I'm the kid in this twisted gay family
Are you trying to seduce me, Mrs Robisons?
Originally, there were six of our number due to trek out to Wales for the 3rd annual Lifeguard Convention, organised by Boscombe Lifeguards. However, scant days before leaving, Annant discovered he had to paint his nails in his new room, and dropped out. On the plus side, it did mean we then all fitted into the one car! Then, on the day of departure, Chris and Aimee's boiler exploded, destroying all life for a 5 mile radius around their house. This meant they had to stay at home to look after the plumbers, and couldn't come either. Since they were the ones with the car, this presented somewhat of a problem to the remaining three. The time was then 8:00am
Many frantic phone calls later, it was discovered that the bus was out (there was only one a day, and it'd left), Boscombe could pick up only one of the three people, and that we'd never be hired a car. So, train it was then. Nick and Nic bought tickets, and prepared to get a train out of Oxford at about 5. Alex, who was at work, was phoned (a quite scary task owing to his overly cautious employeers....) and told to get a train also. The time was then 11:30am
At this point, the bulk of the day passed mostly without incident. Packing occured, Nicola actually made it to Oxford, and Boscombe got caught in lots of traffic. We rendezvoued at appropriate stations, bought tickets, heard mumblings about rail strikes, and departed towards Crewe. It was about 6pm.
On arrival at Crewe, we discovered that Alex was on a train due in a few minutes later, that our outbound train wasn't listed on the board, and that there really wasn't anywhere to buy food other than sandwiches. As we sat in a grotty cafe eating sandwiches and waiting for Alex, we kept hearing mumblings about buses on the station forecourt. Around the time Alex finally arrived, we discovered it was our train that'd been replaced with a bus. "How nice" we thought, and headed off to find said bus.
The station forecourt was madness. There were 3 buses, lots of confused people, some confused drivers, and no Virgin staff (duh!). We discovered that one of the buses was off to Bangor, but not knowing anything about where we were, let alone where we were going or where that was near, we didn't know what to do. Then, a brainwave struck! Cat lived near Wales, so she ought to know more about Welsh geography than us (hardly difficult). We rang Cat's house, but she wasn't in. Instead, her then drunk mother laughed at us for having no idea where we were going, but did tell us that Bangor wasn't really where we wanted to be. Ah well, we thought, and didn't get on that bus.
As the buses headed off, and the numbers of people didn't drop that much, we realised that there might be a problem. A rather stressed Virgin rep finally admitted that they were a bus short, and disapeared. We stood around for a bit, and finally he returned and started putting people into taxis, all the way to north Wales.... It took about 20 more minutes before our turn came round, and we were bundled into a taxi with someone going nearby, and started trying to phone people to discover where it was we were heading. At this point, we discovered the taxi wouldn't start! Luckily the other drivers gave us a push start, but we felt this was rather typical. As we headed over the boarder and into the unknown, we finally got enough directions for the taxi driver to know where to take us, and we finally arrived at the campsite about 10pm.
We quickly dropped off our stuff on our very own caravan (takes 10). Somehow, known not to anyone, Nicola (by far the smallest) managed to wangle the double bed, leaving Nick and Alex to strugle with undersized single beds. At this point, we headed off to the bar to meet the others.
Friday night was relativly civilised (for a lifesaving event....), and not tooo much was drunk by all concerned. Well, maybe all except Tom! The band playing in the bar were quite good, especially the blues numbers towards the end. Alex flirted outragiously with a married 40-something woman, much to the ammusement of everyone on the dance floor. Nick and Steve decided to swap sisters, for reasons that later escaped them... The charity slave action (initied by us) went quite well, until the Haven staff realised we were actually quite serious, and quickly put a stop to it..... When the bar shut, everyone headed back to the "cool cats" Boscombe caravan for more drinking. Alex then grabbed a broom and started to show off his tricks, which almost no-one else could match. Oh, and the Nicola - bloke attraction was noticed by all for the first time.
Saturday morning saw Alex up bright and early, buying and cooking breakfast. Don't say they don't train them well in the civil service... ;-) As we sat in our caravan, drinking TEA and eating bacon sarnies, we watched some daytime TV and lamented how bad so much of it is. Oh, and Nicola declared to all "I'm the kid in this twisted gay family". Right.... Eventually, we summoned the enthusiasm to trek to another caravan, and discovered that it was time to go swimming. After a quick pit stop to collect swimming kit, and a second try to collect passes, we headed over to the pool.
