4. You can’t come in here sir

It’s always been one of my favourite theories  and I have been known to use it in my work often: if you want someone to want something badly, tell them they can’t have it.

Playing hard to get isn’t a new trick of course. There are many self help books written on the art of arranging to be caught I’m sure.  And the swilling crowds we waded through outside  the Apple Store in London this morning waiting to touch the iphone 4s further confirmed that “I’ve got what you haven’t” is a powerful human motivator.

So I don’t know why I was surprised to see so many smug people behind this door last night.

“We’re going to a private club” said my old friend Paul. “My mate belongs; he can get us in”.  And so we were on the other side of the Wizard of Oz’s red curtain at Soho House. Founded in London, in 1995, as a private members’ club for those in film, media and creative industries, Soho House has a very public profile for a very private club. A secret that everybody knows about.

Becoming a member apparently involves filling in an application form then being rubber stamped by two existing members. Upon its receipt, the application will then be reviewed by the appropriate club’s Membership Committee. Those applicants selected to become members are notified via email.And a nod of the head I don’t doubt.  Those who are not immediately successful are added to a waiting list. Along with Godot.

So there we were – Stuart, Paul, myself and the honorable member Simon – sitting in a drawing room drinking wine and laughing (in my case too loudly of course). Waspish and generous in equal measure, H.M. Simon was a marvellous host. He buzzed about, ensuring we would be seated at some point, on a sofa as soft as my bottom. (Although I don’t imagine he used those words).

My observations were as follows: there were more attractive men than women in the room (a nice change from Auckland); big hair for men is in (like” fuck did I just get electrocuted” big); women love shoes more than almost everything; Paul joined my ‘aging well’ club (that’s worryingly exclusive  too).

So for three hours I belonged. Then I didn’t belong any more. 

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