Well – Christmas season is absolutely upon us. With just 8 days to go there is really no escaping the baubles, mince pies and gift cards.
For the first time in years I’m loving the build up. The recession meant that retailers didn’t have the cheek to impose an over excited introduction to the festive season 4 months too soon and as a result, it feels like Christmas has arrived on time and in good time. And so have the Christmas parties. Yesterday I had the privilege of enjoying two seasonal shin-digs in quick succession.
First the Birmingham Press Club (the oldest press club in the country I’ll have you know) was on form with guest speaker Andrew Pearce engaging us all with his tales of investigative journalism and breaking THE MP expenses story. Then a tribute to Nevill Boyd-Maunsell, who is retiring as the city representative for the Birmingham Post. A position he has probably had since before I was born!
Nevill was visibly moved to be recognised by his peers and held himself together just long enough to share some experiences from yesteryear. In a world of high speed and bad attitude I was very proud of the audience, well most of them (you know who you are) as we managed to show just enough respect to pay continued attention despite the large quantities of booze that was being guzzled gloriously. The heralded hack struggled somewhat with microphone technology and to get through his 3 page closing speech in good time, but who cares? – it was his swan song – if a career like that doesn’t deserve some credit I don’t know what does. If criticism lies anywhere I guess its with those that briefed the lovely old chap. A few words. hmm…
Luckily for me the second bash was held in the same place as the first (clearly the only place to be right now). The Radisson. I got to avoid the cold and rain by heading just upstairs into the bar of Fillini restaurant where Harvey Nichols and said hotel were thanking their loyal customers with Champagne and I have to say, some of the best canapes I’ve ever had the pleasure of scoffing. Yes – I scoffed them. There was no delicate handling of these canapes – not from me or anyone else. Those Scallop and Pecorino cheese bites were absolutely DIVINE and that booze that had been swimming down our necks all day / night only ensured they were all polished off in entirety.
Word had it that the gregarious and well-known Kevin Breeze from Harvey Nichols was being particularly strict about his invite list. Even Derek Inman was told there were no extra invites. Invite Inman didn’t get an extra invite?! Maybe thats why he didn’t stick around too long. Thankfully the Radisson was less selective so Mr Breeze didn’t throw me or any other press club ‘crashers’ out. His usual aloofness (in my direction) was noted as slightly rude but is already forgiven – he’ll learn to love me one day and it is the season of goodwill and all that.
The night was full of friendly faces. Diane Benussi (divorce lawyer extraordinaire), Ruth Ward (Re-wired PR entrepreneur), Ed James (Heart Breakfast radio DJ) were some of the people I was particularly pleased to catch up with. Then there were the more familiar faces that I know and love (affectionately known to me these days as the Silver Skulk). These Silver foxes are ALWAYS charming company. They know how to treat a lady and they know how to have a good time. The only problem is that each and every one of them is over 50 (and maybe even a little bit more….maybe…)
Hanging out with the Silver Skulk always brings to light an issue for me. I cant help but get frustrated that there seems to be a glaringly obvious gap in the Birmingham market for debonaire 30 something males. Those single males that I do encounter seem to demonstrate that while the bells are ringing out for Christmas time, the bell-ends are ringing in for the New Year. Is it that the Silver Skulk has marked its territory so strongly over the years or that there is no room for such eligible males? More likely I suspect is that they just don’t make them like that anymore. Perhaps those that fit into the eligible and chivalrous category from my age group have been snapped up long ago.
So Santa – whilst Christmas has come on time and in good time I can confirm that my Christmas list contains only one thing for this year: a man (within my age group please) that will challenge the chivalry of the skulking scallies and and have the stamina to keep up with my adventures as 2010 rocks into my world.