Last week I flew home to London after concluding my posting as Deputy Ambassador in Washington. Before tackling my next posting, I thought I'd share my favourite moments as Deputy Ambassador.
1. Speaking at the annual Winston Churchill dinner in Missouri, a stone's throw from where he delivered the famous 'Iron Curtain' speech in 1946.
2. Being part of David Cameron's Official Visit to the U.S., including the State Dinner and Welcome Ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House.
3. Officiating at the renewal of the Friendship Agreement between Washington, D.C. and Sunderland, the ancestral home of George Washington.
4. Introducing British boxing champion Amir Khan at a press conference before his world title fight in D.C. in 2011. (One journalist referred to me as a "smack-talking diplomat"!)
5. Residing over the local street party to celebrate the Royal Wedding, where I cut our very own "wedding" cake in honour of the happy couple.
6. Attending the premiere of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy in San Francisco with British star Gary Oldman.
7. Touring the RFA Argus as part of the ceremonies in Norfolk commemorating the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812 and the 200 years of peace and co-operation between the UK and US that followed.
8. Hosting Iftar and Diwali celebrations at the house, highlighting the diversity of British society and connections around the world.
9. Heading a British business delegation to Austin, Texas for the launch of a study showing that the EU/U.S. Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership (TTIP), currently under negotiation, could add 90,000 jobs to the Texan economy.
10. Leading a fantastic British Embassy team of Movember 'Mo Bros' that raised almost $20,000 for men's health charities -- all by growing our moustaches.
After so many terrific experiences, I know I'll be coming back to visit this fascinating country.