No time for leftover wine

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

What do you do when the people go home?
And what do you do when the show is all done?
I know what I’ll do in the alone of my time
But what will I do with the leftover wine?

–  Melanie Safka, ‘Leftover wine’

And so another year in travel retail nears its end. Other than on the airport shop floor where activity is peaking, many of the companies that inhabit the travel retail universe are beginning to wind down for the seasonal break.

The Moodie Report is no different. The relentless flow of editorial e-mails to our inbox has slowed to a trickle; a highly pleasurable and at times emotional office party has come and gone; my quite wonderful team has made its way through the elements to various holiday destinations around the world or packed up for well-deserved family breaks at home. Dermot Davitt and I will keep the website ticking over during the festive period but it’s traditionally a very slow period for industry news.

Like many readers, I am sure, I find this part of the year quietly poignant. The show is (almost) all done and it’s a time for reflection. On a personal level it’s a particularly thoughtful, difficult, sometimes enriching period. I am now down to just 27 days remaining of my chemotherapy regime, the dark but necessary heart of a medical and personal journey that began seven months ago and which has dominated my life through 2010. On 18 January 2011 I will swallow my last chemotherapy pills and walk, perhaps uncertainly, into a period of comparative normality.

I have articulated various stages of that journey within this Blog. I hope those utterings have never read as self-indulgent, though I admit candidly that they have helped me to cope with the effects of this disease and the related treatment. For me, writing is cathartic, helping immensely in the many dark moments where I am, as Melanie puts it so eloquently, in ‘the alone of my time’.

The feedback and the deeply personal encouragement of so many readers have assisted hugely in me addressing that isolation. It has come from too many quarters and individuals to possibly mention them all. From CEOs of the industry’s top retailers and airport executives to leading suppliers, to rivals such as Lois Pasternak of Travel Markets Insider and Nigel Hardy at Travel Retail Business, to people who only know me as a name or as a face on a conference stage, the e-mails and phone calls have never slowed, many of them finding a voice so eloquent it has sometimes moved me to tears.

I will never forget those people and it is my fervent hope that I can turn the learnings of this difficult year into a positive direction both personally and for my company.

The change starts now. We aim to step up our Corporate Social Responsibility efforts in a major way next year (starting with the Moodie Multi-National Marathon on behalf of Hand in Hand for Haiti, for which I start training on 19 January). I plan to put such projects at the top of my priority list and to enjoy each and every aspect of running this product I love so much called The Moodie Report. Even in the alone of my time, I am determined that there simply will be no leftover wine…

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