BY Russell Wardrop

DATE: 12 APR 2011


What would you do for a day without your winking, clinking and occasionally throbbing small and perfectly formed little friend?

I discovered just that when I left my blinking Blackberry Torch next to a half- pretzel on a small table in Zurich airport minutes before boarding. I also discovered how much it was worth. (Whisper it, four hundred and fifty quid.)

I principally found - in the twenty two hours between Zurich and Glasgow via London - that life is just fine when you are not connected. In fact it’s better than fine, once you’ve made the call to get the account neutralised. (Which is just what I’d like to do to the Muppet who lifted it when I LEFT IT FOR LESS THAN FIVE MINUTES.)

Well, in my London hotel room around 11pm there were no emails to check, so the M&S tikka mini fillets and pasta bows picked up at St Pancras were enjoyed with the Masters Golf live from Augusta, an unexpected late night bonus. So far I can tell you are not impressed; maybe you are a vegetarian who doesn’t like golf.

Morning finds me with loads of time: Facebook might have pinged pish all night and twitter could have been delivering short bursts of Obama while I slept, but I remained oblivious. And no rushed breakfast at the Prêt stand-up bar for me. Time allowed a visit to Ossies to build my own heart-stopping heap of cholesterol for under a fiver: toast (proper butter), eggs, bacon and a tower of black pudding with HP sauce. I bought The Guardian rather than picking up the freebie City AM, for the sport and Polly Toynbee. The nice lady who gave me my enormous mug of tea (bag left in so you can have it the colour you want it) popped over with a copy of The Sun, for the sport and Polly on page three.

The amount of time I had before my coaching sessions was impressive, so much so I checked I’d moved my watch to GMT; I never bumped into anyone on Ludgate; I listened out for the bells of St Paul’s, not the metallic triple-ping of the phone. It would be overstating the case to say that the coaching was better than usual, but there was no rushed and surreptitious email checking between sessions, just a chance to look at the world around me. I did slip my hand down for a check once or twice, right enough.

Now normally, after a full-on half day at the end of a ridiculous London – Zurich - London week with a flight to get from City Airport I’d find a pew in a public place, answer emails, make a call or two, peer at the pish people puke up in stunted paragraphs on sundry social media, give a few insolent answers and maybe look at the latest BBC news to depress myself about Libya or a school shooting in a place in the mid-west where they get guns in kindergarten and point at aeroplanes.

But not today. After a less than rushed cheerio to the last coachee I meander back up Ludgate then along past St Paul’s to the mad, busy, bouncy bridge that points at Tate Modern, thinking I might go for a free wander and a light lunch. Over the Thames I decide time would beat me, so I take a left and pass the Shakespeare bit, weft and weave with the tourists and know I’m heading generally, rather than specifically, for Bank and the DLR. (Oh joy…) This is fine as I’m in no hurry, the view is spectacular and it’s sunny.

The next bridge along pops me out in a familiar spot on the business bank of the Thames. Bank and the DLR are to the right but more urgently Thai Square and a green chicken curry with boiled rice and soda and lime are just one hundred metres to the left (Oh joy...). Sleeping on a Saturday afternoon with sport on the telly, sport on the radio and a good book on my belly is one of my illicit pleasures: the unexpected curry lunch is another.   

So here are three things I thoroughly recommend: Ossies in Ludgate to build your own breakfast for under a fiver; Thai green chicken curry at Thai Square for under a tenner; and turn your Torch off for at least half a shift once a week.

That blinking red eye that implies someone out there loves you is often an impostor. There’s no question you can see better without it.


My conversation on the flight with the lovely Mrs Lavender, for it was she who offered her phone for the emergency call, resulted in a business opportunity.


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about the author

Russell Wardrop is our Chief Executive. If you would like to know more about this subject, drop him an email and we will be in touch.

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