I must admit, being asked to write a column on events in the current climate feels akin to inviting Stephen Hawking to speak at a Flat Earth Society convention. Unless you are particularly introverted, socially, it has been a bad year. Only after several weeks of easing measures have I relearned how to string a sentence together. So rather than talk about how much fun we’ve all had this year which is the usual remit, I’ll attempt to throw a bit of hoe your way and tell you of the potential upcoming occasions.
The timing of the lockdown held a particular sting as Eden were poised to hold the John Browne dinner the weekend after we were all confined to our homes. It was to be the best attended Alumni Dinner event the club have held to date with an admirable 54 names on the guest list. The menu looked divine and in the absence of the salmon ceviche I resorted to treating myself to a take away on the night in question to calm the gastric juices. As ever, the University Women’s Club were fantastic in helping us to organise the event and were magnanimous in our cancellation. We hope to return in 2021.
The deckchairs were kept in storage this year and Henley Royal Regatta painfully released their Henley at Home series over Instagram to remind the rowing world what we were missing out on. Strawberries nibbled on the patio at home do not have the same appeal as on the banks of the Thames. I’m excited to say that coming Henleys are looking rosy for Eden. What with the sustained success of the student rowers and progress with University-alumni communication we hope to begin running the event with support from the University. The palm tree drinks-cooler and the bashed-about barbeque after many years of service may be getting an upgrade. I must stress that nothing is confirmed but one way or another, Eden will soon be back under the gazebo.
During our last committee meeting (which I must say was slick. Zoom etiquette was outstanding, exemplified by the muting discipline - highly impressive), my socially starved colleagues implored me to add additional smaller events to the Eden social calendar going forward. All being well this will be achieved by three initiatives: First, we have intentions to make 4’s Head a larger event this year with a planned location for Eden spectators to gather and a more established dinner in the evening. Secondly, after a bunch of brave souls from Norfolk made the trip up last year, we will be plugging a larger alumni contingent at the student Christmas Dinner in St Andrews this year. Finally, we’d like to introduce Eden evenings where small meet ups are planned, perhaps after work, in certain cities. The obvious place to start would be London but we’d love to facilitate meet ups all around the world. Please get in touch if you think this might be possible where you are.
Well then, feeling a bit more cheery now? Absence makes the heart grow fonder and all that. Our return to the manicured lawns of Henley and tiles of London town will be worth the wait!
Events & Supporters Director