BCSA "Get to Know You" Social as more of the jolly same but in December there were a couple of differences. Nothing that spectacular but differences just the same.
Due to another booking we were not in our usual room on the ground floor at the Czech and Slovak Bar and Restaurant but in the meeting room upstairs. This made little difference to the evening and the occasional walk up and down stairs to get beers was probably a good thing. It was also nice to have some different pictures to look at.
The other difference from recent socials was that I was able to work in London that day, rather than Reading, and that I meant that I could get there about quarter to seven instead of a quarter past. I know that the social does not start officially until 7pm but it is nice to get there before that to greet and prompt or early arrivals and, besides, the bar is open then.
I got my usual Pilsner Urquell from the bar before following the BCSA signs upstairs to the gathering. Despite being a little early I was surprised to find that I was not the first person there and so had somebody to talk from the very start.
The food and the drink were pleasant enough (as always) but the evening was all about conversations and I had lots of them with regulars (e.g. Ruzena) and first-timers (e.g. Robert).
A large part of the evening was spent talking about what the BCSA could offer its members. This was part of a drive by new Chairman, Michael, who was there to have just those sort of conversations with the younger people that we sometimes struggle to reach as a society.
Of course it was not all business and we talked about all sorts of things, most of them soon forgotten as most pub conversations are. I do recall talking a little about places to go in Slovakia but that is not uncommon given my interest and the number of Slovaks in the room.
Despite the early start I was still there at the very end (10:30) and even hung around for a little while after the bar had closed to finish off the conversations that were in full-swing at the time. Conversations are hard things to end, there is always somebody who wants to add something (often me!), and so it was around 11pm before I finally left. Even then a group of carried on talking as we walked up towards the stations. In fact I was not left alone to listen to my podcasts until we passed Willesden Junction, which was all but home.
It was just another good night talking to various interesting people about various interesting things.