Commercial Property Blog
All posts from: November 2008
I am addicted to communication. I daren't look it up on Google because it is probably a recognised condition somewhere like Silicon Valley and realising that would just make my condition worse.
I've known for a while that any spare moment i get - waiting for a train, walking to the drinks machine, going to the loo... i just can't help but get my Blackberry out.
I check emails, compose emails, look at the website and generally do anything other than just sit back, relax and amuse myself in my own mind - which is a shame because that's something i used to be good at.
It's got so bad now that if i'm on my own, with no blackberry i feel kind of lost - cut off and i find my own company is no longer good enough. I need communication. Help!
What a momentous morning. I watched the 154th and final episode of the greatest-ever television drama, The West Wing.
It has taken me the best part of a year, watching the 44 minute episodes on my Sony portable DVD player on the train from Basingstoke to Waterloo. Now, of course, I have withdrawal symptoms, but not for long – my wife has not watched a single episode, so I can start again from the beginning.
With this in mind, I have just bought the bargain of the century – all seven episodes, which comprises 44 CDs, for just £49.98 from Amazon. I noticed at the weekend that HMV is selling them at £50.
There can be no better Christmas present.
This is my first blog for more than two months. Apologies. I blame the collapse of Lehman and the subsequent meltdown in global financial markets on my inability to unearth anything funny, quirky or witty.
Depression has been the order of the day. But no more. I promise to try and provide some cheer in the dire months that face us. To kick things off, here is an amusing table, showing the US election results for each of the 50 states, measured by the average IQ of the residents. Probably, complete fiction, but so what!
Update: It is complete fiction, and the same thing happened in 2000 & 2004
I’m considering contacting John Sergeant to ask to take his place on Strictly Come Dancing.
I can’t dance, but neither can he. The request would have symmetry, because 30 years and three weeks ago, John telephoned me. I had difficulty in reaching across the bed to the portable telephone at St Mary’s Hospital, Paddington, because I was stiff, having just given birth to a daughter a few hours before.
A month earlier, John and I had been colleagues in the BBC offices in the House of Commons. I had a job; he was on secondment from the newsroom.
In 1978, our desks faced each other. We should have been talking about the rise of Margaret Thatcher, but we talked about parenthood. I already had a son, and John would tell me about his babysitting co-operative in Ealing. It all sounded strictly unglamorous.
Ealing parents kept account with bottle tops on their babysitting duties. With the self-deprecation we loved on Saturday nights, he told me that when he turned up to babysit at one house, the parents decided to take their child with them to the party.
My first thought from my hospital bed on hearing John’s congratulations was: ‘What good colleague.’ That vanished with his second sentence: ‘Are you coming back to work?’
I looked down at the defenceless, sleeping baby, and replied: ‘No, John, you can have my job.’
It was a split-second decision. If she had been fractious or crying, I might have said: ‘Keep my seat warm. I’m coming back in April.’In that case, John may never have been thrust aside live on camera by an embattled Margaret Thatcher at the Paris summit or entered Strictly Come Dancing.
The object of my decision is now married, has a first class degree in medicine from Oxford, is a registrar at Hammersmith Hospital, researching obesity for a PhD.
Perhaps John should meet her. She tells me that when she had children I am the mainstay of her childcare programme, and so what John started in me may be repeated.
In the meantime, as thousands in property lose their jobs, I ponder the random nature of gaining and rejecting work. I have never been the successful candidate when I have filled in pro forma job applications and gone for first and second interviews. Chance meetings work better. I am only working at Property Week because I met Jim Gardner, the news editor of Chartered Surveyor Weekly, at a Jones Lang Wootton party.
My advice to those job-hunting: a cheeky well-timed telephone call may work wonders.
I am not the only one who feels the whole world could be at a crossroads right now - with the result of the US Election probably deciding the course of much more than just income tax levels in down town Idaho.
The implications for the World seem huge - because the possible outcomes seem so different.
Anyway, there are tons of political blogs for this sort of thing.
What interests me is the use of the internet in this election.
There has been a proliferation of internet blogs about this election.
Some are by concerned voters, some are set up us fundraisers for the campaigns and some are even funded and by the parties with a view to disseminating information to voters in a new way.
The internet is also going to be used to cover the elections in a new way.
The Guardian - at the forefront of online journalism as usual - will even be getting its journalists to Tweet using Twitter to keep us up tro date throughout the night. I'd like to point out that Property Week used Twitter as far back as MIPIM in March ;)
Also, according to AFP more journalists than ever before are descending on the US from around the World to cover this election and they will be "posting Internet photos, videos and blogs" - no more running to the nearest pay phone to dial in your copy - most will be using web-based Content Management Systems to put copy straight onto websites and that same copy will then be used to write tomorrow's papers.
And that's where the internet comes into its own - its immediacy. You can Tweet from an election count straight to the Guardian website so that someone in Guildford will know the result of a Key primary before anyone outside the Town Hall i the town itself.
Newspapers cannot compete. They will have the in-depth look at what it all means - not the NEWS itself - which is now almost exclusively to be found online, on TV and on Radio.
I can't wait to see this election unfold in all its multimedia glory :)