Yes, it was that time of year again. Winter was closing in, Christmas was fast approaching. *cough* *cough*. OK, so it was November. Look, this is Oxford, OK? We go home at the start of December!
Anyway, after much discussion, a date was picked, that of Sunday of 7th Week. And yes, that does follow Saturday 6th week, not Saturday 7th week as at least one person claimed as an excuse for not turning up...
A crack team of cooks (well, Chris and Nick anyway) were dispatched that Sunday morning (just) to Sainsburys in search of the food that would make up this kicking dinner. Soon, the turkey was in the over, the veg was cooking, and the first bottle of wine had been opened...
We met in Magdalen lodge at 7pm. Well, some of us did. Some went straight to the bar, and a few legged it over Magdalen bridge in search of the port they'd forgotten to buy in Sainsburys... Anyway, by 7:15 the bulk of us were in the ever lovely Magdalen bar, knocking back the drinks and awaiting the dinner with anticipation. The serving time slipped slowly back, and the news of Jo's non attendance owing to rugby injuries filtered through.
Then, almost without warning, we were ushered into the dining room. No more Merryfield kitchens for us, we'd gone up market! We sat down, resumed our drinking, and started on the traditional, er, starter.
With a few non drinkers present, the quantity of wine each looked quite promising. The food was, as ever, nicely cooked. This was Chris' third dinner cooking, and it really showed. With the meal complete, it was time for the serious drinking to begin.
At this point the lack of certain club members showed itself as the drinking was lower key than usual. Still, we did polish off an impressive amount of wine as usual with perhaps less destruction than in previous years. Since there were a few Christmas dinner virgins present (not least the gatecrashing Dom, initially mistaken by a few for a fresher lifesaver), we did our best to recount tales of previous years and socials. This talking more and playing less games suited the atmosphere very well. Alas a lack of camera means we can't show you quite what it was like, but take our word it was a decent evening.
Towards the end of the evening, we found a use for our non drinking members - the washing up! Armed with a dishwasher, this went very smoothly. No mammoth fights over who would have to wash and who dry, it all progressed very smoothly.
Whilst this went on, discussion continued unabated next door. Alas, owing to excessive wine intake, no-one can quite remember exactly what we were talking about, but surely thats a good sign?