A world turned upside down

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Martin Moodie
Martin Moodie is the Founder & Chairman of The Moodie Report.

And don’t it make you wanna twist and shout
When your outsides in (inside out)
And your downsides up (upside down)
Yeah, your upsides right (right side up)
Yeah, don’t it make you wanna twist and shout
When you’re inside out
– Bob Dylan, Inside Out

And so a first jumbled and then chaotic few days comes to an end. No, I’m not talking about the woeful All Blacks performance of the past two weeks against the superb Irish team but my stay in the UK, which draws to a close this week.

I’m on day 72 of my world tour and pretty much none of the past 40 have gone remotely to plan. There’s a lot of COVID about in these parts and it’s disrupting many lives, including mine.

As mentioned in my last Blog, COVID in my family (and me developing apparent symptoms, luckily a false alarm) meant that I missed two of the key reasons for coming here in the first place – my granddaughter’s 2nd birthday and The Moodie Davitt Report’s first staff day and dinner in over two and a half years.

The subsequent rescheduling of family matters also meant I had to cancel an eagerly anticipated weekend at The Open golf championship at St Andrews, Scotland hosted by Loch Lomond Group Managing Director – Global Travel Catherine Bonelli. Loch Lomond Whiskies was once again the Official Spirit of the Open.

Catherine Bonelli with English golfing star Lee Westwood
King Power Group’s Sunil Tuli offers a few swing tips to Scottish golfing great Colin Montgomerie. The two are understood to be in talks to bring Sunil Tuli’s Virtual Golf Academy to a worldwide audience.
Jonathan ‘Chaps’ Holland explains why he is considering joining the LIV Golf series having missed out on his PGA and European tour cards

At least it looks as though I will make my final important gig of my stay – my younger son Ali’s graduation from York University tomorrow. However, given the current weather conditions here, I’m afraid the train tracks might melt and prevent me from getting there. Yesterday it took me over four hours to get from Neath in South Wales to London and I am fearing the worst for my trip north.

Today is expected to be the hottest day on record in the UK with temperatures forecast to reach 41C in parts of the country. The BBC reports that London is set to be one of the hottest places in the world, with temperatures soaring above the Western Sahara and the Caribbean. Did I really just write that? Answer, yes. This isn’t global warming, it’s global furnacing.

Network Rail has declared that people should travel only “if absolutely necessary” today and tomorrow. I guess I am one of that elite but unfortunate group. Several cancellations have been already announced, and (also a bit like the All Blacks) speed restrictions are in place across the network. I’m headed to York a day early to be on the safe side but with my recent luck I may end up getting there on Friday. And if I avoid COVID, I’ll get sunstroke instead.

Still, it hasn’t all been bad. I did manage to get back to Wales this weekend to belatedly celebrate my granddaughter’s second birthday, thankfully before she turned three. And while in London, I had the great pleasure of having lunch with Dan Cappell, a walking-talking Trinity man (he has worked for airport, retailer and brand companies), now Chief Commercial Officer for Ontario International Airport Authority in Southern California, and his boss Atif Elkadi, who was promoted to Chief Executive Officer in late March.

Over an excellent lunch at Langan’s Brasserie, Atif and Dan related some of the exciting commercial plans they have in store, an ongoing story that The Moodie Davitt Report will be telling over coming months. Atif is an engaging, dynamic individual and put together with Dan’s knowledge of and passion for the business, those qualities made for a memorable couple of hours.

It’s early morning here in Brentford, just outside of west London, right under a main flight path. There’s the welcome (to me, anyway) sound of plans roaring overhead every minute or so as they come in to land at Heathrow, from where I am Thailand-bound on Thursday.

In Bangkok today it is 34C. In York, up in the North of England, it will hit 36C, followed by a scarcely believable 41C tomorrow. The world is being turned upside down. Just ask the All Blacks.