One day is never the same as the next

One day is never the same as the next

 

Every now and again you get to do something completely out of the ordinary..

And so to today.

I sit here with my macbook air overlooking the spa Francorchamps Circuit (about 40km south east of Liege in Belgium) from the Team Black Falcon Hospitality structure. Good coffee in hand, waiting for some Friends and looking out at an impending thunderstorm that seems to be heading this way.

 

john davy

The view from the blog

 

This weekend is the Blancpain 24 Hour endurance race. The Spa circuit is rammed with Lambo’s, Bentley’s and in Team Black Falcons case the mighty AMG Mercedes SLS. My friends at Saudi Sports Group have been racing one of the Team Black Falcon Mercedes all year.

john davy

Team Black Falcon SSG Car #19

Tomorrows 24 race sees Abdulaziz Bin Turki Al Faisal and (on this occasion) his brother Saud Bin Turki Al Faisal both competing in the same event.

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The set up here is immense as are the numbers. Just the bill for the tyres alone in a 24 hour race would make your eyes water and probably pay off most of your mortgage. And that is just for the one team.. There are more than 30 teams here with 2-3 cars each in the field of over 60 racers.

 

john davy

Dark skies over Eau Rouge – Spa

Tomorrow I head back across Belgium toward the channel tunnel and on to Wiltshire to meet up with family for the weekend.

This presents further opportunity to do some things that generally don’t form the normal course of events for an average Saturday.

On the 22nd October 1917 my Grandfathers brother Robert Davy breathed for the last time in a field close to the village of Poelcappelle, a mile or two from Ieper (Or Ypres depending on where you come from)

A man who survived being shot at the first battle of the Somme in 1916, Robert was patched up and returned to Belgium just in time for the Passchendaele campaign. He was not so lucky second time around and although we don’t know for sure, it is my suspicion that Robert was caught up in an artillery barrage early on that day.

Robert is remembered on the Tyne Cot Cemetery walls. I last visited with my father back in October 2007 on the 90th anniversary of the battle that proved to be his last. It is a connection I like to make and a journey that I have to take when over on this side of the channel.

john davy

The memorial at Tyne Cot, Belgium

Onward from there for a quick walk on Dunkirk beach and a final blast of military remembrance before heading home.

The glitz and money in motor-sport are transient. By Monday, the travelling circus of Blancpain will be gone and someone will have won the race.

Spa will become silent once again.

It will be equally quiet in Ieper where Robert and his comrades in arms are a permanent reminder of days gone by.

48 hours in different worlds.

Two very different worlds.

Lest we forget……

What do you do when the chance comes to make a real difference?

What do you do when the chance comes to make a real difference?

 

This is your chance for this week my friends!

 

Sarah Ardizzone is a qualified and experienced Midwife who works at the Norfolk and Norwich hospital.  She is also the friend & partner of a Jon Dix who is a good mate of mine and the very fine author of the book “Welcome to Seething”.

In March this year Sarah will be travelling to Nepal on a volunteer basis to help set up maternity facilities in a remote part of the country.

 

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What it's all about

 

Nepal has among the highest rates of both maternal and infant death, particularly in the rural areas where the nearest health facilities may be a long way away and hard to reach, so it is vital that the birth attendants in these areas have the skills to deal with obstetric emergencies and early recognition of problems.

Sarah will help to set up an antenatal service and birth centre as well as supporting and educating birth attendants.

 

john davy

Sarah Ardizzone Midwife in Nepal

 

Sarah is giving up her annual leave to share her expertise for this cause.

She is seeking donations of £100  upwards from businesses that would like to support her cause for saving the youngest lives in a country that has many challenges.

 

john davy

People live miles away and have mountains to climb to get to medical help..

 

The money raised will go towards the cost of Sarah’s travel and insurance, accommodation and living expenses as well as basic equipment that she will be taking with from the UK, such as portable fetal heart rate monitors, wall charts and teaching aids.

