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Seconds out, Round 2 of the fight to win a place on the Drovers Activity list.

In a previous column, I made a compelling, if somewhat misguided argument for the inclusion of a new and exciting Get Together on the Drovers Centre’s list of activities. I thought it would be a great idea to stretch the imagination and the skin of attendees by setting up a tattoo class where we could come together and learn the ancient art of drawing on each other with needles and indelible ink. Tea, biscuits and a tattoo. An activity that you literally could never forget – especially when you looked in the mirror. Genius.

Or so I thought. Following the positively lukewarm reception my idea received from the powers that be (and my wife and friends if I’m totally honest), I went back to the drawing board.

After taking a little advice from the friendly people at Drovers, it seems that the key to success lies in the ability to dovetail your Get Together idea with a personal hobby, skill or area of interest. This sounded promising. I had loads of interests that I would love to unleash on my friends – a veritable plethora of pastimes.

The only issue is how to market my ideas. I’ve had a nagging feeling for a while that with a catchier name, my tea, biscuits and a tattoo activity may have fallen on more favourable ears – Mad Tatter’s Tea Party, Drawn and Quartered or Tat’s Entertainment spring to mind. As Mark Twain drawled: “Many a small thing has been made large by the right kind of advertising.” But after my initial set back, I was ready to go very large indeed.

I started going to the Drovers Centre a few years ago. To be honest, I felt a little lost back then. Once upon a time, you were young and the world was full of possibilities. You were surrounded by beautiful, brilliant friends you loved, and you spent your days and weekends drifting among them, happy. As time passes, your vast sea of a social life becomes a lake, then a pond and finally, a puddle. Some move to other cities, get caught up in their families and some die. And now here you are, taking solace in Netflix night after night, feeling quite alone. But what exactly happened between middle age and retirement?

That’s a question I can’t answer, but what I do know is that being introduced to the Drovers Centre opened up a whole world of opportunity for me. The chance to meet different people, share experiences and learn new things has given me a new lease of life.

So, now you know a little about why I have such a soft spot for Drovers, you’ll hopefully understand my eagerness to impress. To give back and become the guru of the Get Together if you will. So here goes. In no particular order, these are the three ideas I will be presenting to the Drovers Centre manager next week:

Neighbourhood Watch
A group of real ale enthusiasts who sit on the benches outside the Duke of Cambridge pub and watch the world go by, while drinking. 

William ‘over the’ Hill
A once-a-week outing to a betting shop where attendees are taught the joys of accumulator, each-way and on-the-nose betting. Bound to be an odds-on favourite.

Chair Based Fight Club
Settle old scores. Winner by knockout, medical intervention, or one party “tapping out” to signal submission.

Joking aside, at Age UK Islington, we’re always on the look out for new Get Together hosts. If you have an idea you would like to share with us we’d love to hear from you. You can talk to the staff at an existing Get Together, or call us on 020 7281 6018. Just no fighting, please.

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