The Lapwing Lane Literary and Philosophic Society

The LLLPS will soon be celebrating its twentieth anniversary of daily meetings for discussions and social interactions with passing Didsbury residents, and their children and dogs,
As an outsider, I have a peak-hours visiting membership to meetings held at the Lapwing Lane Deli, one which I make use of three or four times a week.
The full-time members like William enjoy an early start, before the mighty Manchester rush-hour begins. Our meetings rarely end before ten am, with the exceptions for members who are on the social tennis circuit, who leave for a nine am start.
Proceedings are maintained in orderly fashion with effortless benignity by President Judy, in her ceremonial chair in front of the main entrance. Other members have allocated places at tables around her, newer members on the fringes of the gathering.
Why outside? To permit the greetings to passers-by I mentioned, and other briefer acknowledgements of Deli shoppers exchanging their newspaper tokens for their morning Guardians or Times.
I arrive at a more sensible time according to traffic conditions but usually around eight thirty. Unless, as happens recently when I slept late, and am forced to send a grovelling apology before search parties had been sent out.

My discussion topic

Today, I have my discussion topic ready. ‘My friend Oldbutfit is a football fan but has taken a vow to avoid watching or listening to transmissions of the World Cup. Is he unique in this respect?’
Heads shake. Then a suggestion.
‘There’s Carol’.
Carol. Not exactly a member of our Society but well-known to us as a customer of the Deli arriving to pick up her copy of The Guardian every morning. I have seen the change in Carol as the fortunes of Manchester United have waned in recent years. The change is most evident on the day of a United Match, and after another disappointing humiliation.
‘Strange’ I say. ‘Oldbutfit is a Man U fan, too, and a Guardian reader.
We begin a discussion about the distinguishing features of United supporters and Guardian readers. Suggestions range from ‘smug sanctimonious lefties’ to ‘high-minded people with deep concerns for basic human rights.

Next item proposed for discussion

Next item proposed for discussion: ‘Will gin and cheese lunches ever catch on outside Didsbury’s gated borders?’


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