good morning y'all,

i am typing this from the qbic hotel in london, where i attended a meeting with bcorp earlier this year.

i know i bang on a lot about bcorp, but they are rockstars, changing the world massively, and if you haven't watched their video here it is again for your delectation

cool huh, and any hotel that can be green, has amazing staff, and has a neon sign saying alright treacle in the bar, is 'a ok' in my book, give them a try when you're in london or amsterdam next.

i am down here for a few reasons, i met with barclays in canary wharf yesterday, my dinner club mates last night, and i am meeting a chap who was on our everest team this year today.

so yesterday i boarded a propeller powered plane in cardiff and stepped onto the tarmac in london city airport 55 minutes later, half the time of the train, and less than half the price, and i get to feel like i'm going on holiday thrown into the experience, winner winner.

as i entered the towering barclays building in canary wharf, i felt a bit nervous, was the choice of attire, jeans, shirt and jacket, and flipflops a little underdressed for a business meeting with one of the big four banks, was i affording them respect, or had the holiday vibe flowed into my threads?

"dude, they want to buy me and my story to inspire their troops, not have me conform to their dress code, stripping me of my soul", my alter ego countered as we entered their very impressive airy and spacious atrium at 1 churchill place, canary wharf.

two huge video walls ran slick videos of barclays current corporate sponsorship work, which showed colourful imagery of their recent sponsorship of london pride, the event not the beer, which i noted as being a positive sign.

i arrived early, but had a nervous fear that i might have got the address wrong, but as i hurriedly found the address on an e-mail, i then slowly walked over to ask one of the many security guards on duty if i was in the right place, and breathe, calm down smith you're on it.

i entered the lift which was full of people, but apparently had no buttons for me to press, but i noted that my 30th floor destination was already lit on the digital sign at eye level, phew, what kind of wizardry was this, as i observed calmly other employees entering the metal box, and not pressing any hidden buttons that flip flop boy had missed, was this a parallel universe, or some kind of chip in my visitors pass?

i didn't know, but it seemed pretty whack, until that is you need to go to see your mate on 23 whose stapler you borrowed ages ago, but will allow you the excuse you need to go to see him, to discuss what you really want to ask that is has he still got that ticket for the killers in december.

how does the lift know that then, or are you stuck in the lift going up and down until that girl with the ill fitting bra, that works next to our mate on 23, comes into the lift? (thus alerting the tardis to do its work)

i don't know, but it sure as hell is bothering me, i can tell you.

as the harry potteresque lift took me to the top floor in the building i departed and strode flipping and flopping toward the reception.

"jeff" i heard from behind.

"i recognised you from the flip flops"

or did he say "website"

no matter.

"hi roy, i love your magical lift"

i didn't actually say, but really wanted to.

"nice to meet you" conformist jeff offered.

and roy introduced me to elinor who was also working on this project, and she looked late thirties, dark clothes and hair, and when we settled into the impressive glass box we were to sit in for the next hour it took a while for her to make eye contact, but we got their eventually, and she was lovely.

i told them of the tour of schools we had been doing, and the response the children had been giving us, and i mentioned how i had been brought up in finsbury park, and it transpires elinor lives very close in nearby crouch hill.

fast forward, elinor is on the board of governors at stroud green road school, which just happens to be the school that both my parents went to, so the plan is for me to go there to do my everest presentation, which should be very interesting i reckon, going back to my roots an' all.

it will be good to go to this inner city school in a deprived area and show that you can follow your dreams, though i may take my ice axe...........just as a  precaution obviously :)

the barclays gig sounds like being fun, and is going to be at the donmar warehouse in covent garden which i tried to stay calm about when i found out, but really wanted to punch the air and do a billy elliot dance, as paul weller played 'town called malice', geez i must lay off the columbian (coffee, not the other stuff)

roy and elinor seemed very non corporate, and have agreed to allow me to do a bit of unusual stuff in my presentation, so i like their open  mindedness, and can't wait for november 20th.

this gig will be great for my public speaking cv, and will help pay russ back for the trip, as i still am in his debt, so if you know anybody that wants a corporate talk please put my name forward it would be greatly appreciated.

russ is currently on k2 with his himex team, so good luck to everyone, i hope you make the summit, and all come back safe.

i left 1 churchill place happier than when i arrived, and as the sun shone, and i walked towards the station, i thought about my humble roots, and how the next part of my life would pan out, interesting, fun, and a great opportunity to affect change in peoples lives, and also a big chunk of pride.

anyway, i need to get come coffee and grub, as i am hank marvin, so i will leave you today, actually no i won't, i just blooming remembered, we went to a breakfast meeting this week as well with the school of hard knocks who i have agreed to do some talking to their students, which i am really looking forward to, as they strike me as a really life changing charity that i can work with, so i will no doubt be sharing their stories with you soon, and check them out when you have a spare five.

that's definitely it now, apart from to tell you that next week i am going do a bit of a guest blog, hopefully, as there is someone in my world who needs an opportunity to write, and show the world her skills, so i have offered her the chance to write something that i can share with a lovely sensitive audience (you) and then we can possibly give feedback, and you never know what might come out of it, so a bit of a shake up, but hopefully it will be interesting.

have a cracking week, do something mad, something that scares you, and then let us know.

i'm off for food and bev, meet everest rob, then home for a charity ice hockey match, and loads of reminiscing, it's funny the older i get the better i was, lol!!!

blue skies, and thanks for reading,

jeff

 

 

 

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