21.11.06

Day 36 (week 8): Chambers’ tea

Since I have not yet described Chambers’ tea, let me now do so. It happens every afternoon at 4.30pm on the dot. Despite the fact that we are now all on email, each member of Chambers is called by the Clerks and told that tea is being served. Probably about fifteen people turn up each afternoon and it is always quite an occasion.

As a pupil, the lesson I learned very early on was not to speak unless spoken to and even then to keep it as brief as possible. You’ve basically got a room full of egos sitting around on their own personal highs, usually after a day in court. Lets them wind down before getting back to their families. Lots of victories to report and anecdotes to regale and if anyone at all interrupts them, never mind a pupil, then woe betide. This means that after a day of jousting they are all overly polite towards each other. Lots of “No, after you”s floating around add to a very peculiar mix.

Today, BusyBody learned the same lesson the hard way. She accidentally interrupted the Head of Chambers whilst he was lamenting times past. He obviously gave her the floor, ready for an immediate put down. All she was wanting to do was to mention the case she had been on that morning and how interesting she had found it.

After an awkward silence from everyone at the end of her little whimpering monologue, the Head of Chambers then said:“And that is why, Pupils should always be seen and not heard.”

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