The pool had three sections, a baby pool, the splash pool for the slide (not
in use) and a main pool, which was maybe 20x8 meters. There was one
"lifeguard" for the main pool, two for the baby pool, and a duty manager
to be found about from time to time. We started off with some swimming
relays, which quickly cleared us plenty of space. We then did a wave
machine, a whirl-pool, and some more relays. Starting to get bored, we spotted
a diving manequin, and took it for a play. Unfortunately, the lifeguard
didn't take kindly to us using his kit, and took it back. Ditto his chair
(when placed in the pool), his rescue ropes (which we had to untangle and
unknot before use, and let's not even start on how they coiled it), and a
few other training aids. Requests to know what qualifications the lifeguards
had went unanswered, normally in quite a sheepish manner. They even had the
cheek to say we were causing problems as they had to watch us. Maybe we
should've told them that on entering the pool, we probably pushed their
swimmer/Lifeguard ratio down to the envious figure of about 2. Still, that
didn't help us after they took objection to our human pryamid and called
security to throw us out of the pool!
On the way back from the pool, we went and found the sea. Well, kinda. We found the beach, and looked out a vast distance to where the sea probably was. We assume that at high tide there was water....
After a quite lazy lunch, we spent the rest of the afternoon watching the girls shortening their nurses dresses (apparently they weren't short enough), some of the guys being given dresses to wear, and Tom having his arm plaster casted in the kitchen. Silly boy didn't think we'd plaster it with fibre glass in a kitchen, with his mum there. If only he'd know how easy it is to do, and that his mum had put him up for it...
As the evening drew in, we cooked another classic caravan dinner using virtually no cooking impliments, dressed up as doctors (the theme was Doctors, Nurses and Patients) and started on the snakebite blacks. We managed quite a few drinks as we all waited for everyone to be ready, and finally about 9pm headed over to the bar. On the way, Nicola happened to mention her earlier family relations comment to Joe. Quite ammusingly, he initially took it seriously, thinking this was an admission of something going on between Nick and Alex! The coverstation quickly degenerated into discussions of lesbian love children, and other qwirks of college families, which left the non Oxford types looking all the more bemused...
The looks we got on arrival at the bar were truely classic. The door staff just didn't know what to make of us! After a brief trip to one bar, we discovered a bar quiz about to start, and quickly exited to the second. Here we were quickly spotted, attracting a few security guards to keep an eye on us, and many a questioning look or comment from the millions of small children that seemed to litter the floor. After quite a few drinks, and some frankly dreadful formation dancing, we headed back to the first bar just as the band came on.
Around this point in time, memories become a bit hazy. From here on in, the report will make use of the photos in an attempt to figure out just quite what happened....
What can be remembered was that many of us took to the dance floor, and Haven decided to station two staff on the floor with us, to keep and eye on the proceedings. The band were better than on the first night, doing a fair number of styles, but their blues towards the end was generally regarded as their best. At one point, bloke decided to strip (the reason escapes all of us, if he even needed one...). He got down to his pants, flashed his arse a bit, but refused to go full monty. The band took offense to this, and spent the rest of the night calling him "Mr Perywinkle", nice! Tom failed to get any phone numbers, until a few of the girls took pitty and wrote their's onto his cast. While they lasted, there was much silliness with latex gloves, as would be expected. At one point, there was a couple's gameshow on the stage, for which none of our lot were asked to join in (strange that...). Still, we did manage to steal two of the pens from the stage, and nearly made of with one of the chairs before one of the staff notice! What is it about Haven staff and missing chairs....? The dancing got progressivly sillier, and virtually everyone had a go at pulling Nicola!
At some point, we headed back to the caravan for a quick pint (bar prices were suprisingly high). Unfortunately, most of our drink was in another caravan, so we only had beer left. Not a problem for Nick or Alex, but for Nicola, it was another matter. Well, her attempts to drink it ammused us, even if they didn't her!
