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September 2015: a particularly good month for conkers.


A month of wet weeks and surprisingly balmy weekends. A day trip to Whitstable saw unexpected high temperatures – ideal for oysters and fish’n’chips on the beach, followed by a walk to Tankerton and back.


Closer to home, the people behind the excellent Pelton Arms in Greenwich took over the White Swan in Charlton Village: a dismal pub turned pretty quickly into the best pub in the neighbourhood. I was lucky enough to get an invite to the soft launch evening, which seemed like a great success; there’d have been plenty of sore heads around SE7 the following morning.

After doing what felt like too many gigs with my band in June and July I swore we’d do no more than two a month for the rest of the year…then immediately agreed to three in a row in September. It proved worthwhile, though: a charity gig at my local; an amazing night at the White Swan with Simon Hanson from Squeeze depping on drums, and Glenn Tilbrook joining us for most of the second set on guitar and vocals; finally, a great night at the Pelton with a new sax player onboard.

I managed to spend more time than usual at Charlton Lido, with my daughter having swimming lessons there for the first time allowing me a quick ‘extra’ swim on Saturday mornings. One Sunday morning I achieved a life goal that’s been eluding me since the lido reopened in 2012: first into the pool. Swimming under a blue sky in a quiet, heated pool, with just a hint of a chill in the air: pretty much perfect conditions.