I’ve been stressing about the association dinner for weeks now, and all of a sudden its over and in the past. I’ve had nothing at all to do with arranging it (all ably coordinated by Andrew Brewster and his social committee), but I do have to make small talk all night, make sure the guests are looked after, and deliver a speech. Those that know me might be surprised, but the speech bit has caused me some anxiety. I’m more than happy talking in public (a bit too happy, some might say), but I’m not used to thinking of something to say, and I’m terrible at telling jokes. I had a major case of writers block. As usual, the deadline had the desired effect and forced me to put pen to paper – finally, something resembling a speech was forming in front of me. But would people want hear it?
As it turns out, it seems that they did. The dinner overall was a good event, and everyone that I spoke to seemed to have enjoyed themselves. It was great to talk to some first time diners – coming to the association dinner can be a bit daunting, and I think a few myths were busted last night. When I suggested to my local tower that we might have a table a few years ago, one of our locals said “no thanks, it’ll just be that Chelmsford lot…” I’m not sure what he had agains the “Chelmsford lot” (I’ve always found them perfectly lovely), but I think he was describing a phenomenon that I’ve observed before – the perception that not all ringers are created equal. Well, they are, as my speech described.
And for those of you that didn’t or couldn’t make it:
a) See you next year, and
b) I’ve published this year’s speech here in this blog