At some point around 1am, the bar shut, and we wandered back to the caravans. Now able to collect the rest of our drink, we made up some more snakebites and headed over to Massey's. Here we watched the very very funny Sinderella, along with audience participation provided by Massey (who's clearly seen it faaar to many times....). It might just've been our inebriated state, but it was very good and funny. Well worth watching at 1 in the morning if you can get a chance!
We were awoken on Sunday morning by Boscombe, looking for their missing
member, Bloke, who'd been a dirty stop out. We joined in their search,
and he was eventually found and returned to his home club.
Alex, meanwhile, had very kindly cooked breakfast and made TEA. What would we have done without him? We packed up, watched some TV, and generally loafed around. Finally, we said our good bye's, packed into the car of the very nice Nial from Crawley, and headed off.
Unfortunately, the travel gods still had it in for us. Despite some cunning navigation, it still took us an age to reach Crewe. Owing to train times (!praise Railtrack on your phone), we planned to push on to Birmingham International. Trouble is, everyone had similar plans, and we got stuck in jam after jam after jam.... We finally got to the NEC about 10 minutes after our train, so decided to carry onto Banbury. More traffic later we finally got there, and stood on a train back to Oxford. Ah well, at least the weekend was good even if the travel wasn't!
Monkey Nuts! Monkey Nuts!
So, what do you do on Sunday of 1st week? Essays are due in, collections have just happened, tutorials are about to start.... Simple, you go round to Nick's for a meal and a committee meeting, then go out on the piss!
After one of the more productive committee meetings of recent times, and a particually nice roast dinner, there was some decent on where to go to. The Cowley faction (Nicola and Annant) wanted to go to Temple bar. The rest of us thought that going somewhere a bit nearer might be a good idea. Much debate ensued, but the monkey nuts at the nearby Bookbinders Arms swung it, so we walked round the corner.
On arrival at the Bookbinders, Chris and Aimee demonstrated they were either very very nice people, or completely off their trolleys, and bought a round :-) We found a table, collected not insignificant quantities of monkey nuts, and settled down for a quiet pint
Not long after this, Nicola started getting phone calls from people in town, and started moaning about being in Jericho not Cowley. Luckily, a map was to hand, and we managed to show we were closer to town than Hilda's was, so she should stop complaining about it being too far out. Still, when we'd finished our drinks, we agreed to head into town rather than staying in Jericho.
The Lamb & Flag was our first point of call, where we met up with Cat. After a swift few pints, the eternal "to purple turtle or not to purple turtle" question raised its head. Much debate ensued, but we ended up going to Maxwells instead.
Maxwells was suprising. We arrived just after 11, and it was virtually empty. Admitedly it was the night before the start of term, so some of the more studious members of Uni would be tucked up in bed, but still... Half way through our cocktails the staff decided to close up early, so we could only stay for the one. We slowly headed off in our respective directions, with the Jericho crowd arriving home far earlier than the Cowley group....
Did we just pull each other and the DJ just for a bottle of
Free bar! Free bar!
Following the amazingly sucessful competition, there was an equally sucessful social, with a frankly scary number of cameras present to record the event for posterity. So, here we go with a report....
Some of the highlights:
Now for the details:
After the competition, we had to walk everyone down from the Dragon pool in north Oxford to Magdalen College, on the SE side of the town centre. Last year, this proved something of a challenge, as we were running a tiny bit late, and most people weren't expecting to trek so far. This year, we left the pool early, people were fore-warned, and so were mentally prepared for the walk. Thanks to all of this, we got the first people into hall by 6:32, and the only complaints seemed to be from Magdalen people bemused by the large queue!
Once everyone had had their fill (a gorgeous 2 courses), they drifted down to Magdalen bar, to drink and await the results of the competition. By about 7:40 we had everyone down, so we headed over to the sound system the Entz boys had so kindly provided, and started on the results. Once we'd got the far too smug Nottingham out of the way, we announced the groupings for the social, and sent everyone off on their seperate ways.
Chris and Aimee took the
old farts A teams off to the Head of the
River and then the Old Tom for some bitter drinking, and the odd drinking
game. Laura, Annant and Gail took a mixed bunch to the KA and then the
Turl for drinking games, and silliness with strawbery laces. Nicola and
Tab Dan (standing in for John Mills) took people for drinking fun to the
Turf and then the KA. Last, but by no means least, Nick, Cat and Katrina
took the baby freshers to the Turl and the Turf, subjecting them to
drinking games, things with lollies and strawberry laces, as well as
drinking of bitter and general merryment.