You can keep up with her fundraising efforts and progress via the Mountain Midwife blog, her Facebook page, Midwife volunteer in Nepal and any press release or publication relating to my trip.

john davy

Grandma Greets her Grandchild

 

The need is greater than just this one trip and the aim is to create a fund that will allow other volunteer midwifes to spend time in country.

I believe that there is no more noble cause than the protection of a nations youngest children. The chance to start a life is a given expectation in our county and for that matter most of the western world.

Why wouldn’t we want to help with Sarahs work?

john davy

Medical facilities are at best basic

 

I would be delighted if this hit a note with some of you and I suspect that any donations would be gratefully received. Should you wish to do so you can contact Sarah directly by the following methods

email sarah@ardizzone.org.uk

Mobile Number 07795672424

If are thinking about  doing something good for the world this week then please make it helping Sarah!

 

Have a great week!

And so to Transfer Deadline Day

And so to Transfer Deadline Day

 

 

Bringing in new people sometimes works and sometimes doesn’t. Today is transfer deadline day in the UK. The final day of the season for clubs to bring in new blood. Players that they hope will either kick them onto the top, or will save them from the drop. The newspapers and TV go mad all day, and it comes to a shuddering halt at 2300 tonight.

On the Good Ship Canary it is fair to say that we have experienced stormy seas for the whole of this season. Whenever you hear fans talking tweeting or writing, they seem to be split. This can radically change in direction depending on the result of any particular game. We win, and everybody thinks it’s going to be fine, we lose, and everyone’s leaping onto the fast train to disaster central!. Add to that a full range of emotion in between, and this is how the Premier league’s going in 2014, at least for Norwich City

Here follows the dulcet tones of a certain Mr Rod Stewart. Exactly how it feels to be a canary fan right now!

 

So as I sit today, in the City Norwich, my eyes are diverted every now and again out in the direction of Carrow Towers.  Part of me hoping that the next Ian Crook is about to walk through the door.

In fact, I could go as far to suggest if Crooky was to put on his boots at Cardiff this weekend, then we’d stand a better chance of getting that arrow-like, defence splitting ball to one of Strikers! You can but dream my friends!

 

john davy

What Norwich City Needs?? Another Ian Crook

 

So what will happen?

Nobody knows, and I guess that is half the fun. If we do end up with a striker and a creative midfielder, (I am with David Freezer here with the Evening news. What a great name, by the way!?) on top of Joseph Yobo, then we will all be spirits up with hope in our hearts for the rather big game at Cardiff on Saturday. (Not to forget Jonas by the way!)

If we win, we will have taken some big steps in the right direction. Lose and the transfer madness will lose its light very quickly. The perfect storms big wave hits the wallowing HMS Canary once again…..

john davy

HMS Canary caught in the Storm.

All exciting stuff really!

Have a great week

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The Life and Times of a Norwich City Fan- Class of 2014

The Life and Times of a Norwich City Fan- Class of 2014

 

One of the great things about a blog is you can write about anything you want to! Today it is all about being a football fan.

To be clear a fan of Norwich City and before we start, here is a short video to remind those that need to know how to score a goal. Should cheer you up!

 

 

It is Sunday 12 of January 2014. I woke this morning at around 7:30 a.m. and flicked on the BBC 1 just-in-time for Match of the Day. Knowing the fact that Norwich had lost 2-0 to Everton the day before, I could not describe myself as chomping at the bit for what was about to happen.

As it was certain we would not be the first match of the program, (more like the last) I opened up the iPad and started to read the Sunday Times. Pretty soon I came across the Norwich Match report written by Paul Rowan.

One section in particular grabbed my attention

“Two breathtaking strikes from outside the box, first from Gareth Barry  (check the link to see the goal), then a Kevin Mirallas free kick after the interval livened up what otherwise threatened to be a rather run of the mill afternoon at Goodison.

john davy

Gareth Barry

Much of the responsibility for that lies with Norwich who never showed serious intent to threaten the Everton goal consistently, except for late in the game when they would have been flattered that they pulled even a goal back.”

