A thing that happens to me on my regular wanders around London for business or public appearances: seeing private clubs. By which I don’t mean strip joints or the like, but members’ clubs. I passed one called, I think, The Society Club, on Friday. Lovely-looking little place, agreeably populated with eccentric-looking artistic types, as seen through their windows and the door with the coded lock. I’ve briefly been inside the Groucho Club as the guest of a member a couple of times, but, beyond that, have no real idea of what the experience of being a member of a club is like. And then, suddenly, clubs somehow became a topic of conversation on my travels. British literary society, no capitalisations this time, as a club I’m not a member of. Or, in fact, any artistic community, really. A few acquaintances who seem to go out to book launches all the time. Someone even asking me if there’s a club I meet at. (A thing you need to know about clubs is that if you don’t know at least two other members who can “sponsor” you, you don’t get to join and give them a couple of grand a year.)
People in my general field talk a lot about impostor syndrome. Part of that is down to the fact that some people will never be invited in to the place where they assume all The Others are. So you make your own, and then you realise, down the line, that you’re not part of it, just the idiot who runs it.
Eventually, you’ll adjust to looking through windows every day. You’re on the outside, in the world, after all.
The photo below is of the door of Viktor Wynd’s, which is not a club – I’m just using the photo for my own amusement.