Tag: madrid

Sunday Column (344)

This week was crazy.
When you do what you have to do and you just don’t feel the way you are supposed to be feeling, then weeks are no fun πŸ™ Essentially what I am trying to say is that this week I was just shattered. There are loads of bugs going around but I don’t feel ill. I just feel tired. You know that feeling when you hardly sleep and eat? I did that too, on top of this bug.

lego campervan

Anyway, it also was a fund week. We went to a business trip to Madrid. One gets up at 4:30, does the kettle bell training, feeling a bit under the weather, and before you know it you are in Madrid, have meetings and end up in a Tapas bar until 1 am understanding the Spanish market potential. I enjoy going to Spain as I believe that this market, similar to Italy, has a huge potential for adtech technology. Often, companies focus on France and Germany after the UK, yet there is a huge amount of wins to gain in Italy and Spain. Anyway, a successful trip!

Of course, as it has been lately with hotels, I didn’t sleep great. Whilst we were upgraded to a nice junior suite it turned out to be next to the elevator. So I was tired on Wednesday to say the least. The elevator went all night, and of course from around 6 am all the time. No sleep. A bug. A busy day….don’t get me started.

Also this week I did a proper fast day which properly didn’t help my energy levels. That was on Monday, when I normally have some kind of fruit smoothie to get me through the day. So no surprise I went to bed early on Friday and Saturday night.

Were there any highlights this week? Oh yes, there were.

My youngest loves acting and for the annual harvest festival they are practising “Singing in the Rain” – he does a fantastic job in re-acting it. I am a very proud dad.

He loves acting, always loved singing and music and dancing. It is so much fun to watch him! I cannot wait to see the performance. Also, on Saturday the boys, as they had a tough week too, wanted to spend some of their pocket money. So off we went to Brighton go get some LEGO and paw patrol toys. C amazed me with the speed and accuracy he put a quite complex LEGO helicopter together. I was more tempted for the campervan but hope Oma and Opa buy me one for Christmas πŸ˜‰

Another positive thing was that my wife made me proud too. She participated in the 5K Colour Run in Brighton. She signed up for that ages ago, and I am very proud she did that run. The boys loved seeing her on the run and from what we learned, this could be a great family race in the future to get the boys involved and us all going for a fun run together. A lot of people walked so no harm in taking youngsters. That all was complimented by probably one of the best ‘pub’ lunches I had for ages!

So overall we made a day out of it and enjoyed a splendid family weekend. Some venison burger cooking, some satay chicken, some shrimps on toast. Yes, I enjoyed the relaxing days off, I needed them and I recovered a bit too.

That’s all for now folks, so hope your week was better. I heard of so many people having had the flu and were properly ill, so hopefully that’s not to come.


Sunday Column (165)

What a fantastic week. I think so anyway. I went to Madrid on Monday to support our local office, interview for new people and had a very good and long meeting with one of our clients. I like to be useful and travel to support folk. It makes you tired and I didn’t see the kids, but overall I actually enjoy it.

So I was back Wednesday night to find my MIL (mother in law) staying with us. In order for me to keep up my running training I slept on the couch to run at 6 am on Thursday. Friday I worked at home sitting in a conference call until late. I always seem to be busier working from home than being in the office; no idea why to be honest.

What else happened? As my MIL was baby sitting my wife and I went to our most favourite Thai restaurant in Beckenham. The result was we were home within an hour. Conveyor belt service plus us feeling “too old” to mingle with the locals in the pub, meant we preferred to be home early. Saturday we used the whole day (!) to go shopping. I bought myself a “Buddha hand” as an early birthday present. We went all over the shop (literally) whilst my MIL was suffering with the kids. A knackering day for all of us!

Another thing happening to me was on the flight into Madrid. A bloke, between 60 and 65 I’d say, felt sick. He then went to the toilet and all, and they cleared his row, however the main thing was that I felt so sorry for him. Luckily I have never been sick on a plane. But when we flew into Madrid hitting air pockets and jet streams I really felt so sorry for this bloke. And I felt very helpless too. I hate to not being able to help people who need support.