The social plans told everyone to get their groups to The Studio for 9:30, working on the principal that everyone was always late everywhere. Unfortunately, Gail and Nicola didn't realise this, and so got their teams out of the pub and into the club by 9:25! Everyone else followed on Lifesaving time, and made it there for about 9:45, which was just in time to start queueing for the free bar!
The free bar only ran for an hour, so everyone got in as many drinks as they could. You were only allowed one drink per trip, but somehow the girls always seemed to get a few extra... Still, most people managed 3 or 4, making the entry price of 3 quid seem like a bargin. Admitedly it was a bit townie, but luckily there wasn't tooooo much agro, and it was, like, cheap and the only place that'd take us!
Quite pleasingly, most of the clubs did spend a lot of the time talking to
each other. In true lifesaving social style, there was a fair bit of
pulling going on, mostly involving Birmingham though... Cat pulled one of
them, Laura another, and two of their number pulled each other. We're
still trying to identify a few other couples though!
Oh, and the following cryptic note about the pulling antics was found the next morning: Bham Beth pulled random for shoelace - anyone remember anything about this one?
Speaking of pulling and drinking, Nicola and Cat did quite well at getting
free bottles of sparkling out of the DJ. However, as the evening wore on,
he got less inclined to keep giving them out. On their final attempt, they
ended up pulling each other in front of the DJ, and then Cat played the
strawbery lace game with the DJ. Unsupprisingly, this was felt to be more
than worthy of a bottle, so they got yet another one. Question is, was it
worth it for them? ;-)
(They claim they just did the straw game to not quite the middle, and deny all knowledge of either of them kissing the DJ. You are free to believe whichever of these stories you wish).
Update: It seems that this wasn't the only pulling - Good boy Annant managed to get together with fresher Nikki! Alas the Nick was too pissed to notice, hence it took a while to make it here....
Greg (the social sec, who organised most of the social) never quite made it along - apparently the closest he got was the McDonalds round the corner. Nottingham and Southampton both headed off home in their buses at about 1am, while the rest stayed until the end, before making the trip back to the gym in high winds. The lights were only slightly better behaved this year, coming on at 7:30... at least most people were still drunk by that point, so no-one really minded too much. Well, not compared to the complaints leveled at the "loud" couple in the corner - you know who you are...
I thought you were meeting them?
No, no, you were meeting them!
Umm, so, was anyone there to meet them?
So, the plan was simple enough. Meet in Wadham bar at 7:45, if there was a pub quiz then we'd do it, if not we'd go and tour a few other college bars that happened to take our fancy. What could be complicated about that?
Chris and Aimee couldn't make it to the social, but that didn't matter, as everyone else was going. Nick went to a company presentation (with many many free drinks) before, which lasted until about 8:45. However, that didn't matter, as Nicola & Greg & co would be there on time. Nicola, Greg, Annant, Cat and Cat's sister Sarah went to St Hilda's formal hall. This overran until about 9, but that was fine as Nick, Chris and Aimee would be there.
At about 8pm, those few non committee members who'd turned up got fed up of waiting in Wadham lodge, and sloped off home, feeling unloved. They have our sincerest appologies, and Greg (in his role as social sec) will buy them all pints. No really, he will....
At around quarter to 9, Nick stumbled out of Frevds, quite drunk and clutching 3 free beers. He started phoning everyone to find out where they were, but go no response. He headed towards Wadham, and finally got through to Nicola just before arriving in Wadham. At this point, everyone started to realise that things weren't quite going to plan.... After a quick scout of Wadham, which confirmed our fears - we'd lost everyone else from the social, everyone met up outside Ahmeds, and came up with a plan for the remainder of the evening.
After very limited debate, and Nick handing out two of his free beers, we all headed towards Pembroke bar, since most of us hadn't been there before. Unfortunately, on arrival we discovered it to be full of Haloween revelers, and rather too full for sitting down to a quiet pint. So, back outside we went to think further. After not very long a new plan had formed - we'd head to Christchurch, since it's just over the road.
