Lord knows what news next Tuesday will bring. What does seem pretty certain is that George Osborne is unlikely to increase our collective joie de vivre. It seems a shame that just as we rise from the mother of all recessions, the government will shortly implement painful cost cuts and tax rises.

In the meantime the West End office market feels healthy on the ground, so I am celebrating while I can. After months eating sandwiches at my desk, I joined some property friends in one of my favourite Soho restaurants, Shampers, which serves tasty food, wine & Czech beer.

I had a few bottles of Budvar, before a 4Pm inspection (booked without my knowledge) at nearby Golden Square, where a film production company were assessing the cost of  fitting out a basement as a casting studio.

The relaxed guy in the photo was over on hols from Melbourne. We all used to work together 20 years ago in a surveying firm in Holborn. What struck us all was that in our 40s (and some older Chris) we still seemed exactly the same people who years before used to mull over life’s rich tapestry in a wine bar called Slightly Olivers in Red Lion St.

We talked about the London commercial property market and all agreed that after an horrendous recession, things were getting better. Mark from Melbourne, who’s not visited London for a decade, thought that London and especially the West End, seem very busy and far more stylish than 20 years ago – more than you can say for the writer and his friends, who now resemble (from the left)  Elton John, Ben Elton and Pete Sampras….