Thursday, July 06, 2006

Crash Landing

Arrived back safely to the Pundy House last night. Had a quick look round - to my surprise you guys hadn't wrecked the joint - Minx did her schoolmarm act and kept the Comments wing under control. Thankx, Minx.

Next thing I did was check out my favourite blogs to get myself up to speed on what's going on. Delighted to find that Minx is blogging up a storm with a lot of good writerly stuff. Impressive. Maxine writing fiction too - whatever next? Guess she's caught the bug. Skint still stirring the pot with his regular fervour. My impression is that these blogs are maturing nicely.

Gee, I'd go so far as to say I'm really proud to know you guys. And I missed you.

It's going to take a few days to pump my own blogging muscles back in shape. Need to find that elusive tone again. Right now my brain is mangled with cash flow and P&L projections, marketing reports, strategy meetings, competitor analysis (none - we've destroyed them, the giant service companies that used to dominate our market segment), performance reviews blah blah blah. Business in the middle east - and China, India and Kazakhstan - is going crazy. It's scary - very - but exciting. I can't deny it. If you've got to work for a living, you simply can't beat running your own business when the opportunities - and dangers - are virtually limitless.

Dubai itself I hate. The city is Disneyland on steroids. The world's biggest building site. Too hot to go outside during the day, too hot and humid to sit outside at night. You are forced to live in an air-conditioned, artificial expensive prison.

It wasn't all work. I spent Saturday afternoon watching England getting kicked out of the world cup in a suite up on the 23rd floor of the Burj Al Arab, the world's only seven star hotel, the one shaped like a dhow. I was there as a guest of one of our clients being served obscenely expensive food and drink by a queue of smiling waiters and butlers. I remember shaking my head in disbelief. How on earth had a poor boy from Essex ended up in a place like this?

You cannot defend the inequalities of wealth in Dubai. I'm not going to try either. Built on oil and virtual slave labour. Wealth isn't made there it's flaunted. I was there because that's where our business in places like Libya, Algeria, Kaz and Saudi is based. We're not rich either, not by a long way. We're there earning a living in a very tough industry, at the frontiers of capitalism. And yes, I know, big oil is destroying the planet. I don't sleep easy at night when I think about what I'm doing.

Not for the first time, I truly was glad to get back to the sanity of the Pundy House.


  1. Sheik Bill,
    glad you're home from the land of sand safely, and that you have been living it up in style (sounds fantastic, shame about the work). You do realise that when the rabble get here all that will just be a fond memory!!

    I have purchased a rather nice burqa in your honour, in readiness for the party you're about to throw for me because I kept the blog nice!

    Gold, for me? Oh no, no, no, too kind, I only wear silver - lovely thought though!!

  2. Yes, welcome home. Rinse the dust off. Wring the camel spit out of your sleeves. Have a drink. A think. Then get back to work.

    Minx has indeed held the fort these many days, nicens little mumsey that she is, but the troops are restive and morale could be better--I don't know how long discipline will hold...

    Rabble? Fucking RABBLE? You should have seen her, ululating around here like some demented jackdaw at the drop of even a mild gauchery, then hoisting the burka to snap a red satin garter. Well, we shut up, didn't we?

  3. Gulp. jta you paint a truly terrifying picture. If it had been me I'd have run for the hills.

    Listen, you're my sergeant major - keep the troops in line for me while I work out the plan. Just because they've got us surrounded and we've run out of water doesn't mean we're beaten.

    That fucking sand gets everywhere though, doesn't it.

  4. Minx

    Good work. Keep it up. Pay no attention to what the others are saying about you. That wig is almost forgotten.

    And listen. What's wrong with being common? I'm from Tilbury, for fuck's sakes. Fucks' sake.

  5. If it will help, I have cotton buds for getting sand out of those important little places - I keep them in my garter along with a hip flask and a couple of cigars!!

    Now please you two, I'm really trying hard here, I kept the mob at bay, fed and watered the blog (okay, it was with a couple Southern Comforts), I kept people on topic and this is the thanks I get!
    Anyway why does jta get to be your SM, very sexist I'd say and where was he when the hoards were invading? Some sort of ten cent breakdown apparently!
    And jta.....I never HOIST!!

  6. Missed you, Pundy, more than I realised. You have kind of snuck up on me!

    welcome back.

  7. He sneaks up on everyone Maxine, from behind!

  8. Oh yes, I see, as in 'hike em up'bit slow tonight -no sorry, wrong bark up wrong tree.
    What kind of a girl do you think I am exactly. No, don't you dare answer, at least not in public

  9. Hike: to raise, pull or move upward abruptly, as in 'Minx hiked a corner of her burka just past her knee, revealing a satin garter of fiery red, upon which lay a highly convoluted red silk rose.' Hike.

  10. Don't forget people, delete your comments before midnight otherwise he'll see what we have really been up to on his blog while he was away!

  11. Why bother? His reputation is shot.

  12. Gee, I'm only back one day and chaos rules again.

    I don't know what happened last night but I couldn't access the blog - so I had a glass of white wine and went to bed.

    Listen, if I'm not around you have my permission to do whatever you want on this blog. We're all low-lifes together here.

  13. Finally I get to gate crash the party you've all been talking about.
    I'm drying the tears of rejection at not being invited and trying hard to smile bravely through the pain.
    Pleeeeease let me stay ... I'll be ever so good. Or bad. Whatever you like ...

  14. Yo Debi

    Welcome aboard. I know you've been around a bit. I've spotted you from afar on other blogs, standing there looking preoccupied, drink in hand, the Madonna on the half shell.

    Right now this train is in the station taking on fuel. It's a mixture of alcohol, rocket fuel, bile and laughing gas. We're buildning up a head of steam. Monday morning prompt we're pulling out of the station, full steam ahead. We're gonna look at depression, full on. It'll be a gas.

    There are no rules here - or none that I've been able to discover. Do your own thing. Enjoy the trip.

  15. Whahey! I'm in!
    The 'been around a bit' is certainly true, but the Madonna ... hmmm ...

    Maybe that's not me you're thinking of at all. A case of mistaken identity?

    Now I'm here, can I stay anyway?

  16. Don't wait for him to reply Debi, we don't!!

  17. Oh, Tilbury, not Scottish, then?

    Where did you get your lovely romantic streak from then, Pundy?

    Incidentally, as you are a stated grammarian, isn't it fuck's sake? (ie not fuck's sakes or fucks' sake)?

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