Thoughts from August 2009

a shocking turn of events

Friends. It is with genuine distress that today I have to report to you all the kidnapping of the beloved and much feted innocent banana phone.

As we've decided to go public with this I should start at the very beginning. At times like these details are crucial, you never know what might jog a vital memory. Monday started here much like any other week I was however I upset to notice that the banana phone was missing from its pedestal in reception here at Fruit Towers. It sits there on a special plinth, a top a velvet cushion where it can be admired by all who pass.

A quick accusatory email to the usual suspects didn't provide any leads and to be honest I decided not to panic. 'It'll come home when it's ready' I thought. How I now regret those wasted hours.

On Tuesday morning things took a sinister turn. A ransom email. I'm afraid that in my anger and panic I responded hastily and said that they might take my phone but they'd never break my spirit and that it should be returned immediately.

I presumed that would be the end of the matter and expected it's safe return. It's frightening how wrong a person can be. This morning I received this.

Tick-Tick-Tick 1

These people clearly mean business. Here is a link to the ransom note so you can read for yourselves.

It looks like I have to meet their demands or risk not getting the phone back, I shudder to think what could be happening to it. It's out there somewhere and I want it back.

In the mean time all generous souls should dig deep. Please help me bring the banana phone back home where it belongs. Have a splendid long weekend and please remain vigilant.

the woolly hats cometh

Earlier this week we were privileged to receive a visit from the lovely Ligia. She has been hard at work for the last few months and brought us the fruits of her labour to admire. Here she is with her frankly astounding contribution of 1758 little knitted hats for the big knit 2009.


Talk about setting the bar high.

Ligia, we at fruit towers salute you. Keep clicking those needles.

sports day, innocent style


Sometimes pictures really do tell a better story than words ever could. This is one such occasion. Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, please put your hands together and shield your eyes as we present you with the horror and utter stupidity of the innocent Sports Day 2009.

Tom leapt like a pixie in the kiwi and spoon race (we don't keep many eggs in fruit towers).


The scoring was professional.


Wheelbarrow technique faultless.


Andy regretted wearing an all in one Jamaican bobsleigh team suit.


Everybody struggled with 'wibbly wobbly' (note Jeremy's angled running style).


Emma won best dressed.


And the shortest shorts competition was fearsome. And frightening. Fearsomely frightening.


(Overall winner was Sally - shielded here by Mark owing to the sheer indecency of her shorts)

World Athletics Championships shmanpionships.

If it's true sporting prowess you're after, forget Berlin, it's all about Ravenscourt Park on a Thursday afternoon.

just what is that you do here? part 1: team finance

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Exhibit A: our Finance team.

Finance teams. Every business has one. But just what is it that these Excel literate, often very beautiful people actually do? And why do they look so good in short shorts? Donning my deer stalker, with pipe in mouth, I ventured to the desk of dollar to get to the bottom of this monetary mystery.

Joe: So, Alison, just what is finance exactly? And what does a finance team do?

Alison (deep breath, long pause): Well, we make sure that someone is looking at the monetary implications of what all the important people in the business are doing.

Joe: Is this why I've never had any involvement with the finance team before?

Alison: Yes.

Undeterred, I moved round the table to pick the rest of the team's brains.

Joe: So, guys, what does finance mean to you?

Ben (with a huge grin): POs*

Ryan: Headaches.

Denym: What?

Joe: I said what does finance mean to you?

Denym (clutching his hair and leaning back in his chair): Jeez, I don't know.

At this point, perhaps concerned that I wasn't getting a clear answer, the team began shouting out random ideas:

Team: It's about controls, and insights, and reporting, and measuring, and implications. And controls.

And then Ryan, in a moment of inspiration, clapped his hands together, and pointed at me:

I've got it. If innocent is the car, finance is the engine, and you can't go anywhere without us.

Joe: So you're a taxi service?

Team: You've got it.

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Exhibit B: Finance Director, James 'the man' Davenport, playing (as always) with his abacus

Joe: James, you're a knowledgable chap, and head of finance here in fruit towers. Just what does the finance team do?

James: (gazing wistfully into the distance and muttering to himself under his breath) Hmmm. What does the finance team do?

Joe: Well, as far as I can tell it's about controls, and insights, and reporting, and implications. Huge implications. And numbers. And taxis - loads of taxis.

James: And ice lollies.

Joe: And ice lollies. Right. Gotcha'.


Exhibit C: Ben in short shorts looking a lot like Gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson

Joe: Why do you wear such short shorts, Ben?

Ben (grinning, again): They're not short.

Joe: Right. Gotcha'.

So there we have it. Team Finance: insightful, controlled, and utterly delusional.

Next week, Team IT.

(* PO is short for Purchase Order forms, which must be raised every time the business spends money. Whether 'raised' is finance speak for 'written', or whether it means that a piece of paper must be held aloft for a period of time is unclear, but Ben certainly enjoys them).

chip off the old town crying block

Following last week's town crying competition, we now have a winner


Whilst not guessing the exact ending to Joe's dad's special innocent cry (before the video cut out), it was Charlie who come the closest in terms of theme and sentiment:

[innocent veg pots are just the trick. They keep you....]

..upstanding when you're with your chick.

innocent thickies are oft misconstrued,
They're not viagra, they're healthy fruit food.

Big well done to Charlie.

For those of you who wish to know what the actual end of Alistair's ditty was, here's Joe's own rendition of his dad's special cry

Talk about chip off the old block.