Monday, September 13, 2004

Sign of the times

You know the kind of establishment you're in is a bit special when a guy turns up in his helicopter, parks it on the outfield of the cricket pitch on the front lawn and nips inside for a spot of lunch. And nobody bats an eyelid. Everyone acts as if it's something that happens every day.

Apart from the flip chart twitchers in the library. We were all hoping it would be someone famous, it wasn't. I'm not sure what I was disappointed with more; that it wasnt someone famous or that the guy jumping out of the chopper was about the same age as me. I bet they called him Sir, I would call him 'sonny'. It put a halt to our proceedings for a good 20 minutes anyway. Which I should thank him for.

In addition to my bag carrying butler, at lunch I was also accompanied by a whole army of lunch butlers. It was almost like my chair had 3 or 4 pairs of arms that would appear over my shoulder at intervals to service my luncheon needs.

I could tell I was going to have to keep my wits about me here, the only other time Ive been so alert at lunch is when Grandma is about. Grandma Watski is the kind of lady who could stick a full roast beef dinner on your plate without you knowing, in the time it takes for you to sneeze.

You could be eating something like Roast Potatoes and be sure that the amount of them on your plate isn't decreasing, thats because they're not, Grandma Watski is covertly putting more food on your plate whilst you are eating. You get to the point where you've been chewing away for 20 minutes only for there to be more food on your plate than when you started.

"No, honestly Grandma Im fine, no seriously, oh go on then, stick it on the plate, you were going to anyway"

This place was the same, I would be chatting away to someone, turn back and my plate would be gone or my glass would be filled, or my knife would have been removed and a new spoon would be there. You dont mind your plate going, but if its a nano-second after you've eaten the last bit and you also fancied the looks of seconds then it gets a bit annoying. The worst thing is not seeing it go.

I think I had 4 different plates one lunch, each with just one item on it. Just to prove a point. I'm going to have seconds even if it means them having to wash extra pots. It's not my fault.
Just do me a favour and leave the plate where it is. This professional service isnt half annoying sometimes.

After lunch we had a little civilised game of rounders, we didnt want to walk too far so we played in front of the helicopter. The blokes took it all far too seriously and before long it got very competitive.

The pilot came out and had a look at what we were doing, just like the owner of a car parked outside would do. I can say without doubt that it is the first and only time this phrase would have been uttered anywhere:

"watch the helicopter with that ball wont you?"

Its a sign of the times.