Wed Feb 7th
Last night I was invited to speak at a delightful dinner arranged by the Catenian Association....for American readers (and any others who don't know what Catenians are: this is a Catholic men's group, raises money for charity, organises Catholic events...a bit like a sort of Catholic version of the Rotary Club....). It was held at the RAC Club in Epsom. (OK, ok, for Americans again: RAC=Royal Automobile Club...originally for motorists to join when cars were a rare and strange hobby....now the RAC Club in London and the country one in Epsom are simply v.v. beautiful club-houses suitable for dinners, wedding receptions etc). I looked on the map, thought it would be easy to reach by bike...put bike on train to Epsom, cycled out along the planned route...it got darker and darker, and more rural...no street-lights....hadn't realised that the Club was on the outskirts of Epsom Downs....had to knock on door of local house to ask directions, and am sure they thought I was a potential burglar casing the place.....anyway, on arrival, warm greeting, met several good friends, delicious dinner, all v. companionable and friendly.... spoke on "Our traditional feasts and seasons" , v. good atmosphere, good discussion at question-time.
The Catenians have been v. good to us at the "Towards Advent" Festival in Westminster Cathedral every year - have taken on the dogsbody work of hiring tables, keeping accounts, etc. and I am v.v. grateful to them
As dinner ended, consternation expressed at my cycling back, and the nice chairman and his wife put my bike in the back of their car and drove me home.
Jamie rolled his eyes "For Heaven's sake, I could have told you not to go out there by bike....I bet you arrived looking a mess." Which last was alas probably true.....