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Monday, 27 November 2017
Luncheon Club (a tale).
When we left school, several of us decided to start a Luncheon Club, simply so we could keep in regular touch.
There were only about 6 of us who intended living and working in central London, so this was not a big affair. Others who would be in town on the prescribed days would have to make their intended attendance known well in advance. Otherwise it was taken for granted that all 6 would attend.
We chose Fortnum's in Piccadilly as our venue, and the first Monday in every month as the day. It worked well for the first few months.
Working in The City at the time, getting to Piccadilly, having lunch, and being back in the office or on the Stock Exchange floor within my allotted hour, wasn't easy, in fact it was a dreadful rush which involved the use of expensive Black Cabs; even so I was always late back. It soon became obvious that we would have to change from a Luncheon Club to a Dinner Club, or risk abandoning the whole idea.
After about 6 months we all agreed that we would meet in the evenings instead. It would be more relaxed, none of us would have to rush off back to work, and we would probably save ourselves quite a lot of money; Fortnum's had been expensive.
I suggested a small restaurant that I regularly frequented in Chelsea.
The restaurant on The King's Road was more fun than gastro'; its walls were amusingly dotted with a thousand clocks, and the food and wine were reasonably priced. We all agreed to the change, said goodbye to Fortnum's, and by the following month we had re-established our illustrious club in Chelsea. We continued to meet on the first Monday of every month.
Including our first few months meeting in Piccadilly, I think we lasted as a dining club for just over a year. Absentees became regular, girlfriends started to attend, and the whole concept soon collapsed. On our final meeting we discussed the problem, and came to a unanimous decision to call it a day.
The only club member with whom I stayed in regular contact, was my good friend Monty. We met up only occasionally, but always exchanged news at Christmas. Now his Email address no longer works, and I don't have his current home address. Looking for him through Google, all I could find was some connection with a Shoe Museum, to which he'd donated some of his late mother's fancy Crocodile skin footwear.
Moral: The good intentions were certainly there, but the staying power was not. I could of course attend our regular Summer Old Boy's meetings in London, but I don't know if anyone of my era would be there, and anyway, it's a very long way to go just for a few glasses of Sherry.
It's now over 50 years since The Sybarite Six first met over lunch at Fortnum's. I know that at least 3 of us are still around, but not so sure about the others. Hmmm.
The difference between an optimist and a pessimist, is that the optimist enjoys himself whilst waiting for the inevitable! I AM that optimist!
This is a daily, optimistic, 'photos and comments' blog. I make no judgements (only occasionally), just notes. If you wish to comment in any way at all, please feel free. Everything and everyone (except the obdurate and dictatorial) is very welcome.
I was born just south of London, but for the past 46 years I've lived in S W France. I am a painter by profession, and writer by desire. Lady Magnon and I live in an ancient cottage, in a tiny village, in perfectly tranquil countryside. We have a vegetable garden called 'Haddock's' (this may crop up from time to time), plenty of fruit trees, and a view that takes the breath away. I try to treat our planet with respect, and encourage others to do likewise (without preaching).
Contentment is a glass of red, a plate of charcuterie, and a slice of good country bread. Perfect!