Though a leisurely start, there were plans afoot. The Silver Vixen had an appointment in Chichester and the Gorse Fox had a lunch scheduled in Soho.
Old Bill was kind enough to take the Gorse Fox to the station where he hopped on the train. Like most trains from Bognor Regis it waited at Horsham for more carriages to join from the inbound Portsmouth train. Unfortunately this was running late and as a result we were a good 25 minutes late arriving in London. This meant a quick change of plans. The Gorse Fox had intended to walk the couple of miles to the restaurant, but now had to resort to the Tube to make up the time.
As he arrived he was greeted by the restaurant's owner and shown to the private room where we would dine. It was the Old Columbans over-65s London lunch and there was a crowd of about 15 OCs already milling about, eating canapés, and drinking wine. The Gorse Fox stood and chatted with his cousin Peter, who had come up from Cardiff for the event, then went on to mingle with other old boys from other years.
We settled down for lunch. This was a noisy affair - though not raucous. Tales were told, memories stirred, and absent friends remembered. At one stage the Gorse Fox retrieved a photo of his class from 1965 and showed it to an old classmate... we managed to name most of the chaps in the picture, but the classmate could identify himself!
The food was fantastic and the wine flowed throughout the afternoon... indeed it was gone five o'clock before we got up from the table. Twice during the afternoon, the chap sitting opposite cousin Peter had leant on the table and in so doing, tipped our table spilling first a jug of water into Peter's lap, and the second time a bottle of red wine - but fortunately that just missed as it trickled down the tablecloth onto the floor.
As we broke up, we thanked the restaurant staff and the owner (who turned out to be an OC also). We said our goodbyes, and reconvened for a beer in the pub over the road. The Gorse Fox made his excuses after a while and headed for the Tube. At Victoria, he managed to just get onto the Bognor Regis train as the doors were closing and settled down for the journey home. It wasn't quite as busy as he had expected but maybe people had travelled early, being a Bank Holiday weekend.
Fortunately, the Gorse Fox had his portable power pack with him as the battery on his phone had died. He plugged in and allowed it to charge while he read his Kindle. Once arrival times were predictable, he called the taxi company and arranged to be collected from the Station and dropped off at home. He was home and chatting to the Silver Vixen just after nine-thirty.