In a well practiced style, we swept through the lodge as if we lived there, took a left and arrived at where Nicola thought the bar was. Only the one problem though, it seemed to be the JCR, doh! We quickly headed to the far side of the quad to rethink our plans. With bar-sense reading a big fat zero, we gave in and asked someone directions. A quick power walk to the other side of the quad, down a passage way and there we were.
We quickly got in some more drinks, and sat down. At this point, Nicola and Cat realised that two of the other guys in the bar were fellow Mathmo's, so we were all introduced. Now, appologies if these are spelt wrongly.... but we met Rishil and Rikhil, who are both 3rd years at Christchurch (hence they were to be found in Christchurch bar, cunning that one!). Quickly tiring of just sitting, we headed round the corner and made a start on playing some pool.
Around this point, Ragini made it along to join us, much to the delight of Rishil and Rikhil. We continued to talk, play pool, listen to the Jukebox and all the other normal things, until last orders was called. Deciding that we weren't yet quite drunk enought, we drifted off towards Maxwells. Tragically, Nicola, Annant and Greg sloped off at this juncture, leaving just the hardened drinkers behind.
Maxwells wasn't quite as empty as it was on our previous visit, but it still wasn't packed. We selected some tables and got some drinks in. Around this point, it once again seemed very amusing to keep stealing Cat's cigarettes. Probably the best filtch was by Nick, who took the packet, hid it up his sleeve, denied all knowledge of them, poped to see some other friends on another table, and had someone from there drop them back, much to Cat's bemusement. Still, it did greatly reduce her smoking for the evening, so mission acomplished.
Cheesy music and a ridiculously high female:male ratio, what more could you want from an evening?
Despite copious email advertising by Greg, and the offer of free tickets to lifesavers this bop was disappointingly attended - `Chrisamiee' were already out drinking excessive amounts of low quality wine, Nick was faffing about on a train station platform somewhere in the Home Counties, and Annant was being scholarly. Meanwhile Nicola, Cat and Greg displayed that when Lifesavers go to a bop, they take over the bop!!!
The evening began with Cat braiding Nicola's hair whilst enjoying several bottles of Tesco's cheapest red wine. Greg by this time had set up the Hilda's sound system and had begun to DJ at the bop, catching up with his school friends in the process. Nic & Cat finally arrived to strut their moves on the dancefloor at about 10pm, not particularly in `Bad Taste' dress (although by continuing to go out with Martyn, Nicola could be said to define bad taste...). By this time the hall was filling up nicely, and alcohol was flowing rather well. After a few Heineken's Greg had the rather foolish idea of teaching Cat and Nicola to DJ, after which the gruesome twosome refused to leave the decks, playing such classics as Daphne and Celeste, and the possibly inappropriate `Like a Virgin'. Yet more booze was consumed, and all was well, until the time when in an argument over who was in control of the music Nicola accidental pressed `eject' for the CD about to be played, and knocked the master volume down, plunging the bop-goers into silence, and simultaneously destroying Greg's DJing reputation!!
Cue more crazed dancing (anyone remember Dirty Dancing?), with Greg masterfully engineering to play `Eternal Flame' whilst enjoying a slow dance with both Nicola and Cat. Despite his best, drunken, efforts there was no however no pulling to be had.
Nikki (dressed slightly blasphemously) appeared, wielding a camera, to provide the class photos you can see below. Raginni also made a cameo, looking all innocent and dressed in a sari. Martyn turned up to the post-bop drinking session and attempted to start fights with various medics and an obnoxious random at Queen's.
The next morning was ushered in with bad heads by all - Nicola awoke still fully dressed, and Cat (to her surprise) found a nearly naked Greg in a sleeping bag on her floor...
With my reputation...?
We'll be there this time, honest!
Yes, I'm from Trinity *cheesy smile*
Following the impressive lateness of the committee for the 3rd week social, we'd tried to ensure we'd be on time. The plan was to meet at 7:55 at Magdalen Lodge, and by 8:01 both Nick and Nicola had made it there. However, by 8:15 no-one else had... So, we headed to Magdalen bar for a pint and to wait for the others to arrive.
Eventually we managed to aquire numbers for most of the people we were expecting (some, like Annant, we already knew couldn't make it), and started trying to locate them. Just where Chrisaimee were is a mystery, but we did manage to ascertain that others would be along later. Since Katrina was expected to be the first to arrive, and we'd heard unfriendly things about the bar staff in Teddy Hall and New, we departed towards Jesus bar.
