Company Christmas Lunch 11 Dec:  Ironmongers' Hall
Annual Charities Supper 30 Jan:  Cutlers' Hall – Save the Date
Click here for our rolling calendar or here for City events

Autumn Diary

Balancing the unhealthy demands of the City with extreme sports and unusual hobbies

Living slightly out of town, as do most of us these days, means we have lots of opportunities to balance the cultural and other less healthy demands of the City. But what happens in practice? In response to our indefatigable Editor, I’ve had a look at what I’ve got up to this Autumn.

I’ve been a regular dinghy sailor on the Thames for years but quite recently was invited to extend that to a couple a days each month on the Solent. An RYA Day Skipper qualification seemed a natural thing to add on as a winter evening activity and what I now know has already got me really scared of harbourmasters, gas leaks and uncharted sand bars. My new prescription dark glasses seem to have solved the eternal switching between looking at a too bright horizon and unreadable instruments but they lack the wipers needed to clear salt off when it gets a bit lively. Sailing can be great fun so if you haven’t already done so, do ask to get a feel for a wonderful pastime by joining the Company team in the Royalist Regatta which is open to all members.

My other local sport, Real Tennis, is a great way of continuing to play a rackets game when squash has got a little too demanding. We get matched against other members with similar handicaps and occasionally in some competitions with complete beginners and the strongest of players. If you haven’t played and think you want to see what it’s like, let me know and I am sure we could arrange a meal and an exhibition match.

A very new part of my local life is the allotment. A successful first year has seen salsify, artichokes and Italian beans flourishing despite a prolonged winter and a summer drought. Meanwhile, we prepare for the annual trip to Italy to go olive picking with worries about the olive fly, hailstorms and matching travel plans with olives’ readiness to be picked. Spoken Italian is too fast for me so I’ll be taking a copy of Dante and listen to it on the iPAD until it makes sense – it’s enjoyable but not a lot of help when shopping!


Although I‘ve been going to Italy for years, I’ve still not managed Pompei so the exhibition at the Brit Mus this year was a wonderful alternative. Seeing the everyday objects let alone the casts of those buried by the lava brought vividly back to mind Robert Harris’ book about it which in turn reminds me of his book, Ghost, about Martha’s Vineyard and an ex-Prime Minister. Maybe if my Day Skipper qualification leads one day to OceanMaster, I’ll be able to sail there!      






David Peregrine-Jones