There-in lies the story of the best part of two years at Norwich City.

Having been a fan for the longest time, I have been through the standard ups and downs of an English football fan. Aside from Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool, most fans (of teams in the Premier league) will have had a good number of downs as well as ups in their football lives.

Rather like a Sine curve NCFC seem to fluctuate from flashes of great, to the majority of average and onward to periods of seeming disaster.

By way of example, a quick history.

Nigel Worthington gets us promoted 2004 we get relegated 2005. Worthington goes, Peter Grant arrives.(Most memorable comment about the goalkeeper,” Stevie wonder would have seen that one coming!”) Grant was apparently a great coach. Unfortunately, he turned out to be a “pants” manager.

Next came Glen Roeder of Geordie fame and in his first season he rescued the club from relegation to League one. Genius! The next season he descended into madness and chaos. Getting rid of Darren Huckerby and then entering into a one man war with the fans, the team and ultimately the board of directors. The end game came soon enough.

Could things get any worse?

john davy

A Huddle of Norwich City Managers

Enter stage right, Bryan Gunn. Gunny was a club legend and ex sheriff of Norwich. Unfortunately, not a very good manager of football clubs and so came relegation to league one.

The timeline to this point was from May 2006 through 18 August 2009 and then the worm turned. Paul Lambert walks through the door, and every single City fan (without knowing it at the time) got on the last train to chaos central.

No money, depressed fans, the same players and the bucket of determination was the starting point that came with Mr Lambert. There followed a swash buckling two years of back to back promotion, exciting  attacking football (With quick substitutions if things weren’t working out!) and ultimately promotion to the promised land of the Premier League

One more glorious year of Mr Lambert, finishing 12th in the league, and then he was off like a rat out of an aqueduct to Villa and pastures new.

Norwich city manager number 37 is Chris Hughton. I have been around for about 16 of those, starting with Ron Saunders.

Life in the Premier league has become a really dull affair compared to the previous three years. The crazy money overflowing from sky TV into football has distorted the way the game is played. Mr H, known as “Cautious Chris” in many circles plays the game with a view that it is better not to lose, than it is to win.

That would of course be okay if it worked. It has not. As is the Norwich way we play well (but on the whole lose) against big teams and with struggling teams we seem to lower our standards accordingly. This means either scraping by, drawing, or in the case of Boxing Day losing to a team like Fulham, who we really should have smashed to bits.

I have never known the Norwich faithful to be so split as they are at this time. I don’t think anybody enjoys the way we play right now. A meaningful number of fans (and commentators) have been campaigning for the manager to be fired since the middle of last season. Another significant group believes he should be given more of a chance.

As far as the media goes the excellent correspondents at myfootballwriter.com do their best to create a balanced view that err’s on the side of keeping Mr Hughton in place. Rob Butler of Radio Norfolk said recently,” it’s one step forward and three steps back” suggesting a less than positive view of the current management structure.

 

john davy

Rob Butler - BBC Radio Norfolk "McVeigh and Butler"

 

I have to say that I am nearer to Rob B, than I am to Myfootballwriter. In my view all we have to look forward to is 4 1/2 months of gut wrenching, dour, conservative, (hold on to that 1-1!!) football.

If we are lucky enough to stay in the Premier league, it will be because others are worse than NCFC, rather than Norwich city being better than anyone else. Happy days!

Real football is hard to find these days. By that, I mean football that is not influenced by having millions of pounds at stake. Premier league football for all but a few is a slog that on occasions is difficult to describe as entertainment.

Playing a more attacking style would not guarantee success. Personally, I could take the failure on the chin if I believed we had gone down fighting. Fighting hard to win rather than just about hold on for a 1-0 against Palace. Fighting in a manner that might have got something extra in the net against Fulham on Boxing Day.

Stay up or go down? Who knows?

At least if we did go down, it would not be for the lack of trying and at least we would see some passion.

