White Hart

The White Hart in Godstone is a place where I meet with a close friend, named Penguin, to put the world to rights, to try and figure out answers to the questions and to have old fashioned conversations without using the internet to find out the real answers.

We normally meet on an evening and arrive around 19:30 and are the last people to leave, barring the few employees still around. Our usual waitress is Caroline. On the times when I have been there at different times somehow Caroline is working! I went on a Sunday with Smith and family and Caroline was working there and today, Caroline was on shift and looked after us for the duration of her time working, she left before us!

Our conversations are rather Sorkin-like. Or, at least that’s what we like to think. We jump from topic to topic and sometimes never resolve the original problem or question. I had intended to write up a summary of our conversation but after meeting and chatting it was quite clear I would not be able to do this. Our topics changed so frequently and jumped back and forth that to produce an accurate representation would require recording the conversation and then categorising it while listening to about six hours of audio. I couldn’t write stuff as we were talking, it took my concentration away from the listening.

Here’s what I managed to grab from the first 10-15 minutes:

  • XKCD and XKCD prints
  • Waitress and whether we should eat outside
  • The hierarchy of conversations
  • Gran Turismo 6 and my note pad
  • Fingernail and the rock evening
  • Punctuation marks
  • Cameras
  • 80s pop music and memory theories concentrating on facial recognition.

This does not include any matters that were discussed that shouldn’t appear in this particular format! To keep recording conversations for about 5 hours would be detrimental to the conversation. Maybe next time we should hire a stenographer?

These are the presents I received and I’m very happy with them too. In my opinion you can’t go wrong with Lego and a book explaining how to watch NFL is a good move.


We do allow ourselves a chance to correct or inform post-meeting. If one of us finds out something important or a correction then we SMS each other. I got a link to this graphing website after discussing The Newsroom and The West Wing [both Sorkin]. I also got some news about a couple of New Orleans Saints players who might be traded.

My time spent in Godstone is incredibly precious to me. It’s a chance to really nerd-out and discuss any issue without fear of what might be thought of me. I am very grateful for this.