Herefordshire Week 173: Tuesday 18 – Monday 24 April 2023

Almost a whole week in London: Global KM Meeting & Work Farewells; relaxing weekend with Cat and Hazel; R&M birthday celebrations with TJBR.


It was an early start on Tuesday – 5am – to get the 06.40 train to London for the long awaited Global KM Meeting Wednesday – Friday. The line is closed between Oxford and Didcot (Nuneham Viaduct is broken) so I had to take the Newport route, which is a faster journey but the TfW trains are tiddly and not conducive to working on a laptop, plus there’s the change at Newport. It all went OK though.

Lots of birthday greetings during the day, lovely presents from the other KMCAs and dinner at Ottolenghi Spitalfields complete with special guests and a cake and a candle! Very good food and so lovely to have a meal out with (best) work friends – I’m really going to miss them.

Office view
Office view

Hilton Canopy not quite up to the same standards as in December but handy location and easier than commuting in from zone 2.

Another busy work day Wednesday, making the most of the chance to meet people in person plus final prep for the global meeting and plenty of hugs and hellos as KMers started arriving.

Things got underway with dinner at Cinnamon Kitchen: lots of great food – the dishes just kept on coming! – and lots of lovely conversations with people I’ve worked with over the last (almost) 10 years.

A lovely evening but tiring and a late night.

Another early start on Thursday as I was leading the morning walk. Blue skies and sunshine showed off London at its best even if it was a little nippy in the shade.

Global KM Meeting, London Office 2023
Global KM Meeting, London Office 2023

The first full day flew by and before we knew it we were off under brollies to the Sky Garden for champagne and then to Hispania for dinner where the red wine kept on flowing. Another late night!

A long half day on Friday brought the KM Meeting to a close. It went really well – the first global team meeting since 2018 and the perfect opportunity to say farewell to folks.

Work done, I took the Tube down to Clapham to rendezvous with Cat at Hazel’s. The weekend started with tea and LW cake leftovers and lots of catching up, progressing on to Prosecco and Takeaway Thai.

Lie ins all round on Saturday, a leisurely breakfast then out for a day’s walking: Battersea Park, Chelsea Physic Garden and then Battersea Power Station. Lunch at Roti King in the arches and a mooch around the swanky shops inside the Power Station then back to Hazel’s via M&S to buy bits for tea.

Battersea Power Station
Battersea Power Station

Back at base for tea and cake, a spot of pruning in the back garden then a relaxing evening with wine, nibbles and the telly.

Rain arrived overnight. A relaxing morning watching the London Marathon, then farewell to Hazel, up to KX with Cat then over to St Pancras to meet TJBR for joint R&M birthday cocktails in the Booking Office. Lovely.

Tom and me at Birthday Cocktails, St Pancras
Tom and me at Birthday Cocktails, St Pancras

To Paddington to squeeze onto the 16.43 train to Newport and the equally busy 18.55 TfW service to Abergavenny.

Back home to open birthday cards and to admire my PG home made birthday cake and to catch up over a late dinner of simple lentil soup.

Monday featured rain and admin.

Not much progress to report on the windowsill seedlings front. Maybe it’s just been a bit too cold….

The cows have arrived in Thistly Field, and the orchids are just emerging on the front lawn.

Retirement Days Tracker: 9 working days to go (that’s 4 working weeks, with 1 day off)

TV: Looking, Why Didn’t They Ask Evans?, BBC coverage of the London MarathonSuccession.

Podcasts: Books and Authors, Anglo-Saxon England, This Union, The Ghost Kingdoms of England, Savor, Empire.

Photos: Herefordshire week 173 on Flickr.

Phil: w/e 2023-04-23.