Throwing caution to the wind worked against West Brom and Man city at the end of last season with stunning results. Cautious Chris appears to have stamped out that inspirational embryonic flame this year. Here we go for four more months of gut wrenching, nail biting torture.

On top of that! We pay money for this too!

Have a great week!

 

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A reason to take a chance on the Isle of Mull

A reason to take a chance on the Isle of Mull

 

 

For the last few years we have ended up taking a holiday in the western Isles of Scotland. Our destination of choice is the Isle of Mull.

This year has been no exception and as usual we were joined by Bruce and Win for the week. The trip up was standard bank holiday fare with the drive from Norfolk to Dumfries ( A definite 6 hour drive, taking on this occasion a full  9 1/2 hours due to the A1 being a total write off when it came to functioning as a road!)

Two days later we set of from Dumfries for the west coast port of Oban. For those that know, the drive along the west bank of Loch Lomand is a stunner and this is only suprassed when you take the Old Militrary Road west from Tarbet to Inveraray… It is along this road that you get this view!

 

john davy

Rest and be thankful

 

Two hours later we arrrived in Oban and stocked up with fuel and provisions before checking in at the Caledonian McBaine ferry terminal. By 3:30pm we were settled in at the our spacious house called “Assynt“, that sits on top of the hill overlooking Tobermoray harbour and the Sound of Mull.

john davy

Assynt House

 

Early the next day I got up early and took a walk with Win down to the harbour in Tobermoray. A stroll past the distillery to check out the yachts in the Marina was fun. We then returned to the walk along the Harbour wall, taking in the shops and finally into the Bakery for a coffee and sausage roll.

The bakery has a nice little restaurant and was dooing a roaring sunday morning trade for walkers and people in off the boats. As we sat there having a coffee my eyes were drawn to a graphical time line story board of life on Mull that adorned the walls of the bakery.

One thing really caught my eye. An air taken image of an extinct volcano named:

S Airde Beinn

The crater lies just to the North of the road from Tobermorary to Dervaig and is tricky to spot from the road. It is however very clear when you check it out on Google Maps. It was also very close to where we were staying and in five previous trips, I had never realised it was there until now.

john davy

S Airde Beinn

 

After a short bit of blog research, it appeared a not too challenging a walk as long as you could find the derelict house beside the road.

And so it turned out to be…

The march to the top was done at a jog by Jo and at a steady pace by Agnes and Rachel. For me it was huff and a puff, but we got to the top in around 40 minutes. From that point on it all became exceptionally worth while.. The views of the crater were stunning. To the East you can clearly see Tobermoray and to the west you can see Dervaig and onward to Calgary beach. It did help that it was around 20c and crystal clear skies.

 

john davy

The lake filled Crater of S Airde Beinn - Spot Jo bottom left

 

It is at times like this that you can really begin to appreciate what a wonderful world we live in. The isolation and beauty that meets the eye, simply takes the breath away.

And all that came from a chance cup of tea in a bakery. You would never know this place was there from the road below and it just goes to show that it can pay to make the effort once  and take the chance to see these wonderful places.

 

john davy

View from s Airde Bienn

 

This is a truly wonderful place that is totally worth the 600 mile drive to experience.

Have a great week!

 

 

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That I should play

That I should play

 

 

In the summer it can be hard to do the balancing act between work and home.

I believe it is important to take time out to spend with family and friends, as it helps re charge the batteries. This year has proven challenging to date and I am  really looking  forward to returning to the Isle of Mull for a break.

The kids went camping this week in North Norfolk and had a beezer time. They are on another adventure today,crabbing at Southwold with the Grand Parents

We had some great days around the village,the school sports day  for one and at some local water resorts known as Smockmill Common. A place where I used to go fishing 40 years ago and where the kids had great fun swimming and playing.

 

 

 

john davy

 

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The summer will all to soon come to and end and it will be back to work with a vengeance. Enjoy your time and take the opportunity to smell the flowers on the way through..

 

Have a great week

How to create an empire – The NCFC way

How to create an empire – The NCFC way

 

It is only around 2159 hours since Carrow Road shut its doors. Just after a 4-0 rattling result against West Brom.

