Tag Archives: en primeur

I’m a gay woman masquerading as an ad man!

Last week I was pondering how to increase my readership so I had a quick look around the blogs of other people who work in advertising. Lots of smart observation but it all centred on the latest thing in the world of Google or Apple or Facebook and pretty soon I was snoring. Then I came across the story of the leading lesbian blogger who this week was exposed as a man pretending to be a gay woman: Gay Girl in Damascus blog was revealed to be the fictional creation of a married male student from Edinburgh.

The day after came news that Paula Brooks, who claimed to be the executive editor of a US-based lesbian site LezGetReal.com, that “she”, too, was a man – in this case, a 58-year-old retired construction worker from Ohio called Bill Graber.

Before starting the Gay Girl in Damascus blog in February, Tom MacMaster, the Edinburgh student masquerading as Amina Abdullah Araf al Omari, had written posts on LezGetReal.com.

Now the point of this story is that loads of people visited their blogs and while I have top quality visitors, there are not very many of them.  Which leads me to conclude that I need to give the masses what they want, what they really, really want.

My mate Rory (see pic below for just how close we are)!

I have to admit that I watched the last round from behind the sofa but I really shouldn’t have worried, the boy Rory is pure class. He ruthlessly destroyed the field and dispelled forever the theories of those people who thought he was a choker.

I loved this bit of fan worship from a top American golfer who simply tipped his cap and acknowledged greatness. In Brandt Snedeker’s words after the second round:

“It’s great to see him do that, especially on the heels of the Masters. I hope he can keep it going for the weekend. As a fan of golf I’d love to see him win this week. As a competitor I’d love to see myself win. We’ll see how it goes.”

My advice to Rory: never change your club manufacturer, never change your swing, never change your attitude (or as Darren Clarke said, Rory is a please and thank you person).

I was also mightily impressed with Japanese golfer Ryo Ishikawa who is donating his tournament earnings from 2011 to the victims of the tsunami that recently devastated the country. Ishikawa, 19, will also give $1,200 for every birdie he achieves during the year.

Keith, ATOM and Rory

Speculative bubble or sound investment?

I’ve got lots of friends who are absolutely brilliant at buying at the bottom and selling just before the market disappears over the precipice. I’ve always wondered how they do it and as I sat down today to ponder the release of 2010 Bordeaux wines en primeur the answer suddenly came to me. They wait to see what I do and then do the exact opposite. My track record is appalling. I do my homework and take a very cautious attitude on the way up and then just as we approach the tipping point I pile in! This year’s en primeur release  is widely acknowledged as being of outstanding quality and there has been an explosion in the Far East market as rich Chinese buyers snap up wines from the best estates.

For anyone who has got any money here are my tips for the top and don’t forget if all goes wrong you can always drink it (slowly!):

Lafite (first growth, £1,000+ a bottle expensive)

Mouton Rothschild (first growth, not quite Lafite but you’ll have to empty your coin bottle to buy a cork)

La Fleur Petrus (way up on last year’s release prize but still shooting out of the door)

Grand Puy Lacoste (more affordable and highly rated)

Beycheville (again in the sort of affordable bracket and the Chinese love the ‘dragon’ boat label)

Pontet Canet (big wow with the critics)

If you are interested MMI get a very good allocation of en primeur wines through their association with Emirates Airline.  You can view the wines and make up a wish list through Le Clos.

I’ve got a few contacts on the inside so if you would prefer to speak to someone please let me know and I’ll sort it.

Olympic, 2.3 million tickets left . . . for the football

Two-thirds of applicants for London 2012 tickets have been left empty-handed in the face of huge demand. A total of 21 events have sold out altogether, with only limited availability for others.

Around 1.7m of the remaining 2.3m tickets are for the football tournament, which is taking place at large stadiums around the country. Of the 600,000 remaining for other events, the next most are for (not on the beach) volleyball and hockey.

Sarah Palin has been out righted

News broke last week that extreme right-winger, Michele Bachmann, is putting her name in the hat to be the next American President.  Like all self-centred fascists she is totally against all government subsidies however there is some nice dirt on her doing the rounds. The issue is the Bachmann family farm in Wisconsin. The large rural property has been the recipient of considerable government largesse in the form of agricultural subsidies, the farm has reaped the Bachmanns about $154,000 of government cash since 2001.

Michele Bachmann

Marketing tip number one, how to win friends and influence people

Respect to the shop in Dalma Mall in Abu Dhabi, who thought laterally, very laterally!

Shop front - Keep Out

Top 5 iPad2 apps

The iPad2 is a very serious bit of kit and I’m in the busy adding apps stage.  Here are my favourites so far:

  • News++: Flipboard – I don’t know exactly what it does but I can add and find all of my favourites here
  • Sport: R&A rules of golf – features a rules quiz that I’m rubbish at
  • Audio Visiual: TuneIn Radio – all of your favourite radio stations in the blink of an eye
  • Techie: Dropbox (a folder which you can add things to and access from any device)
  • Games: Space Invaders (Invaders HD) – oldie but goldie

Any tips of great apps which I can get hold of through the UAE iTunes store gratefully received.