On the way, Nick's attempts to pop into Teddy Hall were thwarted by Nicola, but they still arrived at Jesus bar well in advance of Katrina (it seems that Nick had been there before in a drunked state, and hence was able to locate the bar first time around). Eventually Katrina made it, and shortly after Nikki turned up with a friend (Emily). Just as we were about to leave, even Greg managed to join us! Unfortunately, that was it for people for the social, but hey, we all had fun even if everyone else was off studying (or whatever other lame excuses they trotted out).
Having finished our drinks in Jesus, there was then a debate about where to go after there. Nick favoured Trinity, but Greg didn't want to go there in case he bumped into his girlfriend. At this point we discovered that despite being a Turl Streeter, Katrina had never been to Lincoln bar, so we opted to head over there. Our impressive college entering skills allowed us to effortlessly drift into college, and Nick lead the way down to the bar. Unfortunately, lots of other people had had similar ideas, so we were forced to go to the back room to find seats.
As well as seats in the back room, there was also some fancy thing behind a locked gate, and a computer. The latter seemed to prove irresistable, as several of our number logged into the club website to look at past social reports! Thankfully, we found somewhere in the main bar just after this, and left the computer behind.
As the clock turned somewhat closer to last orders, we decided to risk Trinity rather than stay for another drink. Getting in wasn't too much trouble once again, and we were quickly past those imposing gates and into the college. Greg, since his girlfriend is at Trinity, took the lead and we headed down into the basement that contained the bar.
At this point, we hit upon a slight problem. It seems that Trinity take the "members bar" thing that little bit more seriously than some. A quick bit of thinking lead Greg to claim that he was from Trinity, and we were his guests. The bar staff seemed quite happy with that one, and we started to order our drinks.
Unfortunately, just before Nicola was due to be served (she was the last one in the queue), Greg's girlfriend appeared in the bar. She was a tad unhappy about finding Greg in "her" bar, and happened to let slip within earshot of the bar staff that he wasn't from Trinity. This quickly put stop to Nicola's drink order, leaving her a bit miffed. Luckly for her (less so for Greg...), Nick stepped in, had a go at Greg's girlfriend(!), and she agreed to introduce Nicola to the bar so she could get a drink.
We eventually finished our drinks (Nikki having finally tried Smirnoff Black and decided she did like it), and headed off home, much to the delight of Trinity (doubt we'll be back there any time soon....). No-one was really up for any clubbing, so we headed our seperate ways, and that was that. We just need a few more people along next time...
"I've got a sick jug!"
"Greg, you are wierd!"
Following a fantastic competition, we also had a brilliant social. As usual vast quantities of drink were consumed, people did random things and Nick's all seeing camera was there to record all the sordid details.
After the competition, everybody got dressed up in school uniform. As Aimee had forgotten to provide the school uniform, it was all relative anyway involving random ties. However the girls rose to the occasion providing freckles, braids, homemade ties (thanks to London) and glitter (Nikki's) before attacking the guys with their makeup. Once we had sorted out our kit by stuffing it into Helen's car and Greg had (predictably) faffed around for a bit we made our way over to Cryfield for food. Having provided us with a communal plate of food `Chrisaimee' abandoned us to visit friends in Lemington. While waiting for the results and for the social to start Nikki and Kat started up a game of malteser hockey while Greg tried to get more food! Having decided that we didn't really want to be split up in the social, we hijacked one of the groups and started the pub-crawl....
Once we'd found some money, we started off in the union bar with colour-coded drinks matching to skittles. As we were talking and generally not paying much attention to what was happening, random Warwick people started to tape us together. Nic and Nikki decided to set the standard by going for 5-legged with Greg, Tab Chris and a random. Little did they realise exactly how far it was to the Varsity pub! The brummies were not very happy bunnies since they were all in shorts...painful. After a long walk, lots of stumbling and generally holding up all nearby traffic, the lifesavers made it to the next pub. Once the five of us (and Cambridge Liz) got through two jugs of cocktails, memories become hazy. Nikki managed to steal one of the jugs, which then spent the rest of the night in a convenient bush, Nick got Nikki's NUS card back from the bar despite only returning one of the jugs and someone was playing `silly buggers' with the camera. We played fast hands before finding our way to the Airport bar. Cheap wine drunk in funny ways was the order of the day...but we were thrown out of the bar fairly quickly thanks to Tab Dan jumping on the sofas. We headed back to the union where Annant's sister and random friends joined us briefly before the rest of us went on to the club.
