Monday, December 13, 2004

So the social whirl of Xmas is well and truly with us. Over the last week, I’ve had three very different social functions to attend.

Firstly, last Monday saw the Oxfam gathering on Carmen Miranda’s on Chandos Road. It was a nice chance to say a proper goodbye to managers Ray & Liz plus the vast multitude of volunteers, who keep the place open. I’m still amazed at the number of people who give their time, I was still meeting people who were new to me on Monday, after a couple of months helping out in the shop. As is often the case with these sorts of events, the food was merely average, but the company was great. They are a really good crowd; hopefully I’ll manage to keep in touch with some of them.

Next up was the festive gathering of the Monday (and occasional Sundays) football gang. Numbers were a bit depleted, for various reasons, but it turned into another enjoyable evening out. Most of the chaps I play with are involved in music or TV, with some fascinating tails to tell. We had a long and free ranging debate about the current state of both industries, whilst enjoying the obligatory food of any football team night out – curry. It was also a good chance to catch up with a bit of detail on each other’s background; most of conversations when we see each are, inevitably dominated by football. So it was interesting to hear that one of my team-mates is a B.A.F.T.A judge. Whilst another had interesting schoolboy memories of one of my wife’s relatives! Sadly this additional team bonding exercise could not stop us was slipping to another defeat on Sunday. We lost 2-1, in a match that we really should have got something from.

Saturday saw one of the traditional pre-cursers of Xmas, Teresa’s birthday gathering. On this occasion, the humorous country band “Wilma”, featuring her boyfriend Steve were playing a gig at The Old Fox on Gloucester Road. Despite the relative proximity of the pub to our house, The Old Fox is not a place which I have visited for around 20 years, my only knowledge of the place these days, was from seeing the massed ranks of gleaming motor bikes standing proudly outside of an evening. The prospect of a country band playing a bikers pub was interesting to say the least and initially, Teresa and her friends stayed well to the back of the pub, trying hard not to get in the way of the eager pool players and the steady stream of punters trying to get to the toilets. As they evening wore on and drink went down, the approval for the band rose throughout the pub, turning the potentially tricky fixture into a good away win for the boys from Wilma.

We ended the weekend with a trip to Bath to see the lovely Jeremy Hardy chatting away for a couple of hours. Really rather splendid.

Orynthia’s mum should be coming out of hospital today and over the weekend my sister called my mum and spoke to her for the first time in three years! So for once things with our respective families are looking pretty good!!


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