I stood at a cocktail party once. Those were the days when business meetings could afford cocktails. I was in my late twenties, admittedly nervous and keen to make an impression. I knew no-one in the group of about 6 standing around me. I stood on the fringes for a while, listening, then kind of shuffled my feet subtly in order to move my way into this circle of clearly impressive people. After 3 or 4 minutes they seemed to accept my presence at least, though no-one looked at me. Then someone started talking about working from their new house in the south of France.