Have you heard about the Hurlingham Club? If you have, you know much more about London private members’ clubs than I did a week ago. Apparently, the Hurlingham Club is recognised as one of Britain’s finest private members’ club, it was established in mid-nineteenth century and was the cradle of Polo until the Second World War. Becoming a member of the Club is no mean feat – there is a ten year waiting list when an off-peak membership is offered; full voting membership is awarded only after another ten years. Not to mention all other hurdles and hoops one ought to jump through to ‘join the club’.
Imagine curiosity and delight when about a week ago I was invited to dine at the Hurlingham Club – this explains the picture of one of the reading rooms that I took while waiting for my host to collect me. More amazingly, I was invited there by the colleague – an academic – who invited me to give a seminar at one of the London universities. Except that he was no ordinary academic – this was his second career and the first was as an investment banker.
Hurlingham itself is certainly old money although today the membership, I suspect, is mixed: the elegance of the waiting room, the quite efficiency of the stuff and the relaxed atmosphere of the club-house. Dinner was much more relaxed than in a ‘normal’ restaurant, I was with interesting company and the waiter was a wonderful Turkish guy with whom I struck a conversation. And the chef was Bulgarian!
Great dinner aside, the opportunity to talk to a former investment banker made me realise something important: banking is probably an industry that will be impossible to run without the generous pay and bonuses. It is an industry in which people burn and are burned: investment bankers get sacked not because they have made a mistake but because they have reached their peak!
From old money I moved to new friends: this weekend was the second UK Blog Up. It took place in London where UK personal finance bloggers spend couple of days discussing, catching up, exchanging tips and looking into the future.
It was wonderful to meet some of old friends – particularly Miss Thrifty, Chris, Nick and Rachel from rplan and, of course, the woman who brought us again together Karen from Help Me To Save: thank you Karen for all your hard work and ingenuity. And, of course, it was wonderful to catch up with Adam from the Magical Penny.
We also made some new friends. A blogger I had wanted to meet for couple of years now is Viviana from The Lean Times: it is as exciting to talk to her as it is to go on her blog. I was also looking forward to meeting Donal from MoneySavingChallenge: good work, Donal, and hope to stay in touch.
Apart from friendship what is the take-away:
1) There are serious legal, moral and ethical issue that bloggers ought to be careful about; problem is that in blogging the more traditional legislation and ethical boundaries are failing and new ones have not been established.
2) People can try and play SEO and game the system but nothing beats traditional approaches like building social networks. And, hard as this may be, try to think about ways that bypass Google.
3) The blogosphere is a ‘noisy space’ – to be heard one needs to find their distinctive voice and then work on its strength.
4) One can choose to have fun or make money. But there is so much fun in making money :).
Looking forward to seeing you all again soon!
Also, The Money Principle did really well this week being included in six personal finance carnivals: