There are many things in my life that I wish I could undo, particularly in my misspent youth.
Author: Major Nigel (Page 1 of 39)
Major’s Corner column for Feb. 5, 2012
The club represents all that is warm and chummy in this far too short life. It is a place where like-minded fellows (and now women) have always gathered to read, chat and generally let down the defences, as it were.
It has always been my plan to shed light on our doings, as I sometimes fear that not a few mems would prefer a more secretive home of homes, which leads to odd handshakes and loathsome winks.
Unkind people are always asking me why I am not yet bilingual, and it hurts. My French teacher at boarding school when I was a boy would sigh and call me an amiable half-wit after listening to my translation of a few lines of Victor Hugo. It has been clear from the start that English and only English would be my lingua franca in this life.
We had one of those frightful movie types from Los Angeles arrive at the club a month or so ago. He was introduced to us by one of our shady new mems, who got into the home of homes in the last intake in order to enlarge our dwindling exchequer.
This Californian went by the moniker of Chip Ladd, which I am almost positive is not his real name. His intent, he said, was to use our edifice in his next “major motion picture” as the home of a misunderstood prostitute.
Skepticism is an ugly word, but it ran through the heart of our club like scurvy. The so-called “Chip” wandered within our ivy-covered walls back-slapping one and all and astoundingly offered my favourite barman and waiter the part of the long lost son “in transition.”
When I was a boy our family had a dog by the name of Gilbert. He was of uncertain provenance but had a pleasing look about him.
I adored old Gil. In many ways he was my best friend, for I did not mix well with my contemporaries as I was thought to be odd. I was beaten by bullies and generally flung about by life. Mine was not a happy childhood.
But Gilbert forgave me for all my strangeness and cared for me as I was. He was not a young dog when my father acquired him from a distant aunt who had gone mad because of a recalcitrant fiancé. He did not warm to my father, who felt the dog was a reactionary, but he became my companion from the start.