|Roast Beef with all the trimmings|
|National Liberal Club|
The National Liberal Club says on its website that it was founded in 1882, and remains ‘completely independent but, as the name implies, continues to be closely identified with the historic Liberal traditions and Liberals worldwide.’ Of course, they are not talking about John Howard and Tony Abbott’s kind of Liberals, so my conscience allowed me to attend a dinner function there the other night. The club is exactly what you would expect an historic English club on Whitehall Place, next to the Royal Horseguards, to look like and be like. The dinner was held in the David Lloyd George Room. We had roast beef with Yorkshire pudding and gravy for dinner, served unceremoniously from large platters by frumpy (and grumpy) waiting ladies with white kitchen aprons. Much red wine flowed. I had an excellent time.
The dinner was held by The Real Time Club , founded in 1967, and believed to be the world’s oldest IT dining Club. The speaker last night was Dr. Aleks Krotoski, “girl geek”, and her topic was : “Do Social Media Make the World More Boring?” I can report that correct grammar, as displayed in the title of the talk, was scrupulously maintained throughout. The gist of her argument was not especially anti-web (she’s a very active blogger herself) but in praise of serendipity. A propos of which, I sat by chance next to some very interesting people and enjoyed some excellent conversation. I think I was invited to the opera. Question time brought out the best of the British, with one tirade accusing us all of filtering the world through the eyes of “Guardian readers” (perfectly true, of course). Another gentleman talked about his grandson’s online activities, and was puzzled by them – “but he goes to a very good public school”.
|Dr. Aleks Krotoski - "girl geek"|
Somewhat more prosaically, but also very much fun, was lunch today at "the last pub before Paris", The Betjeman Arms (check out that link - it shows a model of St Pancras in Lego) with some old friends (Hi Andrew and Tamara!) and some new friends (Hi Louise and Rodney!) Being musicians and singers (or, in the case of Andrew and myself, fans of same) there was lots of opera talk and plans started to come together for the Big Birthday Concert next February. Have I mentioned the Birthday Concert? Watch this space – you will hear more! After admiring Tamara’s new hat (très chic), commiserating with Louise having to rest her voice (that is not good if you are a singer), watching Rodney eat sticky date pudding, and congratulating Andrew on some spectacular exam results, it was time to wind up the lunch. If only we could get the wait staff to bring the bill...this is an art form in London, which few master easily.
|Lunch with friends - can't beat it.|
|Tamara checks out St. Bride's|
Then it was off to visit to St. Bride's, soon to be the scene of the Birthday Concert. This is a small Christopher Wren church in Ludgate Hill, built on Roman ruins. Tamara snapped her fingers a bit, looked around, and pronounced that it ‘would do’. Actually, she was much more enthusiastic than that, and loved the look of the church and the acoustics. The piano she a bit more doubtful about, but as we three concluded, looking at each other, there’s only one piano.
Tamara is to be the star centrepiece of our concert, a hugely talented Australian pianist who’s playing can make you gasp or weep. Read about her here. The concert is going to be fabulous!! If you’ll be in London on February 19th – or could be if you tried hard – let me know so I can put you on the invitation list.
|Tamara Anna Cislowska|