It was Christmas Eve babe

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

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It was Christmas Eve babe
In the drunk tank
An old man said to me, ‘Won’t see another one’
And then he sang a song
The Rare Old Mountain Dew
And I turned my face away
And dreamed about you

– Fairytale of New York, The Pogues

And Christmas Eve indeed it is, all over the world. In my homeland of New Zealand the party will be in full swing now; here in London morning is breaking to a wet though mild day, far better conditions than much of flood-ravaged Britain is experiencing.

It’s good to be home after spending much of the past 5 weeks on the road, in the Middle East, Florida, Taipei and Hong Kong.  The Moodie Report doesn’t stop for Christmas of course (our industry is operating at hectic pace throughout the season and our coverage needs to reflect that) but we do at least slip into a slightly lower gear.

I’m writing this Blog, for example, not from our London offices but from the original ‘Worldwide HQ’ at the foot of the garden with my golden labrador Mickali as my constant companion, snoring under my desk. Publisher and newshound, side by side, though at this rate she won’t be winning any Pulitzers.

Besides being a time of celebration in much of the world, Christmas is also a period for reflection. I think that particularly applies to Christmas Eve, a moment of gathering before the celebrations, of preparation but also of poignancy. Many around the world today, for example, will be thinking right now of those who won’t be with them tomorrow on Christmas Day.

One will be Cynthia Edwards, mother of our great industry friend Alan who passed away earlier this year. A few days ago I received a Christmas card accompanied by a long note from Cynthia telling me how Alan had presented her with an iPad last Christmas, a device she could never work.

In her frustration she was going to throw it against the wall but chose not to, in deference to Alan’s feelings. “So I persisted and how glad I am as I got through on your Blog and was able to read all the comments [about Alan],” she wrote to me. “It made me feel so proud – how pleased he would have been to read them all (maybe he has!).”

I’m sure he has. Two years ago this month, Alan attended The Moodie Report’s Christmas party as a special guest. At that point he was cajoling and encouraging me to get through the last stage of my medical treatment. Now I am well and he is gone. Life is as fragile as it is fleeting.

I am sure that many people in travel retail will therefore, like me, on Christmas Eve (in the words of what I consider to be the greatest Christmas song of all), conjure up Alan’s memory, then “turn my face away and think about you”.

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