Saturday, July 7, 2007

July 4: Wet and Weird Wednesday

Blimey, not exactly cricket weather, is it mate.

For the past few weeks, there's been a big buildup to the annual cricket match between MY magazine and Our Hated Rival. Their team planned to train up from London and we had cobbled together our own squad, although only 3 players on it actually work for my magazine and one (me!) has never player a real game of cricket. I have, however, practiced twice with my office's boss, his son, and several other kids and fathers. Still, we used a softball and not a full-size field.

Sadly, however, Britain is drowning--it was the wettest June on record and the UK has a long history!--and the match was rained-out. We've rescheduled for the end of the month, but it's my deadline day so I may miss the match.

The Wednesday wasn't a total loss, however. Coincidentally, my magazine learned that day that we and Our Hated Rival had shared in the communication award given by Spain's Crown Prince Foundation.

The Prince gives out a series of awards each year and we're among some big names this year: Al Gore and Bob Dylan, for example. Past year's winners include Stephen Hawking and Nelson Mandela.

No one knew about this til late Tuesday and the announcement was made July 4th so the DC office was closed. That left us in the UK to field calls from the Spanish media--it's a very major award there, their equivalent to the Nobel prizes. I ended up talking, in English, to about 5 reporters and found myself quoted in several stories (I used Google's translate function to decipher stories I found in the Spanish media). Our office head who actually speaks Spanish handled even more calls and did a phone interview that night for a TV program in Barcelona.

Some in the UK office are hoping in October we can attend the fancy award ceremony, which is in a town in northern Spain. We watched clips of previous years and it's impressive as the recipients get the award from the Prince in a packed concert hall and walk to the front of the stage to bow amid thunderous applause. There are concerts and more. I'll let you know if I get to hang out with Al and Bob.--jt

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