Thursday, 1 January 2015

The Door of Warmth & Friendship (or: What happened at Council)

3 December 2014

The Christmas Cake Pixies have delivered festive cakes and biscuits ready for the last Council meeting of the year.  And the EyePeePee has arranged them in a neat symmetrical pattern on the refreshments table, because there is nothing more disturbing than an asymmetric refreshment.

Coincidentally, the President and I were at the shops this morning looking at exactly the same types of festive cakes and biscuits and coincidentally we bought some of them too.  It is amazing how often I shop at exactly the same place and time as the Pixies and buy exactly the same things.

One of the first items we discuss in the meeting is the Bye-Laws rewrite.  The Constitutional Committee has been having some high-level ideas about the things we might want to put in the new Bye-Laws and the things we might like to consult CIPA members about.  But first we must ascertain whether these amendments “will be”, “may be”, “could be” or “should be” considered, because it is important that the document which lists the things they are going to write some other documents about is precise.  Unfortunately we do not have time to decide how the document is going to refer to the type of meetings that the Committee might be or would be considering writing another document about, so we have to take the rather unsatisfactory step of leaving this question open for the time being.  Therefore it is entirely possible that AGMs and OGMs may be renamed as Big Meetings and Little Meetings at some point in the future.

Then comes the time when we have to discuss whether I have been naughty and undignified and generally Let the Side Down.  The Internal Governance Committee said I hadn’t, but Council wants to be absolutely sure. 

Being a human being and all, I find these discussions distressing.  And being a complete lightweight in such situations, I feel compelled to leave the meeting to blow my nose on my posh jacket sleeve.  The CIPA Membership Team, who live at the far end of the corridor behind the Door of Warmth and Friendship, are very kind; they offer me tea and chocolates and tactfully pass me a napkin to use instead of my sleeve.  I am a little uncomfortable about this as I was taught it is not polite to blow your nose on your napkin.  But perhaps that only applies when you are using it to eat with.

Behind the Door of Warmth and Friendship there also resides a cuddly dinosaur.  The Membership Team encourage me to clutch this to make me feel better, although obviously not to blow my nose on it.  I say I have had enough of dinosaurs for one day thank you, but they insist.

Thus recomposed, I return to the Council meeting (through the Door of Properness) and try to look all sedate and professional as though nothing has happened and I have not been snivelling into a cuddly dinosaur.  Apparently while I was gone they decided I had not Let the Side Down, or at least no more than they would have expected.  They have already moved on to discussing regional meetings.  But I think perhaps the Sober-Suited Ones are embarrassed by my indecorous show of emotion and would really rather I had kept a Stiff Upper Lip because then they would not have had to avert their gazes and worry about hormones and things.

To cover their embarrassment, a few of them take me for a gin and tonic afterwards.  And then possibly wish they hadn’t.  But did they really expect me to only drink one??  (And did you really expect me to not split an infinitive?)

Back home, my teenage daughter cold-shoulders me for being a Bad Mum and not being there to watch her last three bad moods.  And my husband shows me our first Christmas card of the year, which is a blow because I had forgotten you were supposed to do cards as well.  Seems like some days you’re just destined to lose.

Still, on the plus side, the fish pies have arrived.  They do smell good.

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