Over the years, as regular readers will know, I’ve had some marvellous views from my various Interim Moodie Davitt Report Bureauxs.
This, from my 5th floor room at the Hilton Los Angeles International Airport, is not one of them. In fact it’s got all the allure of San Quentin State Prison, so much so that I’ve made plans to break out of here as soon as I can. About half a mile from that far wall you can see in the photo below lies Los Angeles International Airport. I reckon if I tie all my sheets and towels together and shimmy on down the wall I can be out of here and a free man in no time.
I suppose in their online sales pitch, Hilton would call this ‘the roof view’. It rather reminds me of a town on the edge of the Sahara after a six-week sandstorm. Certainly it’s appropriately deserted.
Anyone know a good horologist? My body clock is in serious need of repair. When I left Melbourne I was 11 hours ahead of London time. After stepping off a 14-hour flight I was 8 hours behind. I arrived 4 hours before I left and Thursday, the day of my flight, went on longer than the DVD omnibus edition of Fidel Castro’s greatest speeches. Somehow, miraculously, I got a pretty decent night’s sleep (a nice drop of the very velvety Meiomi Pinot Noir from Monterrey County undoubtedly helped), enabling me to put in a good working shift here today from my cell, I mean hotel room. My flight doesn’t leave until 20.40 tonight, which is a real drag but I’m sure the warder will be around soon with some bread and water to help pass the time.
Time zones are strange things. It’s now Friday morning in LA but all my London colleagues have gone home and, heck, those in Melbourne are probably setting off for work on Monday morning. Never mind, after a day and a half back in London I’ll be flying off to Dubai, where I’ll be ahead of GMT again. Confused? I certainly am.
Even for me, it takes a pretty good reason to detour 14 hours from Melbourne and then face another 10 hours home. And last night was that reason. When the invitation came in a little while back to attend a surprise party to mark Joe Lyons’ 50th year at DFS Group, it wasn’t an opportunity I was going to miss.
Joe, DFS’ North America’s Vice President, Business Development, is a gentleman, a professional, a wonderful servant of DFS, a kind and good individual and an industry legend all wrapped up in one. 50 years, half a century, with one company. And still going strong. Astounding. I’ll tell the full story in my next Blog, once I have the official pictures from the evening. I want to do it, and Joe, full justice. I promise you, it’s a must-read about a quiet man of our industry who offers all of us lessons in demeanour, determination and decency.