A busy few days which have tested my resolve to blog regularly, and this late-night post is more of a round-up than anything.
Saturday brought beautiful weather for 8-year-old son’s birthday football party at Beckenham’s Goals Soccer Centre. Fourteen kids, an hour-and-a-half of football, hot dogs, cake and crisps and yet it all went off surprisingly smoothly. The kids loved it, and the Goals staff were absolutely great – thoroughly recommended. Also managed a great walk in the woods on Sunday before starting the week with another day on the LCC editorial project with the sports students.
On Tuesday a new client asked me to interview a pro boxer who works on the post in Bolton, and I spent most of the day chasing leads, writing up the interview, and contributing to a blog debate that veered from the sublime to the ridiculous – and back. Not worth going into the full detail here, you can follow the thread if you’re consumed by the need to know, but the manner in which the debate was conducted, how it was reported and what it revealed about attitudes in the new media landscape gave plenty of food for thought. I got some encouraging personal emails at the end of it all which give me hope that something positive may eventually come of the whole affair.
This morning I was informed of a fact which put much of the introspective doodlings of us self-appointed media experts into perspective. At a policy breakfast organised by the National Literacy Trust, a fine organisation, I was told that seven million adults in the UK are illiterate. So much for the shiny new world where everyone has superfast broadband access and as many iPhone apps as they can lay their hands on – we need to pay some attention to the basics.
The breakfast, opened up by Greg Dyke, was conducted under Chatham House rules so I can’t go into detail, but some interesting points about the definition of literacy were raised as part of the NLT’s efforts to develop a Manifesto for Literacy – about which there’s more on the NLT site. I’ll be returning to this theme in a future post, but it reinforced my view that all of us involved in the communications business need to focus more on substance and less on form.
The day brought not just a breakfast, but a lunch too (it is work, honest!), this time with my old friend Clair, who is trying her best to get used to her new working surroundings in an area populated almost entirely by men in suits, coffee franchises and branches of TM Lewin.
Tomorrow I’m off to the Newspaper Education Trust in Westferry Road to learn more about what they do and to see if I can help them. Then it’s to Tottenham to support Spurs reserves in their efforts to get themselves knocked out of the UEFA Cup in order to concentrate on not doing very well in the League. It’s one of those games that feels like duty rather than pleasure, but I will at least get the chance to talk to the regulars about our plans for Sunday, Wembley and a Cup Final between English football’s two greatest cup teams.