Monday, February 11, 2008

Friday evening turned out to be a bit busier than I thought. Lisa’s parents and Sam came round for dinner. I was almost asleep by 9…. I hope George gets over this cough soon.

Saturday we went to look at a flat in Honor Oak park. Lisa’s keen to invest the money she got from selling her flat in Chiswick, so we saw a 2 bedroom house which had clearly been done up by a developer (on the market for 310,000). We’d both usually shy away from a place that has already been done up – but right now we wouldn’t want to put too much effort into renovating a property. Something instantly ready to rent is a bit more attractive. Also, this is in Honor Oak Park – where the new line for the Olympics is due to be put in in the next few years.

I can’t help thinking it might be a good idea to wait a while – things are looking a little iffy on the property market. Also other places (like Worthing) might offer a better deal…

Still, we’ll see.


On the way back we saw another van from the “man with van” corporation. I noticed the phone number scrawled on the side of it. The number ended in 4567 – Now that’s a very memorable number. You don’t get a number like that without paying thousands for it. To my mind this just proves that this is not a bunch of independent blokes with vans. It’s a big company that’s trying to look small and local!

On Saturday night, Lisa went out for Nick’s birthday – combining karaoke with Chinese new year. I stayed at home to look after George – and although Lisa had a great time, I don’t think it would have been my thing. I’m not sure I could get drunk enough to take up the microphone, and in any case I think I’d have passed out.

Jane and Dan

Sunday, we had a bit more of a slow day, pottering round East Dulwich, booking George in with the local Photographer and the like… But we did find out that Jane (ex flatmate from the ubiquitous 4 pendrell rd) and Dan had returned from America and moved into a flat in Brockley.

We went round there and met up with Gareth, and the two of them for a few glasses of champagne (Jane virtually refuses to drink anything else these days).

The flat is built on the site of an old house which had been on the verge of falling down for years – and which Gareth once suggested buying and renovating (although Lisa quickly assessed that it was structurally very dicey). The house was there when we left Pendrell Rd (two years ago) and so the flats have gone up very quickly.

So, we got the story on Jane and Dan’s quick return from the Big Apple. It turns out that Jane was made redundant from a top HR job in an insurance company just before Christmas. She’d been working there (in London, New York and India) for 9 years. She put out feelers to try to find another job and was almost instantly offered one by the company’s main competitor.

In other words, not only have the company lost her – they’ve also allowed their main rival to get hold of one of their top HR managers – who knows all about the internal structure of their business and who their key personnel are. Not only that, but when anyone from their company feels like a move, they’ll now have a familiar contact they can phone up and get a little friendly advice on what would suit them in the new organization.

When you poach a human resources manager, I think you get a good deal.

Anyway, it'll be good to have them back in the area.

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