You will have to forgive me if you catch me trying to smother a yawn in the middle of our conversation. If I do, it won't be a sign that I have become bored with your company. Perish the thought! And perish the thought, too, that should I become bored I would be so ill-mannered as to allow you to realise the fact. No, it will simply be because I was late getting to bed last night and early getting up this morning. "Late" and "early" are, of course, comparative terms. Or relative.
As I turned out the light last night I noticed that the bedside clock showed the time as 11.30. Half past eleven might not seem particularly late to you; it doesn't to me either. All the same, that is about half an hour later than I usually retire. I happened to be the duty driver from Brighton Lions Club to take our local attendees to the monthly meeting of the Tuesday Club for blind and partially-sighted people. The meeting was held in a village hall about 30 miles away, most of the journey being on winding country roads. Consquently the trip takes the better part of an hour each way. Last night there was entertainment from a singer, a young man who sang songs associated with Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, Matt Munro and the rest of the boys in the band. He called himself "the Crooner" and he wasn't bad. Not especially good, but not bad. We left just before ten, hence the late night.
Then this morning I had to be up early in order to walk the dog before a meeting with the auditors. Not my auditors but the Lions Housing Society auditors. I am Hon Treas of said Socy so really had to be there to go through the annual accounts which the auditors have produced. You might gather that the duties of my Hon Treas-ship do not extend to finalising the annual accounts. In fact, my Hon Treas-ship duties are possibly the least onerous of all the other Hon Treas-ships I have held over the years. Suffice it to say that on a turnover of £634,000 we achieved a surplus of £235,000 to put towards our next development.
Accounts have loomed large in my life the last few days. When Tony came to dinner last Saturday he brought me a copy of the final accounts for the Lions fireworks display. As the display was held on 5th November - rather more than three months ago - you might think it a little late to be producing the accounts. You would be right, but the blame lies with the cricket club with which we cooperate. This professional organisation need three months to work out what they took in ticket sales and what their expenses were! And the final result? A profit of £27,500 to be shared between the Lions and the cricket club.
Now I have to publish the figures in Jungle Jottings, the monthly newsletter of Brighton Lions which I edit. I will also produce graphs comparing the figures from several years as many folks find it easier to assimilate financial facts from graphics than from words. I always use Lotus 123 speadsheets for this as I consider that program produces better-looking graphs than Excel.
I think I have managed not to yawn yet but I had better close before I do (yawn).