Wishing You Health and Happiness for 2018 x John & Yvonne

Here it is: What's been happening lately with us ... After two years adrift in poncey Marylebone we wash up finally on the Limehouse Reach north bank of Old Father Thames in the unassuming Isle of Dogs, effectively Canary Wharf...

A few weeks in to the New Year came a shock to the system: After seven months attempted retirement, opportunity struck to resume gainful employ. Project Manager once again. This time with a smaller UK IT services outsourcer chiefly in the local government space. So back in the City based at 800 years old Guildhall seat of City of London Corporation, which governs the 'square mile' and its police. A few weeks later Yvonne too took a new full-time position in Pimlico, after several months contract work commuting out to a mansion in deepest Surrey.


All good news, though the mild down-side being our new full-time work patterns effectively scuppered home hunting least for the next several months. Not least as considerations dictated we look 'out of Town', with a view to shortest possible travel time to W.1. Meaning with proximity to the new Crossrail route. (Opening by Dec 2018).

And so it was heads-down coming up to speed on our new jobs through the dank late Winter months. Monotony relieved by welcome visits of usual suspects for the odd beery night out - and some sleep-overs. A rare visit of very long-standing friend 'Prof Blockley' of Golden, Co. And a few quiet days of warming Easter weather spent on the East Sussex coast close by Rye.

Mid-May brought Yasmine Hamdan to Kings Cross Scala, touring her intriguing new album. Exhilarating gig and so pleased to meet her briefly. By month-end surprise scorchio weather was countered by a village beer fest in West Berkshire, the quintessential English Summer past-time. Over these months some home hunting. At end-June put down a small deposit on a new build in Woolwich - which notion err... on second thoughts, we went right off and dropped out. Oops.

Mid-July a flying visit to the old country Ramsbottom and Bury for a 60th 'Do' amid a host of school pals, mostly recognisable (just ;) which includes myself. The excellent beery barbeque fortunately timed inbetween spates of quintessential Pennine downpours. In the second half of July viewed many Flats around Canary Wharf and by 4th August had our offer accepted for here, Ocean Wharf. In home-hunting terms it was pretty much love at first sight.

Every spare waking minute of August it seemed was taken up managing the legals in negotiation on the purchase. Right through to the end-August holiday weekend, when intense relief came in attending a splendid wedding set perfectly in Grasmere, Lake District (astonishingly with negligble rain). Set up also by a few days en route chilling at a favourite Buddhist monastery.

September spent mostly waiting while solicitors squabbled amongst themesleves, at our expense. Until at last completed the purchase 2nd Oct and moved in 27th. Job's a good 'un! And so, in November at last we get our lives back. First up, to catch some long-standing acquaintances on the local music circuit: The psychedelic rockingly excellent Treetop Flyers at Lexington, Islington, the incomparable Miss Baby Sol, Samantha Fish Band at the (unfortunately renovated) Borderline (not my vid but my distinctive chortle can be detected right at the start - so What The Hey ;) (OK, so this gal local to Kansas City rather than London.). Last but far from least the long awaited 'come-back' of delightfully talented Roxanne Tataei. Meanwhile Yvonne's eagerly anticipated 'business' trip was realised, to NYC and excusion to D.C.

Suddenly! December arrives again. The usual smattering of office parties and other drinkies sessions. Lesson learned this year: Revert to moving home only every 30 years or so! Just too costly in terms of money (taxes, fees) and of time. Missed out on my Uni this year which had to 'drop-out' of. Not to mention minimal holidays or travels. Resolve to get back to all this in 2018. But first to see in the New Year at the ol' jazz club Dean Street, Soho, then take it from there ...

from Ocean Wharf
Ocean Wharf

Soundtrack: Yasmine Hamdan , 'Cafe' from the album 'Al Jamilat', 2017

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