Last night our dining club was due to meet in the absence of A who passed away on Saturday. He was going to provide drinks and canapés at his home and afterwards the remaining three would eat locally.
We decided to preserve the booking and meet up and the universal reaction was we were pleased we did. We had known A collectively for 135 years. One of our group, a solicitor, had worked with him often as a financier and spoke highly of his mastery at meetings but the general trend was to emphasise his qualities as friend and companion. He was one of those who was well-informed in many fields – sport, the arts and politics. He was well read, discovering new writers long before they came into fashion.
As the organiser of these events I broached the difficult subject of future meetings. I said it would be difficult for me to meet in 3 months time without A. We agreed we should continue, meet up, alter the format and see what emerges. I said, for example, we might make a trip to Cambridge to revisit Kettles Yard and the Fitzwilliam and invite a distinguished art historian I know who lives there to join us for dinner. We were also in favour of inviting A’s wife to dinner a few months after the funeral.
Feeling below par over the weekend and having to travel a fair distance to the dinner I was uncertain whether I could make it but I was pleased I did.