Down the Procurement Pub with the PM, Guy Allen, Hugh Barrett and Kacy Hill

Now we are into July, it is officially the holiday season. So to get you into the mood, two procurement friends who are doing something a bit different with their spare time.

But first, our picture of the week – last Friday / Saturday, at Henley Regatta, we witnessed Theresa May getting into the umpire’s launch to go and follow a Maidenhead (her constituency of course) Rowing Club race (some very cruel people shouted "drown her"!).

Henley gets weirder every year, with the old heavies (retired oars-people) and ex-coxes (me) mixing with the corporate hospitality crowd, who know nothing about rowing, and increasingly the London and Home Counties young TOWIE / Made in Chelsea set – Mahiki , China White and other trendy clubs decant with huge tents to the Thames. A very strange mix and it gets busier and boozier every year, so slightly losing its attraction for me tbh …


Our first friend is Guy Allen, ex CPO and our partner over some years in the BravoSolution Real World Procurement events and webinars. He is on the first leg of an interesting cycling journey. “Why not tour the whole of Great Britain, but do it in stages or ‘Legs’ of 4 or 5 days” he asked himself.  “I started to search for a structure or context around which to plan my ride. I first thought of visiting all the football grounds in GB, but they are not very evenly spread, and are often in large cities or towns. So I searched some more. And some more. Eventually I came across Daniel Defoe’s ‘A Tour Through the Whole Island of Great Britain.’ Defoe is the famous author of Robinson Crusoe, and in 1724 he published the Tour, which at the time became his most popular and successful book after Crusoe”.

So that’s what Guy is doing – following (in a general sense) Defoe’s journeys. And you can read the first leg of his adventures here as he travels from Greenwich to Portsmouth – it is genuinely a good and interesting read and not just to cyclists! the picture is Rye by the way.


Now, something a little more exotic. You may remember we told you last October that Hugh Barrett, ex Commercial Director of OGC Buying Solutions and Legal Services Commission was taking a retirement “gap year” with his partner Eva and travelling the world. We finally got round to seeing what he has been up to, and if you want an escape from day to day office life, or indeed recommendations of what is worth doing and where to stay in Peru, Chile and other exciting places, I can recommend his tales of South America, Australasia and Asia… Some great pics too.


On a less cheerful note, what is the problem with productivity in the UK? It is now lower than before the 2008 crash, which explains really why salaries are stagnating – frankly, we can’t afford to pay ourselves more if productivity does not grow. I reckon it is the time wasted stuck in traffic jams, waiting for Southern trains, wasting “work time” on Facebook and eBay, but really, wasn’t technology supposed to make us all super-efficient workers? Seriously, there is a problem around how and why the UK seems to have become a low wage economy to a greater extent than we would have thought possible a generation ago, and I have not seen any political party explaining a coherent way of getting out of this slide. Can procurement do anything to “help” in this area? That’s an interesting question and one we intend thinking about in the coming weeks.


Kacy Hill is a young US singer-songwriter, with a quite “English” sounding almost folky voice. However, she’s also an ex-underwear model and protégé of Kanye West. Those last two facts are both potentially positives and negatives as she looks to establish her own credible career. This track is very catchy, if poppier than much of her very good debut album, which is in the main  more in the James Blake electronic / trippy R ‘n B style. But I would also love to know why her last two videos seem to be trying to make one of the most beautiful young woman I’ve seen in a long time as uncomfortable as possible and look plain weird … maybe I'm just not arty enough.



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