Request the Pleasure of your Company
In the Immemorial Custom of the Service, it is The Tradition that if Two Warships of the Royal Navy should pass on the High Seas, the Senior Captain shall hoist the Signal Flags R-P-C to Request the Pleasure of the Company of the Other Captain. If the Other Captain is able to accept the invitation, he will signal W-M-P for With Much Pleasure or — if circumstances do not allow — M-R-U for Much Regret Unable. The other Ship’s Officers and Men might subsequently make similar arrangements if the invitation is accepted.
If you were to see a similar signal flying over the Stoop Deck of The Villa, you should deduce that the Commanding Officer is enjoying a beer in the sunshine and, further, that you are welcome to join him for refreshments and polite conversation. The proprietors at The Stoop Deck usually have beer aplenty but, if your tastes incline more towards the continental style such as Sauvignon Blanc with Ice or the more lubberly Thatcher’s Gold, you may prefer to supply your own provisions. In this modern era, guests of all genders and ages are welcome.
Do not send to know for whom the flag flies. It flies for thee.