The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]


Till Next Year …

So this is the final post of the year.

It’s been a big year for me and the family.

Then again, it was a big year for the family last year too.

However, whereas 2017 saw us leave Shanghai and Wieden+Kennedy – something that was truly emotional for all of us – 2018 has seen us go from sunny LA, working at Deutsch, living in a house by the beach and driving a custom made Audi to being citizens of cold and rainy London, living in a much smaller house in Fulham, working at R/GA [with some sprinkles of Metallica madness in-between] and traveling by tube to and from everywhere.

And we haven’t been this happy in ages.

Don’t get me wrong, there are things we definitely miss from our life in the US – people, the weather, Otis’ school, free soda refills and bacon mainly – but this move was right for us for a whole host of reasons, personal and professional, and we enter 2019 with the full expectation we’ll still be here when 2020 comes around.

I hope.

It’s funny, when I read the final post I wrote for last year, it is apparent that change was in our minds. We didn’t think that openly, but it seems it was there.

Of course, moving to a country and then leaving in just over a year is not the best thing.

It’s financial stupidity for one.

But these things happen and we are very happy for the amazing experience, though I must admit I’m even happier my wife, son and cat are still talking to me.

Fools.

But while our environment has changed, some things have stayed exactly the same.

Your ability to trash everything I write on here, for one.

And to you all, I say a huge thank you.

Sure, being told I’m a bad dressing, musically ignorant, gadget tosser every-single-day can get a bit tiring, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Because amongst the insults, there’s often pearls of gold in there.

Stuff that makes me think about things a different way.

Stuff that influences how I think about things I never thought about.

Stuff that just keeps me on my toes and interested about stuff.

And I love it.

I love that people come here and share a bit of their time and opinion with me.

Yes, I appreciate moving to the UK and still posting at 6am is screwing up the flow of the comments given the East Coast of America is asleep and can’t insult/join-in until much later … but the fact so many people still write makes me feel very fortunate.

While I have loved the ability to move countries and cultures so many times – and hope to continue doing it, just not for a bit – the reality is that is makes your friendship network difficult.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m very fortunate we have technology to keep me in touch with the wonderful people I’ve met in every country we’ve lived [whether they like it or not] and this year I got to catch up with people I’ve not seen in years – from Freddie to Paula – but there is something about having a level of constancy that makes you feel settled.

Bizarrely, this blog has provided me with a bit of that.

Even with people I have still yet to meet.

[Though I met Marcus and Neil Perkin this year and that made me so happy]

While I would never suggest I am your friend, you have been to me – in many ways and at many times, both at moments of darkness and happiness – and I want to take this opportunity to say thank you.

To all of you.

Even you Andy.

When I started this blog way back in May 2006, I never expected anyone to read it, let alone comment so the fact some of you still are – regardless that many Police officers would call it abuse – I’m grateful.

I’m excited about next year.

It will be big.

Not because we’ll be moving … or I’ll changing job … but new things will be entering my life.

From my beloved Otis starting proper school – which literally is screwing with my head – to the much-talked-about-but-not-much-actually-done Weigel/Campbell officially doing its thing in addition to the exciting adventures and exploits my wonderfully beautiful family, my bloody amazing friends and fantastic new planning team will get up to that will make me feel even luckier than I do already.

Being back in England has had a much bigger effect on me than I ever imagined it would.

I am grateful for it.

I am grateful for all I have.

I hope this holiday season and 2019 is one that is wonderful for you all too.

See you in a few weeks. [Yeah, don’t think you get so lucky to not have me come back]



I Just Can’t …
December 22, 2016, 8:13 am
Filed under: A Bit Of Inspiration, Attitude & Aptitude, Comment, End of Year

… leave this years blog on the low point of the talking penis post.

Even I have some sort of standards.

So with that, I will leave you with the ‘Best Of 2016’ Fail Videos.

You may think these will be as low as the talking penis post … but I don’t look at it this way.

What I’m giving you is something that is much, much better.

1. You will not want to bleach your eyes after seeing it.

2. You will – if you’re a bit of a bastard, like me – laugh.

3. You can feel happy that however bad your year was, it wasn’t as bad as theirs.

And with that, I bid you an official farewell until 2017.

I really mean it this time.

Enjoy saying goodbye to 2016 … because despite some good bits, it’s not been one of the best, however I know next year will be better.

At least for me.

