Sunday Column (189)

Where to start this week. The good things first. I was in Milan for work and it was fantastic. Seeing an industry crying out for RTB (real time bidding), asking for monetization for inventory and technology is fantastic. I had fantastic meetings with both Influential Italian industry leaders and international visitors to the the show. Watch out, Italy is coming!

On that note: I love Italians. My sister in law is Italian, but also their life style. The honking when traffic stops in its tracks, the old woman wanting something, the noise and buzz in the streets. This country and its people are about living. Life is important. Culture and family is important. A great attitude to life paired with a good Southern European attitude. La dolce vita.

When flying over to Milan I was astonished about something. There were plane spotters on the flight. We hadn’t even landed when they took their binoculars out to spot and note down planes. I have seen them at airports before, or the other species, train spotters, at London Bridge. For some reason I cannot understand their motivation. Whilst as a child of seven or eight I noted down car license plates, as an adult I hardly keep up with my day to day life, would love more time with the family or read more. I personally think chasing something you cannot collect physically is just a bit odd. Bird watching I can understand, seeing something alive and moving, understanding nature. But plane numbers, train numbers, not sure. Each to their own though.

As I get older I might take on more odd hobbies too, you never know. I saw those retired guys down in Hassocks with their steam engines, or the elder running the Jack & Jill windmills. For now I find it odd enough to wash and polish my car at weekends and being all middle class, middle age. Oh dear.

Just to keep you posted on a few things. Lufhansa, after engaging with me on twitter, decided to apologise and give me 150 Euros to spend in their world shop. Nice, and much appreciated. If that had happened sooner it would have been better, but hey, I am not complaining. I am still cross (middle age, right?) but happy they are making the effort to make me happy. Now I need to decide what to buy 😉 it wasn’t money I was after but the apology and that is what I appreciate most. Of course, I don’t mind a wee pressie 😉

To the bad things. I wrote about that last week and now it starts to haunt me. Cancer. A good industry friend from Italy was diagnosed with Leukaemia. He is recovering well but only a few months ago we enjoyed la dolce vita over diner and drinks. One of my best friend’s dad got diagnosed with cancer a few years ago, but it came back now and he is having a major operation next week. We can beat cancer if we notice it early enough. We can try to cure it but we NEED to prevent it. In a discussion this week I was reminded that there is enough medicine out there to cure most diseases like Malaria but they are unequally distributed. And pharmaceutical companies still want to make a profit. Is that right?

20121012-075358.jpg But I am not sure if I can judge that as black and white as it sounds but in the greater scale of things we need to make sure that we look after ourselves.

Hence I am doing the research I am doing into nutrition, what to eat and how to live healthy. To my, rather positive, surprise Britain is a country that ranks well in the table of cancer rates. Number 22. Germany is number 16, Italy 18, Spain and France in the early 30ies. I didn’t expect that. USA, NZ and Australia are worse. I need to research if there are specific cancer per country, like pancreas in the USA or skin cancer in Australia. But as a British nation we are doing well. Better than Germany to my surprise. Does that have to do with diet or attitude? I believe the latter plays a major part in illnesses in general. How you approach it, how you deal with it, and whether society talks about it. We Brits, as I might allow calling myself after 11 years, are eating a lot of wrong food (deep fried Mars bars as an example) but also drink a lot – but I believe we worry less, have a good time and frankly don’t give a shit about lots of things. It’s going to be ok.

Of course that is not the case for everything but what I am trying to get at is that we are a lot healthier than we think we are. A few other notes. As of next week I will intrude a fast day a week. Mondays from now on I will not eat or very little. The idea is that if you eat consistently across the day, your cells grow and grow and grow. Whilst if you ideally fast for two days a week, your cells stop multiplying and use your body’s energy to survive. That keeps the body on track. For the interested reader google for articles on “intermittent fasting”. Of course you are supposed to loose weight too. I started putting on weight again as I still haven’t been able to go running again. First my back which after last week’s treatment seems almost worse again, put my exercise regime on hold for four weeks. Once I was back on it, the evil man flu strikes from which I am still suffering. I hope to be back on track soon. Fingers crossed. I actually need exercise, it balances me.

At the weekend we had good friends over for cheese fondue and the odd glass of wine and whisky. I love being a host. A kilogram of cheese between four of us, good wine and good times. Good chats. And another muddy but fantastic walk in the South Downs.

And quality time with my boys. They missed me this week when I was away. I try to ignore it but it isn’t easy.

Nothing like a good life, isn’t it?
La dolce vita.

Have a great week,