Photo: Above: The Young Fogey with fellow members of QDOR, sporting QDOR caps and ties. Courtesy: M.deR-S
The Young Fogey returns to his blog bleary eyed and exhausted after another weekend of strenuous social activity. As this past weekend saw his beloved city engulfed by a tourist tidal wave, with the great hordes descending on Wembley, Wimbledon and the opening portion of the Tour de France (am I the only one who finds it odd that a race bearing the name "de France" should start in London?), the Young Fogey fled to the tranquil surrounds of dear Henley-on-Thames for the annual Royal Regatta.
The week having been abysmally wet and dreary, we were fortunate to enjoy a weekend of near unbroken sunshine and blue skies, giving us a taste of the lazy, hazy days of summer that we had hitherto been denied.
Most of the usual suspects were present for this year's Sunday gathering, organised as usual by the indefatigable Hugh Macpherson. Sixteen strong we embarked upon a merry afternoon quaffing champagne, lunching and cheering various teams with which we could claim some connection (however slight the connection made no difference to the intensity of our enthusiastic support!).
I was pleased to see one Canadian team from Shawnigan Lake School and Victoria Rowing Club race to victory (particularly as a good friend is a Shawnigan old boy) but was saddened to see another Canadian team lose to their Australian rivals. Similarly a Polish team representing Warsaw and Torun were sadly defeated by a Czech crew. Ah well.
At the end of the day we returned to London where three of us called in upon another friend for a quick snifter and then went our merry ways....
Well, for a few hours at least. For at noon today several of us gathered at the Carlton Club as the guests of the good North Briton, Dr. Hogg. Thanks to Dr. Hogg we enjoyed a splendid lunch and kept each other amused with various tales and stories.
The sinister smoking ban now has this kingdom within its claws and we, it's cruel victims, were faced with little choice but to spend part of the afternoon on the makeshift terrace (in truth little more than a tin roof used by the staff on "fag breaks") in order to enjoy a cigar. What a baleful calamity!
At 5pm I bid adieu to those guests who were yet remaining and proceeded on to Claridges for drinks with another friend. Leaving Claridges I joined a group of friends for dinner in Soho and, thus satiated, it was home to blog and to bed!