I had an excellent lunch of lamb stew today in one of my favourite lunchtime haunts, accompanied by the Director. He is a man in his 70s, of upstanding and somewhat old-fashioned bent, who nevertheless has a twinkle in his eye.
After an absence of some 25 years, he and his wife have taken up tennis again, in order to "get-in" with the social set in Ayrshire. All the players are somewhat elderly. The matches are keenly fought, if played at a slower pace than say Wimbledon. The group moves round a variety of homes in Ayrshire, all of which have tennis courts.
The other week, at one such venue, one of the Older Members enquired, in general terms, whether the Director would be available the following week.
" Steady on," said the Hostess, " The Director is only a reserve.He's not a chum!"
My friend was somewhat dis-chuffed at this, but waited for the phone call, each week for the following three weeks, which duly came.
After the three weeks were up, the Older member took him aside.
" I think" he said "you can now consider yourself a chum. Don't forget to turn up next week."
And he didn't.