Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Life's a beach

It's Tuesday so I must be....out of the office, probably abroad. Yes, I am in Trinidad. At least I thought I was, but I went to Tobago by mistake. No matter, it is very nice here and I'll saunter off to the correct destination once I've had a few more rum punches, coconut croissants and Caribbean cliches.

I've certainly been racking up the air miles this year and my passport has more stamps than a toddler's tantrum convention. I have now visited over 10 countries. And that doesn't include the North. Or Wales. I can't exactly recall what is happening in Trinidad, something to do with brolly sector honchos from Commonwealth countries and some big Commonwealth shindig. A quaint, patronising throwback to the heady days of Empire it may be (we will be speaking the mother tongue, Oxford English, naturally) but it shits all over the bureaucratic nonsense that is the EU.

We will be discussing some pretty fundamental human rights issues and Uganda may be in for a blow to the kidneys if they don't back down over proposals to give the death penalty, or even worse, send people to prison for prancing around with an umbrella in a "gay way". I am all for innovative solutions to filling yet more prisons, run by us naturally, but it wouldn't work in the UK, where most people just look miserable when carrying a brolly.

It would be nice if Fab or Geof were here to carry my bags and fan me with cocktail umbrellas. But I saw an interesting snippet about Obama's recent trip to the Chinese takeaway. Or was it China? No matter: "Obama made at least some impact on the Chinese public, though, as soon as he got off the plane in Shanghai: He was carrying his own umbrella. That impressed many Chinese, who are used to seeing their political leaders with an underling holding their umbrella for them. One Chinese online commentator suggested: “Why don’t we learn from U.S. President Obama’s spirit of umbrella-holding?”"

I do agree with Obama in that I don't let anyone hold my brolly for me. But that's because I don't trust them. I have seen Hector staring longingly at a number of cherished pieces from my collection. However, there is nothing wrong with showing staff who the boss is and getting them to perform menial tasks. That's what they are there for. I don't even bother with delegation. I let Hector do that for me. Saves me more time for foreign jaunts.

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