12 June 2008

The Grand Vizier's Garden Party

The briefest of chats with RCV (who perhaps I should cast as the Grand Vizier for the purpose of making this choice of title work!), little more than exchanging greetings with VCR, longer chatting with Jon Fewster and with Ellen who, being a committee member, knows many people there. But Chris and Steve were there, with Alex too, and on an obvious high after their victory in the High Court before Peter Smith J. So I spent a long time talking to them, except that Chris was networking at a manic pace and kept disappearing: he had clients there, I learned, which may have explained how he was able to walk up to two people and take their bottle of champagne from them without physical violence.
Most of those present claimed a pressing appointment at nine o'clock which required their presence at home: in fact, they meant that they had to be in front of a devil's fishbowl at that time, for the final of The Apprentice, a show that I have happily avoided for several years now. I was the last one left, as far as I could tell, and I was deep in conversation with another Alex, this time from Vizards Tweedie, and one of their clients, and later Lin when he had seen off the last of his guests. He was, as always, a model of charm, and still wishes to talk to me despite my breaking off our talks at Christmas.
I had left my bag in the office, expecting to collect it mid-evening and head to the Holiday Inn in King's Cross Road for a good night's sleep before taking the next day's first Eurostar to Brussels, at 0600. After talking to Lin I made for Temple tube station, but found Steve and a very inebriated Chris outside a pub at the rear of the RCJ en route. So I rounded off the evening with a pint of bitter and a longer chat with Alex and with a financial advser friend of Chris, who must have been one of their guests, regaining the office at about 2315, and getting to bed for a fitful short night's sleep (anxious about failing to wake before 0500).

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