driving to paris – riding lions – £120,000 contract

thanks for your time, which i know is one of the most valuable quantities we all have.

my mate abi is a very renowned forensic scientist, a real life csi, and her time is super valuable, so when she messaged me last week saying “yours are literally the only email blogs i read!” i felt honoured, so i better make them fizz.

tomorrow is the start of the rugby world cup, and i have a few rugby world cup stories, which hopefully make you smile.

rugby world cup 1999 wales

in ’99 i was a partner in an electrical shop that i had cofounded with no prior electrical business knowledge with my partner freddy, after a drunken night where we decided to start a business together, which i ran alongside my career playing ice hockey for cardiff devils.


we had been running the shop which was like a small version of currys, selling everything from fuses to washing machines, and we also rented out large screen tv’s, this was before plasma and led screens, and they were like big wooden projectors with a red green and blue gun, firing colour onto a back projected screen.

we rented them to pubs and clubs for sporting events, and it was a lucrative side to the business.

one day in 1998 a friend approached me and said his mate was going to do a charity fundraiser, and he worked for a big pub chain, so there could be some future business to be had.

we met, we got on, and we delivered the telly on a rental basis for him.

after the weekend i contacted shaun, and arranged to collect the tv, “how’d the fundraiser go?” i enquired.

“it was rubbish” he said, “hardly anybody turned up”.

i thought about this, and mentioned it to freddy, and suggested we waive the charge, as a gesture of kindness, which he disagreed with.

we negotiated, and i told freddy to trust me i had a feeling.

a few months before the 1999 world cup shaun called me, “can you meet me at tgi fridays this friday, i have someone i want you to meet?”

“of course, i’ll see you there.”

“jeff, this is chris parr from sa brain, would you like a glass of wine?”

“i’d love one, hi chris.”

we swapped pleasantries, and 45 minutes in chris asked me if my electricians could install big screen projectors into pubs.

i was honest and said we never had, but were willing to learn.

chris outlined he would pay £2950 per install, and he wanted screens in 40 pubs, a contract worth nearly £120,000.

i said i would confirm if we were able to do the job, and by the kick off off the first match they were all successfully installed.

freddy was very happy, and i quickly learnt to trust intuition.

after the world cup finished, we met for another friday afternoon tipple, and as the droplets of moisture ran down the glass of crisp sauvignon blanc, chris asked if i’d like the audio visual contract for his whole pub estate, and i excitedly said yes, and we worked alongside shaun on many exciting projects, with sa brain spending millions with us, always trust your gut i reckon, i loved the world cup.

rugby world cup 2003 australia

it was 22nd november 2003 in sydney, and the hosts were playing an england side in the final, so me and a gaggle of mates, wellsie, peter pedro, dave, and the bigman himself moosey boy, all decided to meet in the sports cafe in the haymarket in central london to watch the game, the game was a blur, very nip and tuck, until jonny wilkinson kicked a drop goal to take the trophy 20-17 and causing the bar to erupt, and i have amazingly fond memories of moose manoeuvring us mere mortals up onto backs of the lions in trafalgar square as we celebrated singing with the swathes of fans that had descended on this hallowed square, he was a great mate.

rugby world cup 2007 france

moose sadly had left us, too soon, beaten by cancer, but his indomitable spirit lived on, and as england fought their way to the final in paris against south africa, i chatted with peter pedro about how moose was alive for the 2003 final and how i missed him terribly, and the emotion washed over me.

pete went out for lunch, and came back for me to inform that i had bought a really old black land rover on an auction on ebay, which i now planned to drive to paris in, sleeping in it overnight, and then watch the final on one of the big public screens outside the stade de france in paris, life’s an adventure right, and moose would have loved the idea.

pete was in.

we drove to paris in this old jalopy, circling the arc de triomphe, like invaders coming to collect our golden trophy, sleeping in a car park overnight, but alas the springboks had other ideas, and they ruined our story, however i think moosey boy would have loved how we were embracing life, and on the eve of the cup starting, again back in france, my mind skips back to the great times i had with my best mate, and hopefully he would be proud of how we are building a great legacy in his name, sleep well mate, i miss you like a brother.

blue skies,


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