Thomas Grey once wrote,
“The boast of heraldry, the pomp of power,
And all that beauty, all that wealth e’er gave,
Awaits alike th’ inevitable hour:-
The paths of glory lead but to the grave.”
It was always going to be an AGM that would be less boring than any of the previous ones. The furore about the public posters about the stolen cyclamen guaranteed a meeting whereby moving motions would thankfully be kept to a minimum. After arriving at 5.30 pm, Helvi and I took our seats around a large table. I immediately went for the head of the table. This would ensure that both my impaired ears were in line with whoever spoke from either side. I immediately noticed the carafes and glasses on their coasters in the middle of the conference table. The place was also heated. A sure sign that this Strata Body’s AGM was going to be a real bottler.
Five of the eight possible town-house owners, capable of voting were present and somewhat gingerly took their seats. We had anticipated that the issue of the posters was going to be kept last. There were still some issues to be dealt with, not least of all, the inevitable accepting of previous minutes of the last AGM and financial statements. I noticed that the Extraordinary GM whereby the dodgy quote for painting was dealt with together with the threat of the Strata Body Corporate losing their license, because of the irregularities of funding were exposed (by this writer) were conveniently not mentioned. The atmosphere was tense if not electrifying. AGM’s can never reach that sort of level. It’s not like a rugby game in Wales, nor like the procedure of politicians leaving the House pre-maturely and a Government losing a vote for the first time in over fifty years.
At last after much wrangling the Poster issue was raised. It wasn’t a motion nor foreshadowed and I resisted the temptation to raise an objection. We were getting very hungry, and even though I drank some water, I don’t like gnawing hunger. But, and here comes the punchline. I was nominated ‘secretary’! After all that. The Poster complaint was wiped away when I mentioned we followed the police’s advice in notifying the neighbours by stapling up ‘Thief Alert’ posters. One lady had taken a large rock to the meeting, claiming it was hurled at her door as a result of my posters. She blatantly lied. I pointed out that putting up a poster doesn’t mean rocks would be hurled around.
It never stops. I am now a secretary. Unbelievable.