Having been fairly quiet (for him anyway) all evening, Greg kicked up a fuss about paying entry fees into the club. Rather than argue with him, the bouncers let him in and most of Oxford followed him (after apologising). With cheesy music playing and drinks in hand, the iced-gems soon came out on the dance floor. There are suspicions that Greg kept a convenient packet for his own use but he was definitely homing in on any unsuspecting female (sometimes even without iced-gems....Nic?). As usual there was lots of pulling going on - Annant kept up tab relations with Liz and Sian. For some reason there was toothpaste all over the dance floor....no, we weren't hallucinating! Nick and Nikki managed to find a bus taking people to Lemington and persuaded it to stay while everybody else caught up. Nottingham joined us in Helen's room - she even gave us her bed! Kat seemed to put it to good use....so who was that Nottingham guy?
The following morning we were woken up at 8.30, as Helen needed to go to work. While packing up Nic found out she had lost her purse and all her cards so we tried to contact the union or anybody who could help but failed. `Chrisaimee' were woken up by us very early and told to meet us by Sainsburies - apparently the only thing open on a Sunday morning in Lemington! With many directions and a long walk we then found it shut! Luckily, McDonalds was nearby and as everybody knows, that's one place that never shuts. While Nic was cancelling all her cards, `Chrisaimee' came and gave Nick, Annant and Nikki a lift to the station before taking Nic, Greg and Kat home.
In true disorganised style, we didn't try to pick a date for the dinner until about two weeks before the event. The plan was to hold the dinner in Magdalen (as with last year), but at the last minute we discovered we couldn't book the room for a University function. So, after a quick panic, we settled on hosting the meal in Greg's kitchen in St Annes.
With a date and a location finally settled, we got around to inviting people. Quite amazingly, one old member (Alex Gough) found the notice long enough, and managed to make it down! Alas none others could, so we'll have to try for that bit more notice come the AGM.
The night before the dinner, a few of us had gone to see James Bond, but a combination of flooding and a shortage of tickets left us seeing Harry Potter. This did, however, aid in the planning of shopping, cooking etc, and thus it was decided that Nick and Annant would meet at 10.30 to do the shopping.
At 11.40 as Nick rocked towards Sainsburies, Annant finally woke up (in
Cowley). This did kinda set the scene for the timekeeping of the day...
Nick managed to get most of the shopping done by the time Annant arrived,
and just those pesky little things were needed before we could head off
towards Greg's house. The price was suprisingly low, the amount of food and
drink suprisingly big, and the walk with all that lot suprisingly
painful on backs and shoulders....
Oh, and we got to ring Alex at work again to confuse him....
With the shopping safely deposited in Greg's kitchen and room (well, about as safe as it could be in the presence of a peckish Greg....), Nick and Annant headed on to do useful things for a bit. In Annant's case this was work, in Nick's case it seemed to be stealing food (for Greg) from company presentations and reading email, but hey!
As the afternoon moved towards a close, Alex suceeded in navigating from Cheltenham to Oxford, and Nick went to join him in St Annes with various cooking impliments. Unfortunately, Nick forgot Kill Doctor Lucky and his camera, so had to go back for those not long after.
After not very long, Nicola came to join us. We opened up a bottle of wine, and proceded to aid/hinder Greg's attempts to finish off his essay. Oh, and Nicola checked her email lots. Greg meandered off to a tute after having had a fair bit of wine, and everyone else sat around drinking, eating pringles, and procrastinating about doing the cooking. Oh, and Nikki turned up and helped with the drinking
At some point around 5.30, we finally managed to make our way to the kitchen, and started preparing food. Unfortunately, we were short of a few items of cooking equipment, so we rang Kat (using the wrong phone, since she's on Vodafone not Orange...) and asked her to bring it from her place (over the road). Unfortunately, she managed to get lost(!) and hence some of the cooking was delayed. Still, we did all the veg, Nick threw half of it in the bin, Nikki demonstrated that she really didn't know how to cook (or use a knife without cutting herself...), and we did manage to get Greg to do some useful things on his return.