Never mind. In total I feel so much better since I got new trainers, go running every morning (almost) and eat a bit better. There is still a lot of improvement to be made, particularly when travelling, but overall I think I am doing ok. I haven’t lost a huge amount of weight but I feel better, healthier and more energetic. Fingers crossed I keep it up of course πŸ˜‰ But I will.

Contracts for the house should be exchanged this coming week. I am off Monday for a special family day πŸ˜‰ and then have a fairly quiet week ahead. Most of the European offices have bank holidays, however I used the week to arrange a few meetings in the UK that were well overdue. Same for the week after until I go travelling again.

The joys….

Have a fantastic week.

Sunday Column (144)

As a child I never travelled much. Austria or Denmark with my parents, usually by car and we never flew. That was fine then and I have no regrets. I wasn’t jealous of other kids that did fly. Even when I grew up, I never went anywhere. A short trip to Spain and a motor bike trip to Italy and Denmark. But that was about it. Another bike trip around the UK of course. Only when I got married, our honeymoon took us to Thailand, and boy did I love it.

My hotel was next to one of those towers, never noticed the other πŸ™‚
This week I went to Madrid for business. Business travel is always a bit different, unless you get to know the locals. My luck was that our Country Manager in Spain is local but since he wasn’t free the night of my stay, I met with another friend who has lived in Spain for over 10 years. Now, I was shown Madrid. I am not talking night clubs but tapas. The little dishes you have whilst having a good chat in one of the local bars. Having a beer, or a glass of wine, a snack. It is fantastic. You find different and very fresh flavours. If you follow me on Foursquare you will see where I have been. Whilst I abandoned the daily use of Foursquare, I still check in at places I like to remember. Like a travel diary if you like. So, I just wanted to say that business travel, tiring as it is, can also be a lot of fun.

Now the strike action of the public sector. Only in Cameron’s Britain did I ever experience strikes, riots and high unemployment rate. I am might be biased as for the first 8 years of me living in the UK Labour was in power, and maybe they messed a lot of things up. But lately I get increasingly annoyed of what is happening. Anyway, arriving back at Gatwick there weren’t any queues, no problem whatsoever. Fantastic.

But enough about travel. Work is very tiring as it is, but very rewarding too. I even went into work on Friday when I had a day off. This time though to show off the family. It was great to just sit there on Friday afternoon and presenting the kiddies. And the wife of course πŸ™‚ They enjoyed it and I believe my colleagues enjoyed it too. We then went home and did some Christmas shopping on the way.

We also went Christmas shopping in Bromley on Saturday. I believe we decided on a new hifi system so we can dock in our iPods and iPhone(s) as well as USB sticks. Not an easy decisions but as my wife and I are both half deaf, we don’t need a super duper hifi system, LOL.

We also made food plans for Xmas. I cannot wait. I know that after Christmas I want to change a lot of food and drink habits in order to live a lot healthier. We shall see. I have been saying that for years.

Last but not least I am very happy with our fibre optic broadband. I streamed an online movie on Friday night and it was fantastic. Good quality.

Oh, and a quick word about the kids. Every weekend I start enjoying Colin more. It seem as we get along better, communicate better and get to know each other well. Today we went for a long walk (10 km), of which he slept most of it. But even just being out and about with the boys for a walk gives me great satisfaction.

Enjoy December, I think I am slowly getting into the mood for Christmas.


Time – Bank Holiday Weekend :-)

I have been quiet the last couple of days. Mainly because I have started to think about a lot of things.

Some are directly related to my work and life that for obvious reasons I would not like to share here πŸ˜‰ Nothing to worry about of course.

However, there are some other thoughts on life that I am more than happy to share, it is my conversation with Marcelo, my Buddhist friend and ex monk on our Buddhist and Management Blog. Maybe you have some input on our thoughts.

Also, as a frequent flyer I am concerned with the safety of flights after the Madrid accident. Unfortunately those things happen and one should probably not think about it. But, it also naggs on me for some reason.

So, I am taking this bank holiday weekend off from all obligations and will be back as normal next week.

Have a good one, Volker