Imagine a club, not any old club, an exclusive club. Free to join, limited membership, lots of it’s members have a finite membership period. This particular club has clubhouses sponsored by the NHS. My “chapter" (local group) is based in Truro but I understand there’s lots sprinkled throughout the UK and beyond. In Europe I believe there’s no membership fee which is not always the case even in apparently “civilised” parts of the world. Let’s call this club The “C” Club.
Our chapter’s clubhouse is kept very clean although the decoration could be a bit more sumptuous. It has discreet areas that can be curtained off, the staff are all uniformed and very smartly presented. It’s full of reclining chairs of the electrically operated kind, very comfortable in a wipe clean sort of way. There’s pillows and blankets on request.
Like many exclusive clubhouses it's in a distinctive building, in a desirable location with a secure entrance. Non members are not allowed in. It may be free but to join you have to be invited. It’s a non application sort of place although it’s actually voluntary. You don’t have to become a member although most invitees happily do. The invitation process is strictly by consultation with a group of very serious and skilful “gate keepers". (The committee)
This club has some peculiar attributes. There’s no guest list, there used to be but there isn’t now. While at our chapter’s clubhouse there are copious amounts of refreshments available. Hot and cold drinks of every variety. Lot of biscuits (oddly always in little packets of three). Lunch is generally a bit disappointing. Each time I’ve been invited it’s the same old choice of sandwiches, yoghurt and fruit. (Note to self, have a chat with the catering team).
Now this is where the club gets a bit bonkers. There’s a strictly no alcohol policy throughout the club but drugs abound. Most, possibly all of us, while not particularly addicted to our particular drugs, mainline on our personalised cocktails for hours on end.
I’ve been a member of the club for some time now but only been invited to the clubhouse twice. The first time was about three and a half years ago. Then my invitation was for a period of 12 weeks. After your invited time has ended you ring a bell to let everyone know your time has come to leave again. My second invitation started on the 4th September last year. I think this time it’s a lifetime membership......who can tell? I’m not on the committee.
It’s like no other club I’ve been a member of and I’ve been a member of a few. Let’s see what I can remember;
First there was Bugle Cub Pack (“Akela” and all that) then Tywardreath Scout Group. As a grown up I’ve been a member of some formal (money involved) and some informal clubs. When we had a touring caravan we became members of The Caravan Club https://www.caravanclub.co.uk. A fairly short lived liaison because they seemed a bit child unfriendly. Then, when we owned a Jeep, we joined the Jeep Club. https://jeep-club.co.uk/ . We’re still members of Brittany Ferries Club Voyage https://www.brittany-ferries.co.uk/club-voyage but I think we’ll let that membership lapse. When we built our camper van we joined the Camping and Caravanning Club. https://www.campingandcaravanningclub.co.uk a bit less stuffy than the Caravan Club. In the meantime we're members of our Supper Club, the Tuesday Coffee Club and the Charlestown Coffee Club and the Haircut Club.
When we were publicans and I had a motorbike I teamed up with a couple of regulars, now friends, who were also bikers (Michael, Ducati and Chris, Moto Guzzi) to form The Mild Bunch.
All my formal affiliations will end at some point. In fact all the informal ones will as well. At the moment Tricia and I are members of the C.A.M.C. Caravan and Motorhome Club and we're staying on a club site at Totnes. We’ll stay with the club as long as I can drive our Battle Bus . We probably won’t use our Brittany Ferries Club Voyage benefits again although never say never. I’m eligible to join “HOG" but I know I won't. But I’ll always be a member the “C" Club.
Shame but true.
See, I really don’t want to belong to a club that will accept me as a member.
Did you find any project clues. There's 2, possibly 3.