Our 2018 new years resolution were to redo the kitchen in our house and to holiday locally. We almost achieved these goals.

Highlights of 2018.

Holiday to Crete, Greece.

The island of Crete is a mere two and half hours flight from London and located slap bang in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea. Crete was a cheap holiday option, perfect for a tight budget.

We stayed at the Sensimar Elounda Village Resort & Spa. It was a great all inclusive adults only resort. The weather was great despite a few overcast days. We enjoyed delicious traditional food and drink, had massages, hired a 4×4 and went gallivanting into the mountains, hired a boat and explored a couple of islands and got to swim in a crystal clear blue lagoon. It was a fantastic holiday.

Do something crazy – spend a weekend in Washington D.C. with friends.

Bowen does crazy very well. So much for holidaying locally (Jo), but despite the short time in the capital of America, we managed to fit a lot in thanks to Andrew and Keri. You can read all about it in our blog post titled ‘Bucket list – spend a day with friends in Washington D.C.‘.

Keri, Jo, Andrew, Mike at an American Diner

New Kitchen for Bowen.

If you asked Jo what was her number one highlight of 2018 was, I’m sure she’ll say it was finally having a new kitchen fitted.

The old kitchen was truly a stuff up. There was no space for anything. The dishwasher was on top of the washing machine, which blocked a window. There was so very little counter space. The kitchen was always terribly cold because the large window was single glazed. The tap always leaked and the gas pipes were exposed. The exposed walls were a horrible yellow colour and the cupboards were literally falling off their hinges.

Old left side

Jo designed the new kitchen and ensured everything had its own place. The old kitchen cupboards were removed and unceremoniously dumped at the back of our house. The kitchen had new wiring added to the walls, along with some plugs, while two new triple glazed windows replaced the old single glazed windows. Then all the walls were re-plastered. Afterwards we painted the walls and ceiling. What proved to be a nightmare was getting all the work done in the right order and it took weeks.

Work started in early June 2018.

Magnet kitchens started work in early June and took six long weeks to complete the installation, which frustrated us to no end. The workmanship was great and they were a friendly bunch, but unless we questioned everything, they would cut corners left, right and centre.

So much more usable kitchen space.

We now have so much more counter top and cupboard space. The dishwasher sits next to the washing machine like it should and there is a new sink, with lovely new taps that don’t leak. We had the gas pipes covered with some boxing. There’s a new oven and a gas stove with an extractor fan. We had new triple glazed windows added. We also added a heater/fan to the floor.

Goodbye Platts, hello Semantic Evolution.

After four and half years at Platts and twelve years at S&P Global, I called it quits in June. I had some wonderful years at Platts building and launching products on their eWindow system, as well as rolling out new processes to the teams. I started at Semantic Evolution on the 1st of August as Head of Documentation and Technical Support.

These last five months have flashed by so quickly because I have been so busy and focused on some short term goals. I single-handedly rolled out a new service desk, built an internal & external knowledge base and computerized our ISO 27001 certification. It has been an extremely busy and rewarding five months.

Other fun things we got up to in 2018.

This summer was the hottest on record and we timed most of our activities really well. We spent a week holiday in Yorkshire Dales, which was fantastic. We rode the Prudential Ride London and did a few bike rides in Kent on our Bromptons. In Early December we visited Prague (see link at the top of the page).

Happy new year 2019.

We wish our family and friends and everyone who follows us a very happy new year. We wish 2019 will be decorated with lots of sweet memories, wonderful days and memorable nights, good health and success.