I can still feel the sense of palpable relief that not only were we safe for another year in the English Premier League, but we had run riot in what was expected to be a tense and close fought match. Thanks in no small part to John Ruddy making a come back at exactly the right time.

 

john davy

The strength of Defence - John Ruddy

 

One week later, an even less likely romp to victory at ex champions Manchester City, found the cheeky Canaries ending up one position higher than they had  in their first premier league season.

Just days before I had been addicted to the BBC league table predictor.

This form of torture allowed you to fill in score predictions for the remaining games, before altering the table accordingly. On most attempts I had us either relegated or one off the bottom three (that was when I went for my wildest and  wholly unrealistic dreams!)

What is to come?

Out goes Holty (Who has just scored at Wigan I note!!  (Grant Holt redirects Emerson Boyce’s shot into the back of the net on his Wigan debut to double the visitors’ advantage.” – BBC Live)

Also flown from the nest:

Chris Martin (Derby County) Free

Simeon Jackson (Eintracht Braunschweig) Free

Lee Camp Released

Marc Tierney (Bolton Wanderers) Free

Elliott Ward (AFC Bournemouth) Free


Jed Steer (Aston Villa) Free


James Vaughan (Huddersfield Town) Undisclosed

Andrew Surman (AFC Bournemouth) Loan

Leon Barnett (Wigan Athletic) Undisclosed

& last but not least my nieces boyfriend Tom Adeyemi who we all wish well at Birmingham City

In comes:

 

john davy

The Wolfman

 

The Wolf man,

Hoops,

The Redmond Rocket,

The Viking Olsson,

The Bouncer,

The New king of Spain

& Dennis the Menace, or a least (G)Nash(er)

In my head we are still short of a couple of faces and I am praying that they all get on well over the post training pasta and protein drinks.

Gone are the days of a few beers in the White Horse in Trowse as would have been the case after training days in Whitlingham. Many moons ago!

 Pundits views

Going back 12 months,  the messiah known as Lambert had ejected to villainous territory. The pundits were split on our likely outcome for the season.

Phil McNulty at the BBC had us at 14th as did Four Four Two.

Who ate all the pies had us down and buried

Its all in the game were not entirely confident- “Norwich may have enough to beat the drop, if not, they could well be back in the Championship come next May.”

& Robbie Savage… Well need I say it!?

Ups and Downs

Alright, the facts are that in about 334 hours from now the Wolfman and his pack will be walking out to a full house in Carrow Road.

 

john davy

And this years FA Cup winners!

 

It is that perfect moment of the season. The day the sun always shines as do the hopes of 24,000 people (Not counting the Toffee Fans if you are wondering on the apparent non sell out!)

I remember feeling the same way on the 8th August 2009 and then this happened!

 

A downward spiral that had been accelerating since 2005 finally and painfully came to an end. The recovery started with a ripple and turned into a Tsunami carrying City all the way back to premier league towers.

After going through the pain of Colchester why don’t you cheer yourself up by watching what happened on 28th November 2010 at 1:15pm in the afteroon

ENJOY…..

 

 

Oh how we loved Grant Holt and when you look at it Henry Lansbury looked a pretty good player! As a bonus, it is always nice to see Roy Keane in a mood. (as was usual)

Want some more??

Read on my friends and suck in the mighty Rick Waghorn’s report on the return game that made the aggregate 9-2 for the year. (and they wanted a friendly this summer? Oh how we laughed!)

I give you  myfootballwriter .

john davy

The best news source on NCFC by far

 

Onwards and upwards to May 2nd 2011.

I woke to hear the news that a the worlds most wanted man, UBL had been killed in Pakistan.

This was followed by attending a lunch for my fathers 80th Birthday at Caistor St Edmund Hall.

As I got in the car to head home, I switched on the radio to hear that Middlesborough were 3-0 up against Cardiff. The scene was set for NCFC to seal promotion at Portsmouth that evening after Cardiff were stuffed 4-0

I called the wife and told her I was off to the pub.

