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8 Oct 2019

RDO10 – “Job well done”

That was the email I received the week-end after the RDO 10 Conference ended in Marbella, Spain on 12th September. Although I am usually pretty upbeat about our Conferences, I did leave this one with a very real sense of positivity, and this was despite my travelling back on Friday 13th from Malaga, which for some reason is always a bad airport for me, and lived up to its reputation this time. Word of warning to all UK citizens – do not lose your passport on a Friday – it takes at least “two working days” for HM Government to crank...

Coming of age
20 Aug 2019

Coming of age?

It was in February 1998, that OTE was set up inLondon,(the office was moved to Brussels four years later)Brussels, and this year sees the organisation in its 21styear of existence – now as RDO. I think the only two staff members who have been there since the beginning are Maria Rodriguez, who worked for ANETC and Sue McNicol, who was working for the Timeshare Council, both then became Chapters of OTE. Having originally sat on the Board of the Timeshare Council as FNTC representative, it is hard to remember what conditions were like for the industry at that time and...

4 Dec 2018

The Treaty of Dover 1670

I like to think of myself as a bit of a history buff, particularly on the 17th/18thcenturies in England and Europe which is one of my favourite periods. I was however totally unaware of this Treaty when it was cited by a Brexiteer on a BBC Radio 4 news programme recently. For those interested, (and thanks to Wikipedia yet again), the Treaty, sometimes known as “The Secret Treaty of Dover “ (so no wonder I hadn’t heard of it) was signed between England’s Charles 11 and France’s Louis XIV (“The Sun King”). In the treaty Louis promised Charles money so that...

9 Oct 2018

Brexit – Unemployable!

Unemployable - so this is where Brexit is taking us! Theresa May announced at the Conservative Party Conference last week, that “taking back control” after Brexit would mean that the UK would have control over who came here to work and “low skilled” workers, whether from the EU or elsewhere, who earn less than £50,000 would not be allowed entry. Setting aside the fact that it is highly likely that whatever limits the UK Government decides to put on EU workers seeking to come here, will be mirrored by the EU, so if you are a UK national and  “low skilled”...

Brexit
31 Jul 2018

It’s a mad world my masters

Used by Nicholas Breton a pamphleteer in 1603 and 2 years later was the title of a Jacobean comedy by Thomas Middleton. I have managed to stay off the subject of Brexit for some time now, but events of the last few weeks can hardly be allowed to pass without comment (well that’s my excuse). Difficult to know where to start, but I suppose events post the “Chequers agreement” is good enough. First David Davis, then Boris (late as usual whilst he decides where his best advantage lies) – Theresa May must have been secretly relieved to see him go and...

Ave atque vale
22 May 2018

Ave atque vale

For those of you who are not Latin Scholars (including myself – 14% at Common Entrance), Ave atque vale means hail and farewell. This comes from Catullus 101 (Wikipedia is a wonderful thing), the poem to his dead brother or rather to his ashes, but may in fact be Greek in origin, which is very apt as I was using it in a “Greek” context. These last few weeks we have had to say farewell to two stalwarts of the industry – Dimitris Manikis who has left RCI after 27 years to take up a similar but expanded role at...

Things can only get better
13 Feb 2018

Things can only get better………?

Things can only get better, or so the song title goes by D:Ream in 1997 (a Northern Irish Band who subsequently broke up).The song was of course adopted by the Labour Party as their theme song and Tony Blair became Prime Minister in the General Election that year. I only mention it as it seems appropriate to the current situation. We have struggled through January – always the worst month of the year and stumbled into February – which is not much better! Unfortunately turning to the world at large is not that much more encouraging. That said I had the...

19 Dec 2017

Get a Grip!

I apologise for what is going to look and sound like another Brexit based blog – but let’s face it this is the most dominant topic this side of the English Channel. However, I do appreciate there are the upcoming elections in Catalonia this month, when again all attention will be focussed on that region and the outcome will determine whether Spain will be plunged into further political upheaval. Also in Germany it did look until a couple of weeks ago that the Germans would have to return to the polls as it had proved impossible for Angela Merkel to...

Letter from America
21 Nov 2017

Letter from America

I have always wanted to write that as a headline having been a great admirer of the late Alistair Cooke who sent out his “Letter from America” on BBC Radio every week from 1946 to 2004 and most memorably was in the lobby of the Ambassador Hotel, Los Angeles and witnessed the assassination of Bobby Kennedy. So that was all just by way of introducing the fact that I was in Washington last week, at the ARDA Fall Convention to make presentations, along with Declan Kenny, to the ARDA ROC and ARDA Boards. As explained at the RDO AGM in Marbella in September,...

OK - so I am an elephant
20 Sep 2017

OK – so I am an elephant

It would be true to say that I was quite disappointed when Nigel Risner told me I'm an elephant, as he, Jackie Murphy and I struggled through Malaga Airport in the closing hours of last Tuesday week, after RDO8 finished in Marbella. There had been an Air Traffic Controllers’ strike in France (where else) and of course flights were delayed and re-directed etc. Ok, I always suspected that there was a central element of elephant in my character but I had always hoped there was a bit of monkey or lion as well – not dolphin (see Nigel’s book “It’s a...