“I’m not sure why we’re looking at a film of sharks and bottom feeders, are you?” I said to my new friend Nelson as we sunk further into a comfy padded leather sofa at the National Liberal Club. “I mean what’s this got to do with the General Election?”
Nelson nodded sagely. “Well, don’t you see, that’s exactly the point? Someone was told he had to work this evening and obviously went on YouTube, cobbled together three hours of this stuff for us to watch. It’s some sort of divine retribution. Let’s face it you don’t normally see just sharks and bottom feeders on a nature programme with no commentary whatsoever.”
I had to admit he was right, and it got me thinking. What was it all about?
Agnetha came back from the bar. “It’s wall to wall young fogeys in there, I’ve never seen so many beards and clashing outfits in one place.”
Nelson looked over the rims of his glasses at me again with all the wisdom of a 90 year old. “I wouldn’t – they’ll be scared to death of you. You’ll be the first woman that’s spoken to them since their mother” he said, smoothing down the yellow and purple striped tie sported to ‘cause maximum offence.’
The temperature was rising, so much so that a trip to the luxuriously planted terrace overlooking the river was required. Christian, who told me he’d been ‘campaigning for Simon’ all day offered me a Nicaraguan cigar. Two minutes later we were joined by several other men including one clutching a small humidor which he opened to reveal three layers of rather special looking Cuban cigars.
A cutter was produced and several mini blow torches were proffered to help Agnetha light her first rather fat Ramon Allones.
The mood was relaxed but resolute. I texted my brother to inform him of the location and the company. ‘Make sure they turn the lights out when they leave which will be very soon!’ came his response.
Back inside, amidst lush surroundings of velvet, flocked wallpaper and plush upholstery the giant screens in place gave us the first counts. ‘You’ve just missed Paddy’s speech’ a journalist told me. “Paddy who?’ I said, clutching my very dry vodka martini. And then I saw him. Years of unrequited fancying. I touched his arm. “Paddy, a selfie please?”
He was happy to oblige, his expression bemused, perhaps mindful of the hat he would have to eat in but a few hours time.