Tag Archives for House of Lords

Cobra Beer loses £13.1m whilst angels wait

The Palace of Westminster at night seen from the south bank of the River Thames. Victoria Tower and the House of Lords is on the left. The Clock Tower of Big Ben and the House of Commons is on the right. The spire left of centre is the 300ft ventilation chimney above the central lobby. The twin towers with flagless pole just visible in the background is Westminster Abbey. A 2 x 6 segment panoramic image taken by myself with a Canon 5D and 85mm f/1.8 lens.Image via WikipediaA previous post commented on the long wait for the angels in Cobra Beer and the employees who were told that if the company was sold there might not be a job for them – not bad for the person who gives great motivational talks. I am left to wonder why people who have raised funds from others to invest in their business have time to join the House of Lords, go on trade missions, appear on TV shows whilst back at the ranch, losses have been made for a second year running. This time up from £4.4million to £13.1million on sales of just £43.2million.

How do you lose £13.1million on sales of £43.2million – I guess by taking your eye off the ball and enjoying trips and jollies although I am sure that supping with the mighty will bring in sales next year.  Heard that before?  Expansion to the USA has been aborted and a cautious note for the future is sounded: “The group sells a premium product at a premium prices and its business is therefore especially liable to be affected” in an economic downturn.

As an angel I have suffered losses whilst founders massage their egos on the global stage. It is better to back a dull founder who has a simple mission to increase the value of the business for the founders, investors and employees. When that has been achieved, then the global stage is deserved.  But dull founders make poor speakers but they are so powerful in small groups.  I have always been puzzled how people have the nerve to talk about their success when up to the knees in other people’s money.

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Three different types of silence

CAMBRIDGE, UNITED KINGDOM - MARCH 25:  Lemar performs on stage at The Corn Exchange as part of his UK 'Truth About Love Tour' on March 25, 2007 in Cambridge, England.  He is set to play the Hammersmith Apollo on April 9 and 10, 2007 in London. (Photo by Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** LemarImage by Getty Images via DaylifeIn the last few days I have experienced three different types of silence: walking on my own in the hills; a thirty six hour silent retreat and visiting an old lady in a nursing home.

Walking on the hills can be a solitary affair but you are always busy watching your step, thinking of your route and there is always the sound of the wind. On the top of the hill you have the reward of the view and the feeling of achievement. However no picture can “bottle” the experience and help you share it with your friends. Walking with John Morrell of WalkingWays was different -someone to talk to, someone to guide you on the way but so difficult to stay silent when you are walking with such a knowledgeable person.

St Francis House at Hemingford Grey offers retreats to groups of people from various churches. I went with 14 people from St Bene’t’s Church in Cambridge, UK for a thirty six hour silent retreat. We arrived on Friday afternoon and stayed until after lunch on the Sunday. The time is organised and the retreat was led by the Rev’d Dr James Gardom of Pembroke College, Cambridge. It is a very special experience sitting either in the house or in the wonderful garden with people you know and being silent. A very special type of silence and different from sitting in silence in a church with other people.

The third type of silence is the type that falls on us as we age; moved from our homes with most of our friends and family no longer alive into a home for old people. Sitting in a room alone, just sitting. Here I go to break the silence of a very special person but all she really wants is to be back with her friends. Perhaps the first two silences will help me when my time comes to experience the third – I can only hope so.

So reach out and visit someone on their own and break their silence if only for a short time. I suppose the Internet helps as people can communicate. I know someone who is ill and the Internet has given them a new role in their community so technology and the products of the Cambridge Cluster can and do help.

Or play Bingo!

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