It seems a long time ago - around ten years to be precise - when I decided to rent a flat in London rather than to stay in an hotel Monday to Thursday evenings, as was typically the case during my fifteen years as a partner at Deloitte.
I've had the privilege of living in W2 for much of the past decade and it has been a lot of fun. I've made some very special friends over the years and I have many fond memories, including the time when I first met Vanessa.
It was therefore quite a big moment when I decided about three months ago to give up the flat and to base myself properly back up north in Cheshire. Tonight is my last night in the flat, having spent much of my discretionary time over the week to date packing up all of my possessions and chattels into a ridiculous number of boxes.
One of the constants throughout my time in London has been a lovely lady called Olga who is of Portuguese abstraction. Olga has looked after me throughout my time at the flat by cleaning and tidying the flat, and doing my ironing on a weekly basis.
I recall around four years ago, Olga gave me a present one Christmas - a bottle of port. To be precise, it was a bottle of Kopke Colheita 1999 which scored 92 according to Wine Spectator.
I put the wine aside at the time and it was not until I started packing up at the flat that I rediscovered the bottle. The bottle looked a bit scruffy, but I thought I would open it all the same.
As I sipped my first glass, I was quite impressed. The wine tasted well. A full-bodied, refreshing tawny that was on excellent form. I've enjoyed a few more glasses as the week has progressed.
It was quite a nice surprise to experience the wine and I thought it quite fitting to sample the wine as I reflect on the past and look forward to the next chapter with anticipation.
The only downside about the wine, as with all ports, is that the sweetness makes you even thirstier!
Apparently, the port is available in Waitrose for £32.99.