I said, Hey! You! Get off of my cloud (c) the Rolling Stones 1965

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It was a very hot day. You will understand, esteemed reader, particularly if you missed this event that we were most appreciative of the cold drinks offered, ice cubes clinking in the glass, on the 21st floor of the Saturn Tower in Vienna DC on CLOUD21!

Cloud Twenty-One?

Early examples of “cloud” expressions include clouds seven, eight, nine and even thirty-nine.

It seems that it is the clouds themselves, rather than the number of them, that were in the thoughts of those who coined this phrase. The imagery was originally of “cloud cuckoo land” or “head in the clouds” dreaminess, induced by intoxication (now don’t jump to conclusions!) or inspiration, rather than the “idyllic happiness” that we now associate with the phrase: "Cloud seven - completely happy, perfectly satisfied; in a euphoric state." There is more, dear reader: "Cloud eight, befuddled on account of drinking too much liquor.”, "I think he has thought of everything, unless the authorities pull something new on him out of cloud nine.", "That stuff is way up on Cloud Thirty-Nine."

Linguistic hype being what it is, we now hear people expressing their happiness with the inflationary “cloud ten”. But Cloud21? Unsuccessfully rummaging through urban language dictionaries I can give you only this explanation: 21st floor, grandiose view across the city, unique location, simply incredible, very windy. There you have it! A real Wow-Factor!

It was all very sophisticated, the setting and the menu, the choice of wines but you would not expect less from British Petroleum! Dr Kurt Tiroch, our energetic president, reminded us during his introduction that the Brexit was wrong then, wrong now, wrong in the future and Paul Appleby’s, BP Head of Energy Economics, presentation about BP Energy Outlook over the next 20 years can be summarised as follows: There is no money to be made in Coal (does Mr Trump know that?), Gas overtakes Oil, a faster mobility revolution could disrupt oil demand and by 2035 renewable energies, like Hydro, will be by proportion ahead of Nuclear Power. I am always in awe about our members who display such knowledge, as demonstrated during the question and answer session.

As night fell over the city with its glittering lights across a vast backdrop as seen from above we were truly on Cloud Twenty-One. Those of you, who had not been with us, check out the pictures. You missed (again!) one of the great events!

Wolfgang Geissler


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