Monday, September 16, 2013

Member's Only

On my aunt's first full day in London, we met up with one of Dianne's oldest friends, Russ. Him and his wife, Gail, are both professors in London, him teaching Shakespeare and Gail teaching poetry. 

They are members of one of the oldest intellectual clubs, called The Athenaeum. It was a gentlemen's only club until the 2002....let's not focus on that fact, okay? Members include Charles Dickens, Charles Darwin, Winston Churchill, and 52 different Nobel Peace Prize winners. It was a refuge for them to get together, discuss politics, literature, and science, while smoking and drinking expensive scotch.

Russ and Gail were kind enough to take us to The Athenaeum for an exquisite lunch. It was an incredibly hot day and there was a sign declaring that "because of the unusually warm weather, gentlemen may choose to discard their jackets". No denim or trainers were allowed. Men were in suits and ties, women (well, we were the only 4 there) were in dresses and heals.

We had grouse (a type of bird), salmon, gooseberries, wine, and more. I felt so fancy being there. Government officials were dining next to us. I had to try and use my quiet, indoor voice instead of my loud and obnoxious Texas voice. It was so interesting learning more about Russ and Gail's life in London as professors. They are very into theater (obviously, I guess that's a given if you teach and publish books about Shakespeare) and gave us some good advice on what to see and not see.
By the way, I had to copy all of these pictures from their website. I nearly got kicked out for taking pictures...I think it was obvious that I wasn't a member there, but just a commoner that someone was nice enough to take in. 

I reluctantly had to leave after lunch to go pick up the kiddos that I nanny from school, but my aunts and Russ moved from the dining room to the coffee/ "smoking" room to discuss more intellectually stimulating topics (I'm pretty sure that if you even whispered the word "Kardashian", you would be kicked out).  It was a great time and I'm glad I got to experience this swanky, high class club! I don't think they accept part time nanny's, though, so I guess I won't be becoming a member anytime soon! 

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