3 December 2014

LIKE Christmas Party 2014

I have been a member of LIKE, the London Information and Knowledge Exchange, for several years because it's a good group of people with a shared passion for managing information.

The business meetings are instructive and fun and the social meetings are even more fun, and a little bit instructive too.

So it was no surprise that I was quick to put my name down for this year's Christmas dinner at The Marquis in Chandos Place on the south-west corner of Covent Garden. I arranged to work in London that day and had a pleasant forty minute stroll down from Kings Cross to get some exercise and build up an appetite.

I also built up a thirst so my first stop was the bar before negotiating the steeps curving steps up to the function room.

Once I had collected my glass of bubbly and name badge, my first job was to find a spot for my £1 Secret Santa. There are no pound shops close to Kings Place so that lunchtime I had a pleasant walk to Camden to do my shopping. I also had to buy a Christmas bag to put it in, which strictly speaking took me over the £1 limit but that is the price you pay for leaving things so late. The present was left somewhere near a window and I claimed my seat on the far side of the room.

There was much chatting, or networking as we like to call it, before we were asked to sit. Without any planning I found myself sitting with Martin, Andrew and Sarah, two of whom I'd spoken to several times before and one of whom was a new connection (now formalised on LinkedIn).

Our first task was the Christmas Quiz set by a fiendish librarian. Actually the questions were pretty far, the fault was in our knowledge; we really should have recognised more of the lyrics from Christmas songs. I still think that the picture of Batgirl looked more like Hit Girl, though I have to concede that Batgirl (Barbara Gordon) was a librarian while Hit Girl was not.

After the quiz came the food. I started with a soup and then a very impressive mushroom wellington. I had not gone there for the food but having food as good as this was a help.

The food came and went but the conversations continued, and they were the real reason that I was there.

At some point some people started to leave and that generated a little space for the rest of us to move around a little and talk to other people. It was good to catch up with Jennifer, for example.

I had arrived at the pub soon after 6pm and was on the verge of being thrown out almost five hours later, still chatting and still having a great time. Even by the high standard of LIKE events this was a glorious evening.

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