Once a year, every year, Platts hosts the so-called IP Week Cocktails on a Tuesday night. Last year it was held at the London Hilton. This year it's at the Intercontinental Hotel near Hyde Park Corner. In the past, it was held at the Park Lane Hotel.
IP Week stands for Institute of Petroleum Week, when all the oil professionals gather to talk about oil and gas. There is almost no overlap between oil and electricity, and as a result, I don't meet my usual contacts. Nevertheless, it's worth going to, not just for the free drinks and snacks, but to see ex-colleagues.
Tonight, I finished my first evening of statistics course early so I could make it to this industry event. I had contemplated skipping it altogether because of last minute commitments. But it was important for me to see my ex-colleagues again, as a kind of closure.
It's been eight months since I left. When people asked me what I was doing now, I didn't hesitate to tell them about my portfolio career. All right - it might be a fancy name for a bunch of odd jobs, all temporary and part-time. But I've nevertheless made it work and pay.
"I never knew you played the piano," exclaimed a vice president.
"Do you enjoy teaching statistics?" asked another.
"Do you teach adults how to play the piano"
"How do you start designing web sites?"
"Why did you write about motherhood? Have you ever experienced it?"
By the end of the evening, I must have confused several people who didn't know me well. But those who knew me slightly better must have realised that I've survived --- even without a permanent, full-time job.
18 February 2003 Tuesday