Skip to content


Your cart is empty

Article: Around the world in 80 days: A Christmas Tale

Around the world in 80 days: A Christmas Tale

Around the world in 80 days: A Christmas Tale

Jet setting off just before Christmas

Two major meetings on two continents, and all the week before Christmas.

Today I would say… you must be Firkin joking!

At the time, I was not so worldly wise but full of good ideas. I had yet to discover the nobs at the pointy end of the plane (you can read my concorde story here).

So, if I thought to myself: if I fly westwards I would be able to have the same day twice. Just like around the world in 80 days.

London to Tokyo: meet with Jardine on IW Harper Bourbon. Then, take the results of that meeting and brief Landor Design in San Francisco… combine with a bit of Christmas shopping, and arrive back at London Heathrow on Christmas Eve. Just like Santa, with goodies from the US of A!

Sounds like a terrific plan.

The best laid plans...

Continental 747
Delayed by 10 hours... oh, oh.


The wheels fell off at Narita airport. I was booked on Continental. Big mistake. They held the Guinness record for either the oldest planes or the worst service. And, on this occasion, they excelled themselves and delivered on both.

A six letter word flashed on the indicator screen, followed swiftly by a four letter word.

Yes sir, you guessed it… DELAYED

Delayed Flight

Well it wasn’t just delayed as it wasn’t even half way over from the states… got to be telling firkin porkies then.

Eventually lifted off 10 hours late… grand plan in ruins !

Time to sleep. Not.

Missed the meeting so planned on hitting the sack… just fell asleep in the hotel in San Francisco when the phone rang.

Chairman just arrived in San Fran and wants to go to dinner - we can go over the brief then.

After the dinner got second wind so hit the town… big, no, monumental mistake!

No phone calls, do not disturb under any circumstances… good night.

Can do Christmas Eve shopping tomorrow afternoon.

Merry Christmas!

Christmas DayWoke up… very bleary… turn on the TV... Happy Christmas… what???

WHOOPS! Oh no... it can't be!

Slept for 24 hours… couldn’t get another flight until Boxing Day!

Icing on the cake was getting diverted to Alaska by more engine trouble. So, all my shopping was done at Alaska airport which was full of polar bear tat.

Polar Bear Tshirt

Rumour has it, Mike's polar bear gifts can still be spotted around the village

I arrived home laden with a range of Polar Bear tat from Polar Bear socks to Polar Bear Hats & T Shirts and having missed Christmas. Girlfriend was not impressed and I was on the naughty chair for some time and my Polar Bear purchases came under the heading of...  well… we are not amused.

However it was great to see over the coming months all the local needy bedecked in Polar Bear stuff courtesy of the Salvation Army.

Another epic tale from the Founder at Firkin Whisky, Mike Collings.

Leave a comment

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

All comments are moderated before being published.