I am pretty much in control of my life. By that I don't mean day to day things like making sure I get to work on time that sort of thing - quite simply because I do not go to work in the conventional sense. I don't think I ever will again. I am my own man - I run my business, run this family, organise all of our finances and holidays and all the rest of it. This does not mean I am some sort of control freak, just that I like to be in charge. Pretty much everything I do in my life is done on my terms.
That sounds selfish - but it really isn't. For example, every holiday that we have taken in the last six years i.e. since I met Claire and we had the children has been more or less 100% organised by me. Now this does not mean that I say "right Claire I've booked this year's holiday and we're going here, you've got no say in the matter so like it or lump it". I am not that sort of person. In fact - although I like being in control of what I do - I would never tell a partner, or friend or anyone else what to do. I would never say to someone "You should give up smoking", I have too much respect for the rights of the individual to live their life as they wish. In return, my friends, knowing this, tend to offer me the same in return i.e. nobody says to me "stop eating 8 packets of crisps a day you fat bastard". So all is good.
Invariably when planning holidays, I do extensive research, run a few ideas past Claire, she invariably agrees and then I go ahead and organsise the lot, including all those little practicalities such as airport parking and such like. I think I am a very well organised individual. This is also why I have to work for myself - I simply can't work within organisations following rules and regulations set by people who can't allow an individual the flexibility to shine.
I could never delegate at work either so I'll never run a big company. You just can't rely on anyone to do as good a job as yourself. Everytime at Nielsen I was given someone to train or nurture it was a bloody nightmare. I only really got it right in the last year or so in the Pubtrack team when I managed to recruit Dave Snelling in to work "alongside" me. Which basically meant dumping all the boring crap jobs on to him while i played on the internet all day, or pissed off on brewery tours.
So it's one man band for me from here to the grave I reckon. Not that I would not consider investing in another business or individual if the right opportunity or person presented itself, but that opportunity isn't DJ'ing - as that's what I do.
Anyway where's all this going - well I am delighted to say that I am about to go on my first ever proper booze cruise to France. And for once I have cut the strings of control - this entire trip is being organised by my very good friend Alex. All I have to do is pay my half, be awake at 6am on the day and off we go for a day over in France.
This trip ticks a lot of firsts. I say it's my first booze cruise, well back in December '88 I did go on a day trip to France on a coach organised by my college. That was by ferry and although a jolly good piss up was had by all, very little booze could be brought back due to weight limits on the coach. Most of what I did attempt to bring back got drunk on the way back anyway during some rather raunchy shenanigans on the back seat of the coach when a rather naughty girl I once went out with called Emma Roberts decided to give all the boys a love bite. Good idea at the time but took some explaining to my then girlfriend on my return.
Another first is that this is my first time through the Channel Tunnel, which eventually opened in the early 90s after my coach trip. Apparently the idea of a channel tunnel has been mooted for centuries - I was reading that the pioneers of the London Underground in the 19th century were all for extending the lines under the sea and through to Paris, but the idea was quashed by the military who feared possible invasion, not to mention all and sundry coming through. Oh, the irony I can hear you thinking.
This will also be my first major jaunt anywhere away from my family since I got married. We do pretty much do everything together, but I think it will do me good to have a day away with a friend doing something different, just as it did Claire and me so much good when we went to London. Obviously she is missing out being left behind. As you know my original plan for February was to take her to Paris for a few days - this proved to be a complete non-starter for reasons you can probably work out. So now I go off with my mate for a day trip instead - doesn't sound great does it - but Claire we will have our trip - consider this trip with Alex as a recce for a future venture of our own. And I do so need a day away from the daily routine of my life, I think anyone reading must be able to understand this.
So I'm relinquishing control, I'm in Alex's hands for the day, we will get up early, have lots of fun, a slap up lunch in France and bring back as many bottles of wine as we can fit in the "gay car". Thank-you Alex.