Managing Director - John White
Managing Director John White reminisces about scaling the walls of Troy and tackling themighty Kraken sea monster.
Welcome dear reader to your latest edition of Inside Marine. The decks and hold of this vessel containing your valuable and much anticipated cargo
of news, views, articles, advertisements and much more is full to the bulkheads and gunnels! We enjoyed working on this edition and bringing all of this to you wrapped in the Posidonia 2020 focus.
We are proud to be a media partner again with Posidonia, (which has been rescheduled for October in light of the current climate having thoroughly enjoyed ourselves out there in 2018. I say ‘we’ as I was lucky enough on that occasion to smuggle myself in the carry-on luggage of my visiting team of four – bolstering our numbers to five. To be fair, the four of them did most of the work for the duration of the magnificent event.
As those of you who visit or exhibit at these events will know, one can clock up some serious steps over a few days of wandering between stands and halls. I managed to do a day and a bit and then confined myself to our apartment to do some work from my laptop. Like an eager parent waiting for his kids to come back from a day at school, on the days I didn’t attend, I was keen to hear how their day had gone. Conversely, they were keener to kick off the business attire, pop on some flip-flops and shorts and relax in the glorious Greek sunshine on our balcony with an ice-cold beverage.
On one memorable day when I had worked from the apartment, I decided to put some rubbish out before they came back from their hard day and foolishly allowed the front door to shut behind me locking me out! I tried the patio doors, locked. I tried the back door, locked. I tried cursing a little, unhelpful. My phone and laptop were also inside so there was no chance of calling the property owner either and even if I did, he was away with friends some distance from his home.
I frustratedly awaited my team’s return a few hours later and recruited the help of one of them to help me up onto a roof where I had to shimmy along a narrow ledge of tiles like a novice cat burglar before hoisting myself, wearing my rock-climbing flip-flops, onto a first floor balcony leading to my room where thankfully I had left my patio doors open! You see, even the boss must get his hands dirty sometimes!
Not only was it a most productive and interesting trip from a business perspective, we also found a little time to appreciate the seaside resort close to Athens where our apartment was located, a beautifully laid back snippet of Aegean coastline known as Artemida. What I found beautiful, in addition to the scenery, naturally, was how friendly the locals were, especially as this was not a typical tourist resort. Their English was not so good or non-existent, as was our Greek. Thankfully, one of my team is Italian and a bit of a linguist so she managed to bridge the gap somewhat. However, it didn’t really seem to matter much at all, and this was the beauty of it for me.
One evening, we dined on the beach outside of a local restaurant owned by such a friendly and helpful local who could not speak a word of English. He could not do enough for us – a point which was highlighted on a first day of the trip.
To retell a story our Editorial Manager winces at each time he’s asked about it, on our first day in Artemida – a day before Posidonia kicked off and one that had involved a great deal of travelling – within 30 minutes of dropping our bags off at the apartment, we had donned our beachwear and wandered down the beach for a bit of a paddle in the sea. Within seconds, my Editorial Manager cleverly found, with his bare feet, a sea urchin which resulted in him being taken by a lifeguard into the aforementioned restaurant where there just happened to be a doctor friend of the owner sitting, enjoying a beverage.
He patiently removed the painful spikes from our colleagues’ foot without drama (but not without a great deal of laughter from the rest of us). Whilst this beachside ‘surgery’ was going on, the owner was offering us free drinks. During the week we enjoyed a wonderful meal at his restaurant where again he simply could not have been more accommodating and genuinely friendly. We dined, with him regularly bringing out drinks and food stuff for us to sample, all the time laughing at each other as nobody really knew what was being said. A true breaking down of barriers and the appreciation that we are all carved out of the same block.
At the time of writing, there is some uncertainty about events with the Corona Virus, so I will sign off by wishing you all good health and hope that this virus does not prevent such marvellous gatherings of the wonderous diversity of languages and cultures from happening. Now if someone would be so kind as to bring some sturdy beach footwear for my Editorial Manager and a portable ladder for me, we will be all set for a return trip in a few months’ time!
John White - Managing Director