On the way to the party on the train, I vaguely noticed someone sitting down next to me, then noticed after a while that he was looking at a Surrey Pub Guide that he'd pulled from a CAMRA bag. Looked up and it was Colin! 'Hi, didn't recognise you straight away' I said and Colin jumped a mile, he hadn't taken any notice of me either!!
Met up again with Colin in the Spotted Dog where I had 2 pints of Youngs Bitter, in good condition and only £2.15 a pint. Then off to the Kings Head to join the others, the guest ales were Wychwood '3 Witches', Archers 'Chocaholic' and Cottage 'Xmas Cottage' - all excellent, I had a pint of each during the course of the evening.
I seated myself in the middle which I later thought was a mistake, as I was a prime target for pellets of cracker foil and paper aeroplanes. Most of these I think came from John Norman, Martin Bundy, Rob Wells and Roy Golding, but they were sat behind me so difficult to keep an eye on!
Martin and Jenny Longhurst were opposite me, both wearing silly hats. Martin's was especially daft, being a top hat decorated like a chimney, which if you pulled a string a Santa appeared from the top like a jack-in-a-box. So I was gigglish even before Martin's ill-fated cracker joke 'What are 3 things which can make men go up in the world?' and I instantly guessed 'Viagra'...you don't want to know the other two!! I won a Magic Number Game in my cracker which kept Ralph amused - there is a similar one here http://www.bahraichfun.com/funnenjoy/genie.htm
The meal was very good as always, the options I'd chosen were chicken and cranberry roulade to start, then roast beef (gave most of the veg away), then blackcurrant cheesecake. I left feeling pleasantly full, happy and rather drunk. Another storming effort from Keith for organising it this year, thanks also to Sally and Keith for putting me up for the night, picking up bags, running me back etc etc!
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