1-0 Simeon Jackson and that was the end of that! A day I will never forget.

2013 -2014 - What do they say??

The season is here and clubs are playing today. The excitement mounts in all of us and the press are there to help with expert opinion and predictions.

In the Mirror  - Out of Darren Lewis, John Cross, Martin Lipton, Oliver Holt & Mark Lawrenson; Robbie Savage is the only one who says we are going down…….. Cock!

BBC  – Shearer and Nevin had a go at it on the 6th of May (i.e before they knew who was relegated and who came up)- Shearer had us at 20th!! bottom of the league. Pat Nevin @ 16th

My favourite comes from Soccervoice who have us at 10th. One place higher than last year and hopefully not so much gut wrenching stress in March/ April/ May will do me just fine.

That and bringing the FA Cup back to Norwich!

My chum Charlie has just texted me to say that Holty and Leon Barnet have banged goals in for Wigan today which has cheered me right up!

john davy

Grant Holt & lean Barnett score for Wigan on the first day of the season 2013

You never know, we might see them back at Carrow Road next year and in the right League!

Have a great week!

 Blogdash

Arthur saves the day with a Good Deed

Arthur saves the day with a Good Deed

 

Cycling Adventures

 

Friday morning started in a strange way which some how became an uplifting experience.

We were up early as Agnes (my Wife) was planning a cycle ride with her friend. As the early dawn light started to shine, it was clear that a fine day was beginning to emerge. Agnes set off at around 7:45am, as I began playing Mum, sorting out the kids breakfast and feeding the dog.

Around 8:30 am I set out with the dog, for the bit of the day I really enjoy. I generally walk the dog twice in a day, around & about a couple of miles each time. Our position in the village is ideal for getting out into the country with huge green fields and woodlands easily accessed in minutes. Having had the second wettest year since records began the clothing required is warm winter wear and the vital pair of Wellington boots.

I plugged in the  headphones for my iPhone and the turned the audio book on. The view of a clear blue sky lifted my spirits on this mid winter morning. I am rarely bothered by the cold days of winter, it is generally the darkness that gets me down. On an average mid-winter’s day  it does not get fully light much before 8 am, and then it will be getting dark again from around 3pm. You really do appreciate a sunny bright sky when you see it.

Striding off toward Flordon the dog was straining at the leash, thrilled to be out and about.

And then the Phone began to ring…

It was Agnes.

Her voice was slightly concerned and I knew that something was wrong. It turned out her bike had sustained a puncture and as chance had it, they were at the furthest point of their ride from home. I suggested that she walked back (partially joking.) and suffice to say her response was short and forthright. I looked at the dog who seemed to realise what was going on as she turned and headed for home. The look on her face was less than happy!

Retuning to the house I picked up the car. Fortunately we have big enough car to fit in the now non- functioning bicycle. The phone message had suggested that Agnes and friend were out in the middle of the boon docks. I understand at this point that the good residents of  Ketteringham (hearing their village described as the boondocks), may have something to say about that.

After about 10 minutes of driving, I was nearing the location.

The phone went again.

The message was slightly confused, but Agnes was suggesting that things we sorting themselves out. I was about 500m away, and could not help feeling somewhat frustrated that I had been called away from a perfectly good walk, for apparently no good reason whatsoever!

It turned out that Agnes and friend had been rescued by a passing gentleman, who was happy to help.

They had met Arthur!

Arthur lives in Hethersett and has for many years been delivering papers around the local villages to the south of Norwich. On average cycling 17 miles a day, Arthur was well equipped with a good quality bike and a trailer attached to carry his papers. Most likely from the years of experience under his belt, Arthur carried a comprehensive puncture repair kit too.

 

john davy

Arthur clears up after fixing the puncture!

 

I asked Arthur how long he had been doing the paper round . He responded that he had been at it for 40 years and that in fact that he was 80 years old. He quietly went about his business and really was the Good Samaritan of the day for Agnes and Irina.