And I’ll bore you with the reasons for that statement in the new year.

Oh I can tell you’re just sooooooo excited. Ha.

Toodle-pip.

Comments Off on I Just Can’t …


So This Is It …
December 15, 2016, 6:25 am
Filed under: End of Year

So 2016, for this blog at least, is now officially over.

As usual, thank you to everyone and anyone who came by to read, comment or insult … I can only assume you did it out of boredom, charity or pettiness.

To be honest, I kind of forget that people outside of the ‘usual suspects’ read my rubbish. I’m always quite surprised when someone I haven’t met says they read it. On one hand it feels nice, then I tend to go into a bit of a mild panic as I realise that some of the things I may have written could have insulted the person I was talking to.

It happened recently.

I was in Japan and met this planner from the US.

As we got talking he mentioned 2 things.

1. He read my blog.
2. He worked on the Toyota account.

Rather sheepishly I asked …

“Did you do that hot air balloon thing I slagged off?”

Of course he had. Then he told me he had even shown it to his boss.

Oh goodie.

Now of course I stand by what I said – it was utter pants – however, because I forget this blog isn’t some private [low-end] club but a place where anyone stupid enough to click can visit, I tend to express myself in slightly more sarcastic ways than I would in public.

And before anyone takes me up on that last comment – namely colleagues and clients – I did say ‘slightly more’, I am perfectly aware I can be a petty, little sod.

Anyway, he forgave me … though I think that’s mainly because he wanted a job at Wieden. And it worked, because he now resides in our NYC office and not just because he laid on the guilt trip. Well, not totally, ha.

Which just leaves me to say this …

I hope every single one of you has a great Christmas or whatever festive season you may or may not celebrate.

Get drunk. Have fun. Tell the people you love, that you love them.

And as for 2017, let’s hope it is interesting for all the right reasons, because regardless how the past 12 months have been for all us individually, the World needs some time for calm, togetherness and compassion.

Thank you again. Till next year …



The Last Week Of 2016 …

OK, so the title of this post is wrong given we have almost 3 weeks left before it’s 2017, but this is going to be the last week for this blog because [1] I’m going to be in LA all week [be afraid George, Pete & Baz … be very afraid] and [2] I can’t be arsed to write anymore.

Frankly, I can’t believe how quick this year has gone. It’s been stupendously quick.

And yet, when I look back at the past 12 months, I see a lot has happened … and I’m not just talking about my holidays.

From Bowie dying.

The worst Toyota campaign in years.

My favourite quote of the year.

A time of self realisation.

My best friends penis. [Hey, it wouldn’t be this blog if I didn’t reference that]

The power of design.

My beloved Mum’s first anniversary.

The launch of The Kennedys in Shanghai.

[With updates on whats going on here]

My failed April fool.

A reminder of the importance of empathy.

The best Rock n’ Roll mash-up. Ever.

China showing that for all their progress, a lot of it is only on the surface … here and here.

How Cannes is bringing the worst out of adland.

My amazing June consisting of an amazing conference in Paris, my wife’s birthday and a phenomenal holiday in too many places.

An idea that should be celebrated for it’s humanity.

My argument about what the ad industry needs to do to be relevant to the next generation of creative class.

… and recognising what new creative talent actually is.

Parenting.

The importance of fearlessness.

Saying goodbye to a couple of people who were very important to me. But only goodbye in the ‘I’m leaving Wieden’ sense. Ros and Paula.

As you can see, there’s been a lot that’s happened.

OK, so some you may agree with, some you won’t … but it’s important [for me, at least] to see it because the speed this year has gone, it would be easy for me to convince myself nothing has happened.

Recently I read an interview with ex-Take That star, Robbie Williams, that kind of summed up my attitude to working.

I know … I know … it’s Robbie Williams, but the fact is I have always liked him.

I’ve liked his attitude and his honesty – even when he’s ended up being screwed over by what he said – but for me, his viewpoint that ‘if the brain stops working, it’s all over’ feels very relevant to me.

You may not believe it, you may say there’s a lot of evidence to challenge it … but it’s something that feels incredibly true to me.

So true that 2017 is going to see quite a few changes for me … all in a bid to make sure my brain remains energised and exercised so that I don’t need a blog post to remind me that my days have been filled with stuff that has been interesting and exciting.

But that stuff will be discussed later, so until then, enjoy the final 5 days of this blog in 2016.