Tuesday, 3 March 2015
The things I do for CIPA
29 January 2015
I take a train to Hayes-&-Somewhere-or-Other to meet some in-house attorneys. After the train I have to have a lift in Mr Davies’s car, which is so posh it has a dead sheep in the footwell.
The in-house attorneys tell us that they imagine CIPA being full of crusty relics who have got old and senior enough to be able to swan off to Council meetings while their minions pick up the crumbs of the work they’ve left behind. I tell them this is not true at all, not now anyway, not since we stopped serving brandy and cigars after Apologies for Absence and replaced them with the offerings of the Biscuit Pixies, which are crumbly but not crusty.
They tell us that CIPA should engage more with its members. I think: I have taken a train all the way here to Hayes-&-Wherever-it-is, eaten with them in their office canteen, shared a footwell with a dead sheep and listened to Mr Davies ranting on about education all the way from the station to the place where we got lost in their labyrinthine business park. I have put on a posh jacket specially, and brushed off the straw, even though the posh jacket was scant protection against the wilds of Reading Station, which has recently been rebuilt as a massive wind tunnel with a deep-freeze facility for a concourse. I have talked to them about SILC and I am even prepared to autograph copies of my Secret Diary if they have their CIPA Journal to hand. What more, I think, do they want me to do to “engage” with them??
Later, I receive an offer from the CIPA Membership Team to sauce up my Presidential manifesto for me. That sounds an excellent idea. Brown sauce, red sauce, outsauce, we definitely need more sauce at CIPA. Everything at CIPA should be served with extra sauce, I think. A CIPA Journal with extra sauce. CIPA newsletters with extra sauce. Then we will be the sauciest of all saucy Institutes. And that might help us engage with our members.