|The BRA Winter Lunch was held in a new venue, the NH hotel, a short walk from Fribourg railway station. As so often happens when we have concerns about winter weather, 28 January turned out bright, sunny and warm. The hotel was easy to get to by foot or car, although we adventurous souls took 20 minutes to find the hotel’s underground car park. More sensible members just parked in front. 47 members and guests gathered for a drink and a chat before the meal. Indeed they were so busy chatting that they had to be herded into the dining room. Noreen had planned for 6 tables of 8 each, so the hotel provided 7 tables of 7 each. Such are the quirks of the hospitality industry. Perhaps they thought that we did not believe our own figures. Once seated, the Chairman used the Grace to remind the room that it was the time of year when Scots celebrated Robert Burns. He then offered everyone best wishes for the new year 2017 and for the year of the Rooster as it was the weekend of the Chinese New Year. After that, the wine flowed freely, the meal proved tasty and filling, and the noise level rose to a satisfactory level.
It was then time to settle back and listen to Diccon Bewes, our speaker, who is an English author now well-settled in Bern. Despite still recovering from losing his voice earlier in the week, he gave a very humorous and enlightening talk about Switzerland. His insights into the Swiss way of life had those present rolling with laughter; each anecdote had someone in the room nodding because it had happened to them. Diccon had brought some of his books. He explained how each was conceived and produced, from his original “Swiss Watching” to his latest tome, “Around Switzerland in 80 Maps”. That his talk was well appreciated was evidenced by the way his samples were quickly snatched up for reading on the train or as gifts to (good) Swiss friends. After that, it just remained to thank the hotel for looking after us so well, Diccon for entertaining us, Sam Eldin for his legwork around Fribourg and, of course, Noreen for once again arranging an event which went smoothly and provided all that was needed for a pleasant day out with friends.
Now, where is the entrance to that car park?