Tuesday, 24 March 2015
Being regal round Liverpool
13 February 2015
Today I am busy being regal around Liverpool. I am not sure Liverpool is quite ready for this. But still.
I visit two firms of patent attorneys. One is in a swanky new building that is Liverpool’s answer to The Shard. The other is in a swanky historic building that is Liverpool’s answer to St Paul’s Cathedral. The two buildings are directly opposite one another, which is Liverpool’s answer to not being as big as London.
I have visited CIPA members now in a diverse range of buildings, from the scruffy-but-cosy to the space-age-with-smoked-glass-coffee-tables. I have visited a former county gaol and I have visited the Actual Shard. I have been quizzed and vetted by all manner of security officials and struggled with all manner of pin-on visitor badges that are only designed to be pinned on men. I have seen many different corporate colour schemes, and my posh suits have clashed with most of them.
But there is something that is the same wherever I go: when I ask CIPA members why they continue to pay their membership fees, they don’t know. They think it is because they always have done. They think there might be a rule about it somewhere. Some of them would rather walk under a ladder on Friday 13th with a black cat in one arm and a dead magpie in the other than risk not paying their CIPA fees.
Afterwards, I take a taxi back to the station. Regal though I am attempting to look, the driver soon susses that I am from the Wess Curntry. He therefore tells me the tale of his own visit to the Wess Curntry, which involved a stay at Butlins®, a flagon or two of scrumpy, a midnight streak across the holiday camp of which he claims to remember nothing, and eviction from the camp with his clothes and quite a bit of accompanying Wess Curntry agriculture in a laundry bag. He tells this story in an accusing kind of tone, as though it were my fault that Wess Curntry scrumpy masquerades as apple juice until reaching your bloodstream, and then metabolises into absolute ethanol.
This is why I drink gin and whisky. Gin and whisky are lightweights compared to scrumpy.