May 21: such thing as a free lunch

Last week was a week studded with free events. On Saturday I was invited to the Chelsea v Nottingham Forest match at Samford Bridge. On Wednesday morning I was invited to see the final rehersal of the Budapest Festival Orchestra before their Mahler 9 concert in the evening and at lunch time on the same day I was invited to a meal at the soft opening of a new restaurant in Mayfair. All these outings were free. They all suit me. Football; Mahler; food. Three of my favourite activities. I ask myself whether I should think that these invites are merited in some way. Have I put myself in the way of them? Do they reflect on me or are they just random? Do you get gratuities by frequenting the right sort of people, or perhaps by coming across in the right way? In which case, I have worked for my supper. There is no such thing as a free lunch, they say. But this would imply that I have done something to deserve these events. It would be presumptious to say that I have. They are just chance. A ticket going spare; an event offered as a marketing bait; a chance neighbourly encounter. They are random felicities which have come about through no work or competence on my part. But don’t worry. There will be occasions where I will have to do painful stuff for nothing. On such occasions I will remember the Mahler and bite my lip.

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