Following the previous post about founding member Robin leaving 115, here is the first of a few personal reactions to the news.
I’m going to miss Robin’s quiet but assured presence in the building very much. He’s a man who wears his many talents lightly and doesn’t impose, but whose authority is nevertheless evident. The ‘father of the house’ – a little older than other members, as well as being the instigator of the whole thing – he never harked back or opposed innovation. His instincts are always for improvement, refinement, progress. He’s generous with and self-deprecating about the privileges his background gave him. We’d often meet at the coffee hob around 11am, and he’d intimate that – if coffee was available, and being brewed, and even perhaps being brewed in greater quantities than were immediately required – he could certainly be persuaded to have some. Those coffee moments were the site of entertaining and unexpected conversational diversions, or of nothing more than an exchange about the football. On one occasion there was only half a cup of something cold, and brewed the day before. He said he was perfectly happy with that: ‘I went to public school,’ he said. That wry joke, encapsulating as it does both diffidence and an allusive candour, is typical of Robin.
His new venture is only a stone’s throw away, and I’m hopeful that the quality of the coffee at 115 might persuade him to be passing by around 11am of a weekday morning in the Corona-free uplands of 2021 and beyond.