This month we found ourselves back, at our usual venue of The Roundabout Hotel, as we had previously hosted our “Annual Invitational Lunch” in October at the West Sussex Golf Club; which as usual had been its reputed culinary delight!
Our November Speaker sounded of interest – particularly to the retired horse riders in our midst – as the title of the talk was “Cantering Through a Funny Life”. Saddles at the ready we waited to be introduced to Susan Howe for further enlightenment and were not at all disappointed. Whilst the subject matter of her talk did not contain a single mention of our beloved, equine friends it did however contain an assortment of anecdotes and ridiculous, improbable situations which kept us in stitches for the rest of the afternoon. Susan’s delivery of her subject matter is individual, funny, conversational, quirky and vibrant and she almost comes across as a stand - up comedienne which was an excellent accompaniment to the after lunch coffee; plus being an inspiration to us all.
As a London Tourist Board Registered Blue Badge holder, which is the most prestigious qualification in the profession, Susan is able to guide at all of the major London sites and throughout the U.K. Her talk was related to experience and experiences gained throughout this time and we were included in her reminiscences of: being surrounded by heavily breathing police dogs; a Botswana crocodile escape; having a good night in the chilling Fred West Wing; the exchange of the Rosetta Stone to Syrian Lion Hunt; a major player in The Seige of Philbeach Gardens; acrobatic jumps on an unknown but occupied water bed; Thomas a Becket’s left toenail; Irish digging for potatoes with either left or right foot to show Catholic or Protestant belief; Tiger Tours to the jungles of India; hymnologists and evangelizing Satanists etc – just to name but a few!
During her extraordinary colorful life, Susan has also worked as a P.A. to Sir John Betjeman and Archie, his celebrated teddy bear; cooked for Brigitte Bardot’s ex, Gunter Sachs in St. Moritz plus owning award-winning country-house hotels. She projects history as a living and vibrant subject and has a great many titles to interest a variety of age groups - www.selectideas.co.uk/susanhowe
Pat Snape thanked Susan warmly on our behalf and, judging from members’ reactions, we envisage that we shall be inviting her back soon. We were reminded of our future trip to Hever Castle and details of our Christmas lunch on December 6th, when we shall welcome none other than celebratory speaker Lady Crabtree who will speak to us about a subject close to our hearts “Growing Old Disgracefully”.