Across Continents

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Social media and football punditry

I’d been wrestling with a suitable title for a forthcoming talk about my exploits on the road. Played with pathos. “Lonely Roads… one man’s two-wheeled odyssey around the world”. Started well but too long. “An evening with…”. Far too pretentious. Endless lengths of the local swimming pool had failed to stimulate creativity. So I’d turned to Facebook for inspiration. Posted a few ideas. Invited suggestions.

It’d struggled at first with social media. What was the point exactly? Surely if you wanted to be sociable, you’d meet for coffee and a slice of moist cake. Maybe a spot of lunch. Dinner if you really liked them. Not poring over a small screen, fingers skimming over a tablet or eyes staring intently at a smart phone. But I’d eventually got it. Facebook. Twitter. LinkedIn. Tools for sharing, for connecting. Complementing, rather than replacing, more traditional social interaction.

My return from Somerset was earlier than I’d have liked. But there was a dinner in London to attend and didn’t want to risk disruption on the rails. Must though have been a rough part of town, for those on the door had side arms. No, really. And I’d needed my passport for admittance. Took the one with the least dubious visas. Formal but, as these things should be, very relaxed. It was a Black Tie affair. Acceptable attire a pretty broad church which some had taken it quite literally. I’d so wanted to ask them if they thought this was a Wake, or if they’d been obliged to come in haste directly from the funeral.

I was certain Debretts would advise against such outbursts of wit. Settling instead on teasing my Dad a few days later that I’d been obliged to listen to some sort of football pundit. Definitely not my game, but obliged to admit even I’d heard of the chap. Eclipsed though as an after-dinner speaker by a popular Irish comedian and chat show host. Almost wept. Scribbled a few of his lines on the back of the menu. Well, you never know. But don’t think I’ll ever have his delivery.

Back on the south coast a few days later, tucked away house-sitting for a good friend, endless iterations of my CV were drawing to a close. Honing. Refining. Choice of words had intrigued me. For, I’d learnt, the world was, apparently, full of excellent communicators and outstanding leaders. Just ask anyone in HR. They’ll tell you everyone is. There are endless books to help. But that’s part of the problem. Striking the balance between a welcome familiar format and a grey formulaic offering. Tricky.

If I’d made a mistake with Facebook, it was to suggest “Travels with Emma” as a possible title for my talk. Drawing in a few dubious double-entendres. But there was one offering I really liked. A real gem. “One World, Two Wheels”. Nice ring to it. Short enough. What it lacked in pathos it had in inspiration. But it was now time to put the coffee on. Wondering what intrigue the next week would bring. A job perhaps.


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2 responses to “Social media and football punditry”

  1. Mike Harcup says:

    Ken,
    How about one world ,two wheels and lesbians galore?
    Mike.

  2. admin says:

    I like the imagery but, regrettably, my route didn’t include the island of Lesbos so it’d be a bit disingenious of me to make use of your suggestion. Humble apologies. But I’ll look out for the DVD….

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