Tuesday 26 December 2006 8.10pm
Though honoured, I really cannot accept this award.
With the current investigation into cash for honours, it would reflect badly on the Convention of Lurkers if there were any suggestion that their award could be bought - even for chocolate cake.
Understanding as always, the Convention has agreed that the award be reconsidered. Luckily they have also agreed to allow proxy votes, for those lurkers too shy to attend the main meeting. (Inevitably some were spotted lurking outside.)
So after some discussion with friends in Walton-on-Thames and a detailed reading of the Consititution, we felt it would be acceptable for us to both nominate and elect the SE1 Forum Poster of the Year 2006 on behalf of the Conventin of Lurkers.
The question then was who. It has been a busy year. Maurits got married. Ivanhoe disappeared and then returned. James Hatts posted more than ever before, though often sounding quite cross. Birdie has vanished, as has Mapmaker. TLMJJ threatens to leave for Australia though this hasn't happened yet. And Sarah MC's departure seems similarly delayed. Niall Connolly left but returns from time to time.Jackie remained on fine form despite a tough start to the year. Julie had a baby and Plum had two. Jac's Tupperware party was great, whilst Andrew H's fearless investigations led him on the trail of the Chinese Elvis and Driscoll House.
Sidhue, after overcoming the sad loss of her cider a previous year, played a strong card by keeping us up to date on her music downloads, but in the end being an amazing cook, understanding technology, and enjoying obscure music was a bit intimidating. Likewise TUMJ's descriptions of sailing in the Thames involved a bit too much detail for some of the more prudish amongst us.
We also saw new members. Tattie is fun, whilst Fred has livened the old place up a bit. Medic 2000 and Pat seem to have disappeared as quickly as they arrived. WestofBank may deserve an award for bravery in the face of continued fire.
Rabbie's erudition continues to amaze, and must surely merit some form of recognition. JonR and Loafer made strong contributions to a variety of threads. We also agreed that Phoney should have an honerable mention, not least for his quick reporting of the ice space. (Just as well given it melted soon afterwards.)
But in the end we had a clear winner. Jan the Old One.
Aside from Biscuit Boy, none of us have me her. And he isn't telling. So she may be the Girl from the Tanning Shop for all we know.
The award recognises both the resiliance shown this difficult year, and the strength of contributions in the past.
Only Jan could start a thread about a hairdresser and have it lead down a far more educational path. The post by her daughter about accessing support from Southwark Social Services must rank as one of the most touching of all time. (Though the man dying of cancer and unable to pay Southwark's bill for unwanted replacement windows probably wins in this unhappy category.) But most of all it is Jan's cheerfulness and common sense and her deep knowledge of and interest in the area that puts her in front.
Traditionally the Convention of Lurkers do not offer a prize. However in these special circumstances I would be happy to invite Jan to celebrate her victory, perhaps over dim sum at the Dragon Castle, or maybe a bar/pub with suitably comfy sofas. House Husbands from Balham, the Edgeware Chamber of Commerce, IT bods everywhere, and real SE1 posters would be welcome to join us and hear Jan's acceptance speech.
Again I would like to thank the Convention of Lurkers. I hope that next year, with a new Prime Minister, such sensitivities will not exist and that you will be able to accept whatever hospitality registered members of the Forum choose to offer you.
In the meantime may I take this opportunity to wish all Forum members and lurkers a Happy New Year.