As everyone slowly drifted along, we finished the preparations, and sat about waiting for things to cook. By this point we'd polished off 2 bottles of white, so we cracked open the sparkling, and toasted the club lots. I think by this point we'd even washed Greg's glasses enough that they were almost clean! Only slightly after the planned 7.30 we served the starter (melon and parma ham), and then had to quickly wash everything up as we didn't have enough plates, doh! The serving of the dinner took a bit longer than we'd hoped, as there were only so many people who could fit around the plates to serve. Still, we had way too much food (always good), and everyone really enjoyed the food (once they'd got it). Oh, and we also drank a couple more bottles of wine...
Chris and Aimee were notably absent from all this, owing to Chris being ill. We'd decided that this wasn't on, so had been ringing them steadily from about 6pm onwards. Finally they gave in, and agreed to come join us, if only so Aimee could prepare her (justly famous) Brandy Butter Sauce. While we waited for them to arrive, Alex brought out his secret presents - Sugar Mice!
As most of the sugar mice were eaten (Nicola kept one as a pet, or to eat later, or something...), a few suffered lost tails, and Annant tried to kill the odd one... Then, shock horror, Aimee and Chris arrived! Quickly Aimee went to work on the brandy butter, as Chris poured himself some wine and investigated the mice. After much waiting, the butter was ready, so we quickly heated the christmas pud's, and sat down to eat them. Well, burn them first (limited sucess, looked quite effective with the lights out), and then eat them.
Unfortunately, around this point things become somewhat hazy in people's memories, so we advise you look at the photos for a record of the last part of the night. The main events included Nikki drinking the backwash glass (where we empted all our dreggs so we could move onto a new drink), and then throwing it up through her nose.... Everyone except Nicola being able to walk along the walls, Playing "Kill Doctor Lucky", Playing Twister in the coridoor, locking people out on Greg's baclony, and the porters appearing to tell us to make less noise.
Sleepaholics of the world unite!
We agreed to meet at 6 outsides G&D's but in true lifesaving style nobody was there half an hour later. Eventually Nick, Annant and Ruth turned up and went inside the Duke of Cambridge to take advantage of their happy hour. Once Kat and Nikki joined us we made our way to the Radcliffe Arms for food. Nicola was at home being lame and moaning about the journey up to see everyone, Greg was in Devon and `Chrisaimee' were being old and hobbling around at home.
Once the girlies decided exactly what they wanted (it did take quite a while!), we ordered and relaxed in a corner. At this point we discovered that we had (finally) escaped Nick's camera. Food came surprisingly quickly and was very good. We soon moved on to Bookbinders for lots of monkey nuts. Nick moaned at everyone for being uncultured at not knowing a decent drink when it hit us in the face. Conveniently, live jazz started as soon as we walked in so various requests were made immediately. Ruth had to leave and drink mulled wine with her other friends. We still managed to get through a lot of monkey nuts - Nikki and Kat seemed to take great delight in pulverising the shells. I suggest anger management classes.
At this point, the plans to move elsewhere pub-wise were thwarted by the warmth of the bookbinders, the lack of other people early on (you just can't leave when you're some of the only listeners) and the number of requests that had yet to be played. So, we sat in the bookbinders, eventually drinking some real beer, and were still there at last orders.
As Nick's house was round the corner, we went back to watch an Australian film. Unfortunately this meant that Nick's camera came back into the spotlight. Frankly, he managed to take a scary amount of shots of Nikki and Annant (in various positions). This is probably because Kat was being camera shy and running away from Nick at every opportunity. The 8th/9th week socialising toll could be seen quite early on as everyone (apart from Nick) fell asleep only to be woken up by yet another camera flash. Once we'd watched the Roswell High pilot episode to show the girls exactly what they were missing, we eventually headed back home.
Unfortunately, as Nick forgot his camera, we have no photos of the night. Luckily, Cambridge did take a camera, and their photos can be found here.
Update 27/01/03 - it turns out nothing happened between John and Hilary. The shocking bit is how we know this - it transpires that John has had a girlfriend since around the start of Michaelmas term, but hadn't told any of us! Shocking state of affairs, and explains why we misinterpreted some of John's looks when we made the odd comment.