Yep, it's tidy-up time. Time to finalise accounts, write the thank you letters and agree that 'Yes' it was a mighty fine evening but 'No', we won't be doing it again for oh, 25 years. At least.
The Committee charged with organising the Young Farmers' 50th Anniversary celebrations met for the last time tonight. The village hall's most uncomfortable chairs were scraped into a semi-circle and we sat on them. Our chairman took his seat at the front. The youngsters - today's members - judiciously chose to sit next to the door - this admin. business seriously eats into their 'down' time and they were itching for a quick exit. But there is business to be done, slowly and thoroughly, in this meeting to chew over the success of the evening.
The finances were reviewed; by some miracle and hard drinking (meaning the bar made a nice profit) the evening didn't plunge the Club's finances into the red. Everything has been accounted for except the cost of the mobile toilets - it was suggested that a 'special deal' had been arranged and we all agreed that - 'even if it cost £100' it would be worth it'. (Now readers - would you turn out to deliver, collect and empty toilets used over a weekend by nearly 1,000 people for a paltry £100? Bargain.) Whatever. The evening was a success financially as well as socially and pats on the back were generously distributed to everyone who played a part.
Eventually there was nothing left to discuss and the young members darted for the door. Chairs were scraped back and stacked and off we went into the night.
On the slow drive back up the hill we call Marton Mountain I consider this meeting. The military might call it debriefing. I think in education it was what used to be called a plenary session. We'd all shuffle back into an overheated lecture room after working in small groups on whatever initiative was currently in vogue to hear one of the inhabitants of the adminisphere sum up our 'cascaded' findings by using as many 'buzz' words as possible. There may even have been a Power Point singalong too. Soon, being a purveyor of education was no longer sufficient for our College and we found ourselves with all-consuming audits, action plans (remember them?) and targets with tick boxes. And all this after wading through the mire of the once fashionable TQM - Total Quality Management. It was time to go - and to cut a long story short, I left.
Which is why I find myself with time to sit in a Village Hall and consider the value of a mobile toilet. Like a virtuous woman, it's above rubies I think.