A night at the Embassy and an Emmy win

And so another Premier League season draws to an end.  The first solely from Stockley Park and although it hasn’t been without incident on the whole it has been relatively successful.  Indeed not only successful for IMG but NBC, the rights holders in the United States.  They have raised the profile of football (or soccer) in the States and not only for their production standards but for the technical complexity of bringing Premier League games into the homes of the average American.  Indeed, on the 5th May 2015 in New York they won an Emmy, in the 36th Sports Emmy awards, for Outstanding Technical Team Studio.

If you look at the list of Technical Supervisors whose names are on that Emmy, you may recognise a familiar name.  NBC were gracious, not only to recognise the fact that my department assist them in their technological endeavours but to include me and a number of other IMG staff members on the official list of winners.  I was very touched by this kind gesture and NBC had no obligation to include us in their win nevertheless it means that I am an Emmy winner and entitled to say so in perpetuity.

Not a bad start to my new position at work.  Yes after 4 years as Head of Live Operations I am now Head of Engineering, MCR and Live Operations.  As part of a departmental restructure I have become a third of the Cerberus inspired, Head of Engineering role.  This is my 6th position, in my 19 plus years at IMG, a relatively unusual state of affairs in our modern world.

The new position brings more responsibilities and a further step away the coal face which has the added benefit that I will be working only one weekend in three, rather than every weekend that I do at the moment: a rebalancing of the work-life equation and more, quality, family time.

The streak of good fortune is continuing.  IMG are currently providing facilities to the BBC to produce the 60th Eurovision Song Contest.  The contest is being hosted in Vienna due to last year’s win by the Bearded Lady: Conchita Wurst.  In the spirit of the competition the Austrian Ambassador hosted a send-off party at the Austrian Embassy.  Along with the BBC personnel, four of us from IMG were invited to attend.  How can you refuse an invitation to an Embassy from an Ambassador?  Therefore, Tuesday saw the four of us head for Belgrave Square at the Austrian Embassy.

A grand building, as befits an embassy, the party was just getting going as we arrived; good timing from our point of view.  There was a steady flow of alcohol but disappointingly no silver platters of Ferrero Rocher.  After an introduction by Rufus Hound, Electro Velvet (the UK entrant) performed their song: ‘Still in love with you’ and there was an opportunity to grab a photo with the duo.

The icing on the cake, and the completion of the hattrick of wins, was yours truly winning the top prize in the free raffle.  Yes, I won flights to Vienna and two nights in a boutique hotel to be taken by the end of the year.  With Lucinda’s birthday less than a week away it was a good present to add to the 1 metre inflatable Austrian Airways jet that the tickets came attached to.

This website is not supposed to be hogged by me, merely written by me but I think they are worthy of inclusion in family news.  However, you are here to hear about the exploits of the baguettes so I will stall no longer.

Lucinda’s new venture, her new vocation, childminding is going well.  As mentioned I will not go into details on this website however suffice to say her regular care is settled and she has helped a neighbour out with two days of emergency childcare.  She has raised invoices and has been paid.  More importantly she has not had to wake up at 0345 and spend a day being shouted at by irate passengers.  She has been able to pick our children up from school and be there for them every day.

Even better than that, because as a registered childminder she has had to be DBS (CRB) checked (and consequently so have I by association) and therefore we have been able to register with Éowyn’s school as potential helpers.  Therefore, when the school asked for volunteers to help with the year 1 school trip to the Living Rainforest in Berkshire, Lucinda put her name down and was invited to assist.  So while Lucinda and Éowyn had fun at the Rainforest (not really fun for Lucinda looking after 6 children), I took the day off to look after Amélie and Ezra.  This is something that we would not have even considered in the past.  So although it was a difficult decision to leave the airport it is rapidly proving to be the correct one.

As school trips indicate Éowyn’s school year is rapidly coming to an end, just a half term left but there is still an awful amount to squeeze in to those few weeks.  She is enjoying her after school dancing lessons (taking after her aunties and cousins).  She has some end of year academic tests (personally I think that this is a little too young – let them be children!), however the biggest event will undoubtedly be Éowyn’s film role.

As I have previously mentioned her after school drama class are shooting a little film and all the children in the class have been given roles.  Éowyn has been typecast as the naughty girl.  She has a number of lines and hopefully is taking it seriously.  There will be a premiere and a red carpet event, something definitely to look forward to.  Could it be the start of an illustrious film career?  Are you someone from the future looking at this website for a background on the latest Oscar winner?

Éowyn isn’t the only one whose academic year is rapidly drawing to an end.  Amélie will take a big step in her life, leaving nursery and heading for full time education in September.  We have had Amélie’s school place confirmed and she will be attending the same school as Éowyn.  Unfortunately they will not be in the same campus for as Éowyn moves to year two so she will move further up the road to the bigger site.  It will be a further two years before they are on the same site.

Amélie currently attends the outstanding nursery at the school across the road from Éowyn’s new campus.  However, it seems that Amélie has misheard the name of her current school for she does not attend Our Lady of the Grocery.  In fairness, she does not really know what a Rosary is, the heathens that we are.  We are very impressed with Our Lady of Rosary nursery so much that we have put Ezra’s name down, even though he is not due to start for nearly a year: such is the envisioned demand the newly bestowed outstanding status will have.

Ezra is growing up though and his vocabulary is increasing daily.  Much of it revolves around food: ‘Pork Pie’, ‘Chocolate Toast’, ‘Cheese’ and the ubiquitous ‘More Please’ but there are the usual animals, colours and cartoon characters.  If he is out and about and he sees an animal he will point to it, name it and then make the sound associated with the animal.

Usually this is a dog, for as we take the girls to school we have to walk through the local park where many people walk their dogs.  He will point to the spaniels, collies and other various breeds and declare ‘dog’ followed by ‘woof, woof’.  However that wasn’t what he said when he saw an Old English Sheepdog.  He looked scared, pointed at the beast and muttered ‘Bear’.

‘No,’ I replied, ‘it is a doggie.’

‘No Daddy,’ came the answer. ‘Bear!’

I suppose to a two year old child an Old English Sheepdog would look like a bear and he, for one was not to be dissuaded.

Ezra’s new found love is jigsaws.  Not the electrically powered reciprocating saws but the multi-piece puzzles.  It is something that we are encouraging for it develops his eye to hand co-ordination, manual dexterity and problem solving at the very least.  Indeed he enjoys them so much he will sit on the floor after completing his current favourite, a 45 piece ‘In The Night Garden’ puzzle, and before you have a chance to congratulate him he will take it apart and start again.  We would prefer him to do this though, than sit with the iPad or watching television.  There is a hint of irony considering my career, or perhaps I have better appreciation.

So, with a full BBC crew producing the Eurovision Song Concert, semi-finals and final and preparations underway for 10 simultaneous matches for the last day of the Premier League season (can West Bromwich Albion end the season with a hattrick of their own, with wins against Manchester United – check – Chelsea – check and Arsenal – tbc); not to mention the last Football League shows produced by IMG for the BBC, and a couple of recruitment drives television is taking up a great deal of my time this week.  Therefore, I will bid you adieu and leave you to look at the latest batch of photos.

Peace and love