My word of the week – klatch – Welcome them like an old friend


I am starting something new in order to become more aware of the English dictionary. My aim is to find and write about a new word every week. Having a choice of words is invaluable. Being able to describe situations, feelings and emotions through language is, in my eyes, one of the most powerful and effective tools you can use.

My word of the week – “klatch” – a casual gathering of people, especially for refreshments and informal conversation: a sewing klatch…

So “Klatch”, now to put this into context, I am going to use communication as my example.

This time last week I found myself within a klatch of friendly and like-minded people. A spontaneous adventure took me to the jewel of the south coast, Brighton, where I, like so many who have come here before, was in the search of a fun, carefree and memorable weekend.

Yes, that’s right… Brighton Pride had descended upon us once more. And as ever, the weekend promised drinks, dancing and the reality of leaving the colourful city with an empty wallet.

Famous for its spirited atmosphere, the event is a safe haven for anyone who is feeling “proud”, however I think it’s more than that. Correct me if I’m wrong, but there is hardly any trouble throughout the weekend, and people are genuinely inclined to meet new people through simple interaction and conversation. Whether this is on the Friday night at Club Revenge, during the eclectic parade, or throwing your hands up at the street party that follows. Many would agree that the best part of their “Pride weekend” is the people. The ones we know and are familiar with, the ones we meet for the very first time, and the occasional people who make a handsome impression.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m not a “Pride veteran”, by any stretch of the imagination, yet from what I gather, the feeling seems to be mutual. Every year I have been, I have come back having met new and exciting people, and this year was no exception.

There really is no need to tap into the dating sites, scrawl through your social media apps and hide behind a mobile device. If you take the time to look up out of your phone, you will find more than what you would from an “about me”. The loudest words are the ones that are spoken, not written…

I think it’s important to place yourself within a klatch from time to time, without limiting your choices to the people you already know.

Taking my argument outside of Brighton, when was the last time you met someone new?

Not too long ago, on a Sunday afternoon at a busy pub in west London, a young lady tapped me on the shoulder and in her poignant Australian accent, she asked whether I would mind if she sat with me, and the date I was on at the time.

To be fair, she wasn’t to know that I was on a date. It was more of a hungover lunch for two to be honest.

Much to my amazement, I instantly said yes. Firstly, her friendly smile persuaded me into pulling a chair out for her, and then it was the way that the drop-dead-gorgeous girl was holding her unfamiliar pint, that made me realise that maybe she just needs someone to talk to. Also thinking about it now, it was compliment that, out of the entire west London bar, she decided to approach us.

So we chatted and for the start, it was awkward, with the inevitable questions, “What are you doing here on your own? What do you do for a living? And are you mentally stable? (jokes), but in all seriousness towards the end of our drinks we were chatting, laughing and we even got an invite to her birthday bash she was throwing the next week.

Lets face it, that klatch was only going to go one of two ways. Either having a friendly chat and wanting to know more, or trying to pluck up an excuse to leave our burger to go cold on the table. Turns out, that was probably one to the best dates of my life, and personally I believe it was down to the shy girl who just needed someone to talk to.

Although this interaction, this “klatch” was spontaneous and seemed to turn out just fine, I can only imagine what was going through her mind, before making the first move on two strangers to ask whether she could sit with us. Rejection, discomfort, panic and self-awareness to say the least.

That whole situation inspired me, and since then, meeting new people has been something I would never take for granted. To this day, I feel as if I met a close friend in Amy. Now she lives on the other side of the world, yet her and I still keep in contact and I plan on visiting her as soon as soon as I possibly can.

As for the date I was with, not everything in life works out, but I think we both left the pub that day with a fresh perspective on society.

So whether you are at a festival weekend, out with your friends, or in a situation where you are don’t know anyone in the bar you are in. A friendly smile and a simple “hello” shouldn’t be looked down upon. Welcome new klatches as you would an old friend, they might just turn into one… 😉


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