If you run a small or medium size business you work jolly hard, hope everyone pays you (they’re big, you’re little) and obsess about cash flow. By contrast should you be lucky enough to be selected as the CEO for a big corporation happy, happy days. Brilliant or hopeless you always end up the winner even if you spread a liberal helping of unhappiness along the way. Here is what I mean. BP has confirmed that Tony Hayward is leaving with a £1m payoff and a pension, expected to be about half a million pounds a year, as the oil giant reported one of the largest corporate losses in British history due to the cost of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Tony has halved the value of BP together with over-seeing the death of 11 platform workers and devastating the economy and ecology of several American states. If/when BP is found guilty of gross negligence should he a) collect £500,000 every time he passes go or b) go to prison and have his get out of jail free cards confiscated?
My chum Paddy likes to use this blog to keep up with news on the poor lady in Iran. Her sentence has been commuted from stoning to hanging, OMG, and her lawyer is in hiding. This week, Iran issued an arrest warrant for Mohammad Mostafaei, the lawyer who volunteered to represent Mohammadi Ashtiani. Mostafaei has gone into hiding, but Iran has taken his relatives hostage to force him to reappear.
To offset starting my blog on a downbeat note it’s time to lift the spirits with this bit of brilliance from Newport, West Wales. Don’t miss out, click on the link and be prepared to chuckle lots. Love the bit about Alicia Keys and Shirley Bassey and ‘One hand in the air for the taxi’, not sure why.
If you have got the taste for a bit of Shirley here she is with Dizzee Rascal, amazing (it starts with Gary Barlow, scroll to around 4 minutes for Dizzee).
At the risk of offending young Susan Probert (an ATOM teamster) who told me blogs with football are boring, I just have to direct you to this clip of an amazing penalty scored by a Spanish youngster in Under 6 World Cup. Unbelievable and proof that the Spanish are going to be a world force for many years to come. Compare and contrast with the second clip featuring a Brazilian trying what they used to be good at before they started playing like England.
For picture of the week, here is Torres when he was good and then after he got a touch of the Samson’s.
Sticking with sport for just one second, news came this week that boules is now officially über cool (click on this link to find out more http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2010/jul/28/france-boules-petanques-got-cool). I can relate to that, it’s a brilliant game. What about getting the local authorities in Dubai to set up a few courts? If any of you have ever been down near the kite surfing beach there are a series of excellent volleyball and football courts/pitches which are free to use and apparently you can also borrow kayaks for free. It’s always easy to criticise and moan but hats off for the many great things the Dubai government has done to make this a pretty damn good city with a world-class infra-structure.
Last week I went to see Toy Story 3, apart from a having a three-month old baby as my next door neighbour (fortunately after a five-minute chunter he fell asleep) it was brilliant. So clever and witty and beautifully observed. The following night saw a trip to my favourite restaurant, Asha’s, AED 200 each for great food and several drinks. I gobbled up Laal Maas (a no sharing policy was strictly observed), very spicy and to say it hit the spot doesn’t do it justice.
I also made my second visit to Spinneys this summer. How do they sell cooked chickens for less than AED 10? Are they really curtailed chickens or fat rats?
For my top 5s this week it’s back to Dame Shirley and top 5 classic hits by divas (I did the first two, Sally had to step in to do the rest) Note from Sally: This is top 6 as I don’t agree with Downtown!:
- Shirley Bassey; Diamonds are forever
- Petula Clarke; Downtown
- Aretha Franklin; Respect
- Diana Ross; Ain’t No Mountain High Enough
- Madonna; Like A Prayer
- Barbara Streisand; Woman in Love
Finally tip of the week, you can download the brilliant new Arcade Fire album on Amazon UK for around £3.99 on Monday 2nd August (one day only).