After more than a year of COVID-induced disruption, December 2021 saw the return of the LRG’s much-loved Christmas festivities at the Glassblower pub. Pamela Mayorcas reports.
Three years ago, and thanks to scouting by Committee member Marta Prieto, LRG had organised its 2019 Christmas Party – with a resplendent buffet – at The Glassblower pub.
Our usual venue, The Devereux – also a pub – had closed down, having been sold to developers for conversion – yes, you guessed it – into luxury flats (of which more on page 6). But, in any case, we had decided that the upstairs room was not big enough for the large crowd that usually attends the LRG Christmas Party.
Due to COVID, we could not hold a Christmas Party there in 2020, so it was with great delight that the Committee was able to announce to LRG members that there would be an in-person Christmas Party, back at The Glassblower, on 8 December 2021.
Still mindful of COVID-related precautions, the Committee decided we would not have the usual buffet spread, as that would involve people crowding around the buffet table and serving themselves from bowls and plates from which others would also be serving themselves.
We therefore decided on providing the traditional mince pies, which come in individual foil cases, and slices of stollen and of panettone, together with small, individual bags of nuts, crisps, and savoury crackers. We also bought clementines that came in their own individual wrapping!
We arranged several small tables around the very large room, with four to five chairs at each one. Committee members arrived ahead of the designated start time, opened windows, identified an area where guests could leave coats and bags, and started to put the food items on each table. This would minimise the amount of contact people would need to have with one another.
The pub staff were also extremely kind and helpful, providing lots of plates and napkins and putting individual candles on each of the tables.
The room itself looked very festive, with garlands, lights, and Christmas wreaths.
Since we had had to cancel the Christmas Party in 2020, the Committee had decided to use some of LRG’s funds to offer the party free-of-charge to all LRG members (there was a small charge for non-members). On arrival, everyone was given three cloakroom tickets, which they could exchange for drinks at the bar – prosecco, mulled wine, wine, beer, and soft drinks.
There was such a buzz as people started to arrive and greet friends and colleagues who they had not seen, in person, for more than a year. Everyone commented on how wonderful it was to be able to do this and there was still a crowd at the bar as late as 11pm! We held a brief AGM in the course of the evening and announced that there would be an online AGM in January 2022.
The room looked very festive, with garlands, lights, and Christmas wreaths
Most Committee members were standing again for election, apart from Daniela Ford, who was stepping down as Webmaster. In her place, we welcomed back Cecilia Lipovsek onto the Committee (see Committee News on page 2).
It had been a lot of hard work and schlepping (Yiddish for ‘hauling’) both before the party and on the way to the pub. But it was definitely worth it, just to see everyone so happy, smiling and generally cheerful after almost 18 months of Zoom meetings.
The life of the average freelance translator is generally a solitary one, so the average of six events per year, at a pub or university venue, were and are a welcome opportunity to get out of the office or house and meet and exchange news and views – both work related and personal – with fellow professionals.
This had been so much missed since March 2020. We hope to be holding several more in-person meetings in the course of 2022.
Thanks are due to all the members of the LRG Committee who worked so hard to plan and deliver LRG’s 2021 Christmas Party.