If I were to tell you that I belonged to a secret club would you believe me? And if I were to tell you that this club didn’t need a membership and that it happened on a regular basis, on Mondays, in the middle of the day, would you believe me? Probably not, but that is indeed what I’m going to tell you.
I’ve been going to the #MeetUpMondays for 6 months now and here’s the honest truth!
I belong to this club, this amazing club. Secret club? Well, I’m probably pulling your leg slightly on that one but not altogether. You see, when people turn up, innocently, to the #MeetUpMondays at the Alexandra Pub in Wimbledon, they are not sure what to expect. The reception that everyone receives is so warm and encompassing that once having visited, they keep coming back. So you see, #MeetUpMondays asks nothing of you, makes no demands but gives so much in return no one ever wants to leave.
So do you think I’m exaggerating when I call it a secret club?
Why you’re going to ask, do people keep going back? What’s so special about the #MeetUpMondays?
When Mick started this venue back in January 2018 he probably had no idea how much of an impact he was going to make on people’s lives. Some people came because they were told about this by friends or loved ones, others just tumbled along, some like me heard about it through television or twitter and turned up. The fact is, it doesn’t matter how why you show up at the Alex, whether you’re by yourself or with a friend. The truth of the matter is, once you turn up you never leave.
This is what happens. You make friends with total strangers. I know that sounds weird but it’s really quite cathartic. There is something quite special about bonding with strangers. It’s quite implicit that “what goes on at the Alex stays at the Alex”. There is this unequivocal understanding that whatever you say or share whilst at the Alex will stay safe and undisclosed to the general public. Being there on Monday lunchtime becomes like a social session at therapy without the need to go see a therapist. This is what makes Mondays so special and this is what makes everyone keep coming back week after week.
The #MeetUpMondays is run discreetly. We’re in a separate section of the pub, away from other customers so as to not disturb. After all, we are close to 50 people every time and we wouldn’t like to disturb anyone. You see, Mick sings some of the questions of the weekly quiz and the noise from the bingo is quite loud as well, legs eleven and all that! We also have prizes being raffled thanks to the continuous generous donations from the public and local companies alike. Yes, the room is full of warmth, with free food and drink as well, but it’s the generosity of spirit that reigns above all.
We all share our news, welcome those new amongst us, know when to talk and when not to talk, be there in silence or listen kindly to whatever is being shared with us. We are all from different walks of life, different ages, different paths led us here. But once at the Alex, everyone is equal on every front. There are bellows of laughter, secrets shared, emotions unraveled, a chance to speak and share, your voice is heard and your words matter. We all feel better, relaxed by the time it comes to leave and plans are made for the week by some and goodbyes are said by others until we all meet again the following Monday.
Monday is special you see. Monday is the day of the Secret Club. And I’m part of it and proud of it too! How clever was Mick to start this up! It was one idea. One idea only. And look how that one idea has become the Monday lynchpin in people’s lives, making ripples on a national scale as well. Well, I’m still calling it the Secret Club! Mick is ever so proud of his venture, he can’t believe it’s come this far. Positive thinking and actions speak louder than words. Come and join us if you wish we’d love to have you!