The giddy social whirl

Like me, Andrew Brown doesn’t live in London. Like me, he has found himself having to go to a series of Xmas parties in the Big Smoke. But he has more stamina than me. One night recently, for example, he went to no fewer than three parties — one at the Swedish Embassy, one in the Travellers’ Club in Pall mall and one in a night-club.

And so to the last train back from Liverpool St, caught with a minute to spare: young man in a suit in that stage of drunkenness where all the small muscles of the face have gone, and a kind of long-jawed chimpanzee mask lolls on the neck; a carton of takeway curry with lots of rice splashed all over the floor by the doors to the carriage; the middle-aged man, also in a suit, who pushed past me out of the lavatory had just been copiously sick inside it. In the middle of the carriage, two jolly fat blondes in miniskirts and sombreros who looked up every time I passed them as if expecting conversation … outside, at Audley End, a hard frost and the noise of scraping windscreens carrying across the car park.

Been there, done that, got the tee-shirt. And one wonders afterwards why one does it? I suppose it’s called ‘networking’. Twitter’s easier. And cheaper.