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Hats off to Louis and Charlie

Pride of place this week goes to Louis Oosthuizen.  You could tell from his general demeanour what a nice, grounded individual he is from the way he strolled around St Andrews beating the pants off grumpy Tiger and his pals.  If you are wondering what he did with all of his money, he went out and bought a tractor!  Then he honoured a prior commitment to play in the Scandinavian Open rather than cry off on the grounds of being too important.  McDowell who won the American Open last year is in the same league, he spent the month after his victory drinking Guinness out of the trophy.  It’s brilliant to see a big bucket load of talent and humility being handed out to the good guys for a change.

Moving to a true sporting legend that I have long admired, Muttiah Muralitharan has sadly retired but not without achieving another milestone.  800 wickets is phenomenal especially that Murali overcame a disability to become one of the greatest bowlers (if not the best) who ever lived.  Every era throws up sporting heroes and while it’s sad to see them retire it leaves the stage open for new heroes to emerge.  Could it be the newly arrived Charlie Thomas Bellman who popped out last Wednesday measuring an impressive 50+cm.  Rumour has it that ’arry Rednapp is already eyeing him for a place up front as target man alongside Defoe.  Well done Mum and Dad (Sarah and Cam) and make sure young Charlie is fit and ready for the new season (if you are still wondering how to get coverage of the Premier League, click on this link and all will be revealed http://admcsport.com/en/ – it will be available on satellite, cable (Du and eVision) and online).

Sad breaking news, Hurricane Higgins died on Saturday (RIP) after a long battle against throat cancer which he blamed on smoking sponsors’ products (yes really, cigarette companies did used to sponsor sporting events).  I was never into snooker but Hurricane was one of a kind and lit up a very dull sport.  Click on the link to read one of the many obituaries –  http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/other_sports/snooker/8852020.stm

I hear lots of people moaning about the quality of advertising in the UAE/region and whenever I listen to the radio I find it hard not to agree with the moaners.  The classic radio dialogue formula is sometimes funny but for all the wrong reasons.  The American-accented Lebanese Mum with the English Dad and Indian kids is always good for a chuckle.  Traffic jam reports for ads promoting a sale are another of my favourites.  Brilliant advertising is observational and builds on shared experiences and popular culture.  While this is a wonderfully integrated community there are still huge differences in our growing up experiences.  Below is a classic example, I laughed, whereas my Arab and Indian friends were left looking bemused and a bit offended.

Bend over and think of England

The ad was critiqued in Brand Republic and this perfectly demonstrates how even in England some people just don’t get it (although I suspect the comment was a joke): The message is one we are all familiar with, 2 obvious questions arise: 1) If the campaign is encouraging people to be conscientious and pick up their own litter, why would these same people have dropped it in the first place seemingly moment earlier? 2) Why is this campaign encouraging people to bend over in a way that can cause lower back injury? It’s common knowledge that one should bend from the knees and keep a straight back.

For all of you, in the UAE, looking to dodge the ads on commercial radio, World Service has moved to 90.30.  It’s being broadcast out of Abu Dhabi so the signal is patchy but given the quality of the programming it’s worth persevering with.

Another subject that caught my eye this week is worries about a double dip recession.  The commentators predicting a double dip obviously don’t have a clue what they are talking about, you need a recovery to have a second dip.  There is no way out of this until the government stimulate the economy (starting to pay off debts is a good start) or the Chinese arrive on mass.  My advice comes from re-watching the very excellent Rome series:

“Quidquid ages prudenter agas et respice finem” (whatever you do, do it with prudence, and consider the outcome).

The Chinese have certainly arrived in style on the wine investment market with 2009 En Primeur prices at world record levels.  Apparently they top up a glass of £1,000 a bottle wine with a bit of lemonade!  MMI has managed to snap up some top quality 2009 wines including the most sought after first growth – Lafite.  Hurry, hurry, hurry if you want some (get in touch with me and I’ll point you in the right direction and be prepared to forget my be prudent advice).

At the other end of the scale Bud is tax-free at MMI this week and I made some great discoveries during my annual visit to Spinneys.  Firstly, you can earn Air Miles there and secondly Del Monte has started producing fresh juice locally – AED 13 for 1lt of orange juice (bargain!).

Finally some wildlife stuff to uplift you, an amazing picture and link to more incredible scenes from nature: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/gallery/2010/jul/21/wildlife-photography-scott-linstead

Bee and flower

To end, it’s got to be the best 5 cricketers I’ve seen play:

  • Muttiah Muralitharan
  • Ian Botham
  • Shane Warne
  • Michael Holding
  • Viv Richards

There is loads of controversy in my choices – I could have picked 100.  Any objections please pitch in with a comment.

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