It was a real bit of luck that Arthur came by and we were all grateful for his kind act. He would not accept a tip and said that he didn’t drink a beer when offered. In the light of that situation, I thought it only reasonable course of action was to recognise Arthurs credentials in this blog.

So here is a toast to Arthur. Possibly the oldest paper delivery operative in Norfolk and an all round good bloke!!

THANKS….

I set off home, Arthur packed his trailer and the girls set off in the opposite direction. I had a smile on my face, having had the honour of meeting Arthur and started to think about  writing this piece.

And then the phone began to ring!

I was just about half way back home and Agnes reported that the bike had gone down again. Three point turn, further 10 minute drive, pick up bike, pick up wife, go home, get on with your life…..

Funny the little things that can raise your spirits at this dark time of the year

Have a great week!..

JD

Who Needs a Book Publisher?

Who Needs a Book Publisher?

Would Your Boss Punch You In The Face & Then Laugh When You Bleed

 

Who needs a book Publisher?

Some people do, but it is not a pre-requsite for getting published in the closing days of 2012. As I sit here in my kitchen reflecting on the last 12 months, it has been an amazing ride. A year ago I was living in Sussex and waiting for the removal van to pitch up on the 7th January to return me, the family, the dog & the cat back to Norfolk. The world was unclear, but a choice had been made and I was about to enter a new phase of life.

I want to recognise my family at this point, as my wife Agnes and the kids have been a tremendous support for me in the last year. There have been times when the outcomes of our decisions were at best unclear. The fact is that it was as clear as mud for the first 4 months of 2012.

About Writing a book

john davy

 

Had you asked me 6 months ago if I would ever write a book, you would most likely have had a snort of derision in reply. It is clearly possible that some who go on to read this may wish I had done that & moved on. I hope that this not the case for most of you

The truth is, it is more than possible for the individual to publish and I am very proud to have made it to this stage

Would your Boss…

A nine chapter book that reflects on the journey I have made over the last few years and offers some ideas to anyone who may be in a bit of a hole at the moment.

 

john davy

Book Cover

 

Life is too short to do something you hate.

The simple fact is that life is very short. I cannot begin to tell you of the satisfaction I gained from completing this book. Another nice moment came when my editor, Tim Smith said he thought it was an inspiring read. That I did not expect. I thought it more likely to be a hatchet job and a re-write. By the way any typos please mail Tim!

The book is now live on Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com. It would be great to get some positive reviews at this time, before we start promoting the book. If any of you can write a review for me over the coming days I would gladly send you an Amazon token for the value of the book. The real value is clearly inside I hope you agree.

It has been an interesting few months and I am looking forward to 2013. Hope you have a great Christmas

JD

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A Tale of two Countries

A Tale of two Countries

 

From the Bright side of the Street.

I want to go back to Spain.

Not literally, but rather to talk about a positive thing that is happening as I write this post. Spain is a country that we all know is facing some tough times.  His Royal Highness the Prince of Asturias (Pretty much same as the Prince of Wales over here) is making a speech for the closing Ceremony of the “Prince of Asturias Award Ceremony” in Oviedo, Spain

 

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The Prince of Asturias

 

The awards cover Arts, Social Sciences, Communication and Humanities, International Cooperation, Technical and Scientific Research, Literature, Sport and a final category for Concord (Harmony & agreement).

This year’s laureates include Rafael Moneo (arts), Martha Nussbaum (social sciences), along with the Footballers Iker Casillas and Xavier Hernández. Sir Gregory Winters and Richard Lerner have been nominated for their research into the immune system.

Also nominated is the US Author Philip Roth.

The awards jury stated; ”The narrative work of Philip Roth forms part of the great American novel, in the tradition of Dos Passos, Scott Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Faulkner, Bellow and Malamud. Characters, events and plots form a complex view of contemporary reality torn between reason and feeling, such as the sign of the times and the sense of unease about the present. His literary quality is displayed in his fluid, incisive writing.”

