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Posts from the ‘London’ Category

Careers week

Out of the frying pan and into the fire as I escape a scorching and sweaty Bermuda for a scorching hot and sweaty London!

I fly to London tonight for a week primarily to see family and take my son into the City for the day and attempt to show him what the old man does for a living, albeit nowadays not in the square mile but in Bermuda.

Careers week for me when I was at school was an hour with a scary lady sat in an office talking to me about apprenticeships and higher education, and writing a letter to every company listed in the Yellow Pages, which I actually did, pretty much anyway.

The topic of careers advice was taken away from local authorities and given to the schools under the coalition government, and I think has been met by much negativity mostly because many schools have neither the skills nor the finance to provide any external services.
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Weekend warrior

I am making the most of having Thanksgiving Friday off work and fly back to Gatwick overnight for the weekend, literally until Sunday when I will fly back.

Despite the disorientating nature of it, I love these quick weekenders back at home. I cram in as much as possible, travel light and the body doesn’t get time to adjust, at least that is what I tell myself anyway.
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Hurricane Gonzalo update

We landed at a reasonably warm Gatwick Airport this morning, and have just said goodbye to my girls who are heading into London’s west end, whilst I shower and get myself ready for the drive to Royston in Hertfordshire for my mate’s wedding this afternoon.

I felt a mixture of relief and chicken when I boarded the BA flight last night and our thoughts are with friends and colleagues who remain on the island. It will be difficult to think of much else
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Hurricane Gonzalo

Bermuda is bracing itself for potentially the most powerful hurricane it has faced in 50 years. So far Gonzalo has all the characteristics of Hurricane Fabian which killed four people and caused $300m of damage to the island in 2003.

Currently fluctuating between a CAT 4 (wind speed up 156 mph) and a CAT 3 (wind speed up to 129 mph) around 590 miles away from here north of the Dominican Republic, Gonzalo is barrelling towards Bermuda and is anticipated to bring 27 hours of tropical storms beginning tomorrow afternoon and 8 hours of hurricane force winds beginning Friday lunchtime. It is currently expected to be a CAT 3 when it arrives, but hurricanes although predictable are also highly erratic in their behaviour.
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Gone fishing

I’m flying back to Gatwick tonight with my son, who has been with us for two weeks.

We had our final swim a little bit earlier and I’m feeling nicely sleepy for the flight. My son, as tired as he is, will watch movies from the minute we take off until the moment we land.

I am only back for two nights and have a bit of running around to do. I will base myself at my parents down on the South Downs, but will be in the City Monday night to meet up with some mates for drinks and then Tuesday we will be at The Valley.
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The Borough, SE1

I spent four days in the smoke the week before last.

I rarely get to spend that much time in the City these days, but I have in recent times taken to staying just sarf of the river and this time I decided on a small hotel near Borough Market and I was shocked by how much that area had changed.

Borough Market of course has been there for ever, 1014 apparently, but in recent years it has been polished like a diamond. There was a real aura to it, and the market is bordered by a whole range of cool cafes and restaurants.
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Passport

After a busy weekend taking in a little football, a very enjoyable dinner at The Oak celebrating some good news, a couple of curries, one in Birmingham and one with some mates in Hornchurch plus a swift game of bowling in Maidstone, the most important reason for being home, allegedly, was that I needed to renew my passport.
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Infrastructure

Back to Bermuda last night after a quickfire visit home. At one point yesterday between junctions 5 and 6 on the M25 I was convinced I might have to extend my stay another day as the congestion was so bad. Only because I left my mate’s house in Chislehurst so early did I make my flight.
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London waiting

I’m leaving for London Wednesday night for a couple days of work and then some family weekend time wrapped up with a few beers with some mates on Sunday evening in Bexley Village.

Not for the first time I have just calculated that I will be away for 4 nights and will sleep in 4 different beds, 5 in 5 if you include the overnight plane journey. Sadly, although that sounds very titillating, it, er, won’t be.
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A British Wimbledon Champion

7/7 is a day synonymous with London and today in glorious sunshine the nation finally witnessed a British winner of Wimbledon after 77 years of disappointment and mostly forlorn hopelessness.

Great credit to Andy Murray who many had written off as a nearly man, but with Ivan Lendl at his side the Scotsman has taken his game to another level the past 18 months.
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5 years

It is five years today that I left Chicago for Bermuda. In the blog post I wrote the day after I arrived I said work was like the first day at school, and I have just been thinking about that, and remembered how long 5 years was when I was actually at school.

Can you remember how long being at school appeared? I stayed on in sixth form for a year, but 5 years is a whole lifetime at secondary school, and it is seems implausible that I have now been in Bermuda that long!
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Butlers Wharf

I’m in the City of London not as refreshed as I would like after an overnight flight from Bermuda into Gatwick, but this afternoon I have some meetings before I join up with some friends tonight for drinks and dinner.

I’m staying the night in the Butlers Wharf area on the south side of the river, and walking through here this morning it brought back some nice memories. I actually first worked not far from here but that was before the days of Hays Galleria and Butlers Wharf, but I have always liked this part of town.
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My 12 days of Christmas

As expected we spent a good part of the day in Victoria Park. Breakfast was at The Pavilion cafe, which was pretty awesome and set us all up, including a 11-week old puppy and a 3-year old human, for a gigantic walk around the park.

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My 12 days of Christmas

Off to see my brother and his fiancĂ© today. They have just bought a house close to Victoria Park in East London. I love that area of London with it’s quiet residential streets and ornate Victorian houses and the magnetism of the wide open spaces of Vicky Park around the corner.
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Old friends

I shot into the City last night to catch up with a good mate who has been out of work for a while and who I missed last time I was in town. We put the world to rights, talked plans and resolutions and then as we meandered around some old drinking haunts we picked up some old mates and compatriots from my London working life which I left almost 10 years ago. Hard to believe.

I keep in touch with a lot of old mates, but there is little to beat bar hopping around the City a little unexpected and bumping into old faces.

Two old mates I met are Brighton & Hove Albion season tickets holders and both will be at The Valley for the Back to The Valley celebrations on December 8th. Brighton is a befitting opponent for such a memorable moment in the history of the club, and we talked last night about the two clubs differing paths but also of the association between them. Who else remembers the Football Fans United day in 1997?
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