The Feast of Stephen
(click on the image above to view the full gallery)
President’s Evening Review by Stephen Pickering, NExT, Schlumberger
First I must make a confession. Work commitments abroad for the past four or five years have prevented me from attending the Society’s Christmas celebrations. I made it this year and I am jolly glad that I did.
Unlike good King Wenceslas there was no deep and crisp and even snow as I walked along Cheapside, the moon did not shine, it was overcast and raining, and the frost was not cruel, in fact it was positively balmy, one of the benefits of global warming over the millennia I suppose. Approaching St Paul’s I was on the lookout for a peasant who could show me the way, as I knew the PESGB Christmas party was held near St Agnes’s Fountain. St Agnes was a Roman martyr so I guessed that her church must be close to the old Roman Wall, my destination*. No poor men came in sight but the whole area was bursting with well-heeled and well-oiled Christmas revellers who were celebrating with cheers (sic), lots of them. I took shelter for a while not against the forest fence underneath the mountain, but in the Lord Raglan.
Suitably refreshed I pressed on and arrived at last at my destination, the Museum of London where I was reliably informed the revelries were to take place. There were lots of pages, they did not need to go out to gather pine logs though, but they certainly brought me lots of flesh and wine; actually sausage and mash and a very nice Sauvignon Blanc. There were many men of wealth and rank possessing, mostly pints of Doombar. Amidst the revelries speeches were brief, the outgoing President Hamish Wilson introduced the incoming President Colin Percival and the incoming Executive Director Maria Iredale, and we said thank you to our dear friend Guy Elliott for leading the Society so ably over the past 5 years. Finally Hamish announced that Graham Harman had been made an Honorary Member of the Society. Nobody is more deserving of this accolade than Graham, who I have known more than 30 years, he has ably supported the Society, and the PETEX event since its inception.
It had been a great evening I met many old friends from my days in Western Geophysical, Hamilton Oil and BHP, and had a thoroughly good time, though slightly tinged by the absence of friends who had lost employment in the downturn.
Finally it was time to go forth, as the night was darker now, but no one followed in my footsteps as I stepped out to find the winter’s rage and my blood did not freeze less coldly. As I wandered on my way, I thought we men of wealth and rank possessing jobs must spare a thought for those less fortunate this Christmas time.
Make sure you celebrate with the PESGB next year!
*St Anne and St Agnes’s churchyard lies just 50 yards from the Museum of London, on London Wall