Other nominees this year include the International Red Cross and for Concord, the Spanish Food Bank

There have been some notable personalities to receive the Laureate in years gone by. Award winners have included Leonard Cohen, Haile Gebrselassie, the Spanish Football squad for winning the world cup (fair enough!) and back in 2008 Google won the Laureate for communications and humanities

As I watch the live strea they have some how even managed to get a marching band of Bag Pipes to play as part of the closing ceremony. I never realised that this was something that happened outside Scotland! I now understand the influence has spread to Galicia and Asturias! (or did the Scots get it from them??)

All things considered, this is a world class awards ceremony that demonstrates a country holding its head high, during a time of great stress and financial pressure. The class and culture of Spain can never be taken away and this is a fine example of a proud nation showing the world what it is all about.

 

john davy biz network guy

Asturias

To the Dark side of the Road

 

This next section offers some insight into the polarity of Spain’s current and real predicament. The original ideas came from a Greek blog of Pedro Olalla 

Pedro talks about Greece’s debt, and how Germany is being viewed in Europe as the “great rescuer”, at least as far as the City of London and Frankfurt are concerned. The same argument can be applied to Spain and Italy I believe.

Pedro argues that historically the strongest European country (and in turn most successful one) has repeatedly denied payment of their debts.

You can maybe guess which country Pedro suggests is in the frame for this - Germany.

Pedro goes on to mention that the debts in question did not arise from financial speculation. These debts arose out of  reparations from the two world wars of the 20th century.

Under the terms of  the Treaty of Versailles (1919), Germany was ordered to pay war reparations to the Allies in the amount of 226,000 million gold marks. This was a patently a stupid amount of money to ask for, that no nation could have afforded at the time. Pedro argues the purpose was to punish the “belligerent nation” and curb rapid recovery, that could then be followed by further hostilities.

It did not work out that way.

Between 1924 and 1929, Germany struggled with the insurmountable debt

By the time of the crash in 1929, huge losses for lenders opened the possibility of default. By 1932 the U.S. decided to cancel the war debts to France and Britain, who, in turn as creditors, waived most of the German debt.

In short, by 1932, Germany achieved a net reduction of over 98% of the debts that were imposed at the end of World War I.

When the second war kicked off in 1939, Hitler unilaterally suspended all payments, including this 2%. Debt free and on a mission again as it turned out.

At the conclusion WWII, history repeated itself.

Germany was ordered to pay war reparations, but by the time of the Treaty of London (1953), the U.S. was eager to make the new Germany a big player in NATO.  Consequently payments were to be delayed until much later on, in fact until 1990.

The US managed  to “convince” twenty countries, including Greece & Spain, to allow a remission “de facto” for Germany of all debts arising from the Great War.

Pedro believes this was  an extraordinary preferential treatment, and favorable foreign policy for the losing country to recover from all pre-war debts since 1881.

In 1990, when the unification of Germany came about it led to a revision of the  terms of the Treaty of London. The resumption of payments of compensation were frozen by the sitting government. Once again most of that “old debt” just went away. At the time nations such as Greece and Spain accepted the position. The truth is there was not much choice in the matter.

You can sort of understand why Pedro along with the people of Greece and Spain feel there is a false moral lesson going on here.

The “miracle” of the German economy has a lot to do with determination, organisation and hard work. It can also be argued that it is in part based on a leg up of  unpaid debts.

Pedro goes on to make a number of other arguments as to why the German industrial economy is so strong.

It is a fact that both Spain and Greece have made some bad economic decisions in the years up to the current recession. I think they would be the first to admit it.

I also think we owe it to Spain and the other Mediterranean nations to look behind the face of the current position. Having read Pedro’s thoughts, I believe we may have a case of blinkered vision by other nations who ignore their own recent history, before making a judgement on others.

Pedro finishes with a question

“Who owes whom?”

Let me know what you think in the comments section. If you like the posts, I would be really delighted to add you to my mail listing. Please drop your address in the box at the top right of the page..

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