Rupert Goodwins' Diary

Thursday 18/12/2003To Claridges, for lunch with PR company Medialink and a selected bunch of their clients -- Hauppauge, makers of computer TV thingies; E92 Plus, anti-spam software bods; and STB Systems, who do financial support software for banks. An eclectic mix, and the conversation spirals around money laundering, who's doing what to whom at the BBC, and was that really Mick Jagger spotted in the corridor outside the room (yes, it was.

Thursday 18/12/2003
To Claridges, for lunch with PR company Medialink and a selected bunch of their clients -- Hauppauge, makers of computer TV thingies; E92 Plus, anti-spam software bods; and STB Systems, who do financial support software for banks. An eclectic mix, and the conversation spirals around money laundering, who's doing what to whom at the BBC, and was that really Mick Jagger spotted in the corridor outside the room (yes, it was. Some people stop at nothing to find out about anti-spam software). There is a "no work talk" rule in effect, but that's loudly ignored: having fleets of efficient flunkies drifting around topping up your glass, supplying cigars the size of dachshunds, and sweeping up the crumbs with amazing silver equipment makes one feel raucously decadent.

Claridges is a very odd place. The staff used to wear footman-style tights and wigs until around ten years ago, and it still has the last lift in Europe with an operator (they say). It's certainly huge, with a sofa at the back big enough to take all four Rolling Stones: a sofa that one likes to think was regularly graced with the backside of Barbara Cartland, who inhabited a suite in the hotel until her death.

She would doubtless find it gone terribly downhill.

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