well good morning, and if i had an alan wicker for every 'black friday' advert and e-mail i've been sent i'd be retiring, so i hope you manage to avoid the frenzy that today has become :)

well bigmoose chums, this week has been one full of happiness and tears for me, and at the end of what feels like the busiest one i've had for a while, i am just reflecting on how mad, and in my eyes successful it has been so far, even though there is one full work day left to go, which is really cool, as you may know by now, especially as i'm always banging on about it, sorry about that, but my philosophy is literally live every moment, don't procrastinate, and as the marketing boys and girls at the sneaker company with the big tick always say, just do it.

so i have been busy with bigmoose stuff, which has been really sexy, and had a couple of wow moments, but also a shed load of work stuff, which again has been a bit, as jamie lawson would sing 'i wasn't expecting that'.

i'll start at the beginning, in my day job, which i think i've mentioned before i do a day a week as a consultant for an upmarket estate agency brand, gratuitous plug arriving soon, pa black, (other estate agents are available) and in this role i have a position helping produce their quarterly property/lifestyle magazine, and as such i do a couple of interviews with people i think their readers would like to read about, and i am given lots of autonomy, which for anyone who knows me is totally what i love.

so this week i had an interview lined up with a chief exec of one of cardiff's top sports teams, who i recently got introduced to, discussing bigmoose stuff, and i thought our readers would like to find out more about him, and get to know a little about his journey.

so as i entered the behemoth of a stadium he resides in, and watched the players training as their voices echoed in the now empty arena, i breathed in the cold winter air and smiled to myself as i recounted my past, where my day had also been made up predominantly of training sessions, and my biggest worry was where we were going to be going for lunch after, such was the simplicity of my life then.

i was early for our meeting, and sat in the reception area, where it seemed i had some internal butterflies that had chosen now to emerge from their chrysalis.

'if you go up the stairs hannah will meet you', i was instructed, and i obeyed graciously.

i love the name hannah, which as i'm sure you all know is a palindrome.

i love palindromes, my favourite of which is racecar.

i digress.

hannah greeted me with a lovely smile, and i greeted her with cookies.

our appointment with her gaffer had a couple of changes along the journey, and hannah had been really helpful at getting me my slot, and as such i had wanted to get her a simple, inexpensive gift to say thank you, and proceeded to stand in m & s (other retailers are available) pontificating over cookies, chocolate biccies, and anything covered in cocoa product really.

i worried i might be overstepping the 'i've never even met you, but i'm buying you cookies rule', but braved it out and made my purchase.

'do you like chocolate?' i enquired like a nervous adolescent.

'i do' she smiled, and i proceeded to produce paul daniels'esque (or dynamo if you're under 30) the chocolate cookies from my 5p bag.

'ooh lovely, you shouldn't have', which is one of those sentences in life that mean the complete opposite.

my fears evaporated as my interviewee appeared, and i repeated the process, only with a pecan and honey backup version, as a thank you for his time he had afforded me to do the interview.

confectionery distributed, and greetings swapped, we made our way into a beautiful glass fronted office, with pictures of the clubs historical past adorning the walls, as well as springy carpet that you know has lovely underlay hidden beneath, and my mind wandered off as i wondered what it would be like to walk barefoot across it, wow i'm weird sometimes.

the view from the one transparent wall was stunning, and i thought of all the battles that had been viewed from our vantage point, and made a mental note to come back at showtime some time in the future.

our magazine editor had suggested recording my subjects, so that we could extract our interview from the recording, and although not comfortable with this myself, as i felt it might cause my subjects to be guarded about what they shared, especially as a recent subject had told me of his drug use, which although never making it to the glossy pages stage, did give another layer of his personality to form my opinion of him from, and made me feel we had connected quite well, i asked chief exec man if he would mind, which i felt myself physically grimacing at as i asked.

'i don't even let the press record me' he offered, and we never spoke of it again.

as i scribbled, long hand, this man's intriguing story, he informed me of how his father had died when he was aged nine, and was away at boarding school, a truly terrible time to lose your hero.

we talked of his career path, and how he had sold his house whilst in his twenties, and travelled the world on the proceeds of the sale, and how he had come back and plied his trade in london, eventually coming back to wales to work in some of south wales top entertainment facilities.

as we talked, i learnt from him, as he told me how he had written to one employer, suggesting he would work free gratis as a non executive, just to learn his trade, and how that grew into a paid position. his style was formidable, and i admired his chutzpah.

as he weaved his story, he told me of how he had gone to his chairman's house to be given the role he now has, and how this huge position had numbed him, and upon returning home to tell his wife, he started to well up, as i looked up to see his eyes go red.

'give me a minute' he said.

'we don't need to do this' i countered.

'no, i want to tell you'.

and as we both got emotionally moved, he told me of how he was just so proud, and yet so sad that he couldn't tell his dad, and that would have meant to much to him, and how he just broke down into tears in his wife's arms.

wow, i really didn't expect that, but old tiny tears my side of the table joined in as we both had a bit of a moment, and i told him that i was sure wherever his dad was he could see him, and would have been proud of him.

as we talked further, we talked lots about our father's and the influence they had, positive and negative, even for the short time they had been in our lives, and how we both felt a responsibility to our children to be the best dad's possible, as you never fully realise the influence you have on them and their lives.

we talked more, and i scribed notes that i hoped i could extract the emotion from, when sitting to write up the interview, and as we both composed ourselves before emerging to see hannah. 

we both thanked each other for the time, and it felt an almost cathartic experience.

we shook hands, and i was informed that he hadn't told that story to anyone before, and i wondered why then, why me, but i guess sometimes the time is just right, and i felt happy that i was in the right place at the right time.

now this morning i hadn't intended writing in so much detail about this, but it actually ties in really nicely with a ted talk i watched this week by a guy called ric elias, which i apologise for if you've already seen it, but ric had a front row seat on flight 1549, the plane that crash landed in the hudson river in new york in 2009, and in this video he tells his story, which i hope you can get something from, and sparks you up to be the best at whatever you do, but as a parent more than anything, and as the whole ethos of bigmoose is doing the best you can while you're here, as you never know when it will be taken away from you, so without being melancholy, have a watch.

https://www.ted.com/talks/ric_elias?language=en

i hope you liked?

so, as per normal i have jibber jabbered quite extensively, leaving you probably snoring by now, but if you're still here, here's a sixty seconds of the rest of the bigmoose week........

me and mr pritchard had a skype session with james lawrence, the ironcowboy http://www.ironcowboy.co/#home who was inspirational and as well as giving tons of advice for our upcoming challenge, also said he might fly over from u.s. to join us, i am a 52 year old fanboy, this geezer is a phenomenal athlete!

started ordering tee shirts for the supertri2.

topped three grand for money pledged for noah's ark at the supertri2.

and finally, we met with tesco who have agreed to support mr pritchard's epic challenge from a fundraising perspective at stores all over south wales, which is going to be bottom twitchingly exciting, and as matthew was shooting some drone footage last night prior to launch, we should be able to announce it very soon.

that's the week so far, which just leaves black friday (grrrrrr) and tomorrow where i am driving down to the smoke to join a load of other loons at an mds expo, where i have booked in for a sweat test, which i have been told by somebody makes me a geek, which between me and you made me smile.

so, have a bazooka week, rip it up, live it to the max, and make sure they spell your name right.

i'm outta here, woo hoo sweat test here i come!!!

blue skies,

jeff





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