offering to share learning and pestering them to speak at his conference. I am intrigued to know who this is as I believed that I was the only Brit here, other than Fab. Apart from anything else it would be good to give them the gossip from back home, or at least my version of it, before they discover the truth.

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