Kate's Birthday

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Saturday 29th January 2005. A "mythical creatures and people" themed fancy dress party at Rob and Kate's place to celebrate Kate's 25th birthday.

21:16:17 The first shot of the evening, and it's already a bit threatening and disturbing.

21:16:37 This is Sleeping Beuaty Rob "taping me up". Yeah, baby.

21:17:31 A sneaky papparazi-esque picture of Rob adjusting himself and giving Balrdick directions whilst standing next to a toilet, which is something of an impressive feat.

21:59:11 Brynie demonstrates his new patented camera calibration technique. I think at around this time we'd gone back to that old stalwart conversation of mine - the chicken conspiracy theory. Where are those 5.2 billion chickens? We did however consider that there was some spare roof space in Rob and Kate's kitchen, which, with an appropriate bit of shelving and some cages, could store about a dozen chickens.

22:00:06 This could just about look like a very civilised cocktails and nibbles evening from this shot - everyone wearing suits and evening dresses.

22:09:03 There are horns a' plenty in this shot. (This is a pun, by the way). I can't help but notice the interesting geometerical features in this room - it is almost as though Sam's head is propping up the sloping ceiling bit.

22:13:03 Sam takes Chie on a pictoral tour of Scotland via the medium of wax crayons.

22:21:26 The only guilt-free cleavage shot I was able to take all evening. Chie was reminded of the classic deux melons pour vingt Francs shot.

22:22:26 This yellowing of the skin tone is a common symptom upon staring at Rob whilst dressed as a woman for any length of time. Another great part of this costume was a built-in ervine ceiling inspector. Apparently at the end of the evening it gave a full report on the cleanliness of Rob and Kate's ceilings via a complex series of baaas in morse code. It's honestly true.

22:22:46 Something about this shot feels sort of sneaky somehow. I'd heard a rumour that in order to get these garlands around the bannister, Rob and Kate had tied one end to a hungry mouse, and then smeared edam along the path they wanted it to take. This could well just be a bit of idle gossip, of course.

22:23:12 Ally and Sam - Morticia and Gomez Adams, with what looks like the top of a champagne bottle in the foreground. Might be Leffe. Probably not detergent.

22:23:20 Difficult to make a comment on this picture without mentioning legs, really. Kate's Mum appears to have camouflaged herself quite impressively against the sofa here.

22:23:28 Good grief what a lot of balloons. I wasn't entirely sure what Kate's Dad had come as, but it looked pretty threatening given the horns and everything.

22:23:36 Look, there's me and Chie, standing in the corner, and I'm brandishing a sword in a non threatening manner. Swords get very bad press don't they? Point a sword at someone and they start acting all intimidated and victimised. Whereas you might well just have been using it to highlight they have a bit of cheesecake stuck to the side of their mouth.

22:23:49 As Rob pointed out himself, no party would be complete without on of his frightening self portraits, and this has to rank up there amongst the most gruesome of all time.

22:26:54 One has to wonder what Chie is thinking she can turn me into with her magic wand here.

22:27:16 This has to be one of my favourite pictures of me ever taken. It has that whole "I've got a plastic sword and I'm drunk enough to have an inept go at using it" look about it.

22:45:13 Oooooh cake! As is often the case with these sorts of pictures, it is more of a picture of a huddle of people from behind, but you'll just have to trust me there was a cake in there.

22:48:34 I brought Rob a pack of what every modern day girl needs - Japanese cable ties.

22:48:48 Samwise ponders the futility of attempting to toss the cable ties into the fiery pit in Mount Doom. Interestingly there was a road called "Mount Pleasant" not too far away, which I thought would have made an interesting alternative venue for the climax of Lord of the Rings. They could have all had tea and scones (but not biscuits), perhaps a gentle game of croquet. Maybe one of them could have read the Sunday papers.

22:49:30 It's important at some stage in the evening to devote a small amount of time into tying cable ties around your personage. I very much appreciated Sam here observing our activities - there was a slight feel of Norris McWherter about him. Although I don't ever recall Norris McWherter in a hobbit outfit, it almost certainly constituted some bizarre condition of a record attempt. Like perhaps how many people you can have called Norris McWherter dressed as a hobbit. I imagine the current world record is somewhere in the region of one.

22:50:17 Whereas Rob has gone for an attractive bracelet, I've gone for a handy obscenity preventor. I think I might lay down a patent and try to market this one. In the same way some criminals get given ankle bracelets to track their movements, tying their fingers together in this fashion could prevent them from being offensive in public.

23:00:00 Chie enjoyed a few bizarre moments of pretending to zap me with the antenna things on her head. I slightly wonder now what went into that birthday cake.

23:13:24 This was meant to be a shot of wrist comparisons, but I missed a bit, and inadvertantly included a few ankles/feet. That no doubt upset the apple cart a bit. Why wrists were being compared in the first place now escapes me. It is a shame to not have Byrnie's in here, as that would stand a good chance of being the most blue of all the wrists, I would imagine.

23:28:26 Despite, or perhaps because of, being a bit on the narrow side, this kitchen turned out to be very well suited to parties. I did find it pretty difficult to squeeze past whilst wearing armour, as me breathing in seemed to make absolutely no difference to my overall volume. Imagine the knightmare (groan) had we all come in suits of armour.

23:49:27 Three girls, lovely. I think before Byrnie arrived these walls were more white, but now they're decidely tending towards mauve.

23:50:28 This supposed to be was a demonstration of how difficult it is to sit down with a breastplate on. Not sure this comes across fully, so you'll probably just have to trust me. I bet in times of old real knights carried around bar stools, as these would have been much easier to sit on.

23:59:45 The perils of having an itchy back whilst wearing armour. It is a little known fact that this was actually responsible for the great defeat at the battle of Agincourt, that and the fact that a number of French knights had, at a critical moment, nipped round to the shop for twenty B and H.

00:31:28 Quite possibly the most brightly coloured of all pictures taken during the evening. Altogether now: "Red and orange and yellow and green, purple and, errr, lilac and blue.... I can sing a Byrnie, sing a Byrnie, sing a Byrnie too."

00:34:33 Inevitably, something of a balloon fight ensued. These always look a lot more civilised in still pictures, of course.

00:37:14 Kate is either having an inspirational thought, or is checking the wind direction here. OR, she has just seen a vole abseiling down the wall on the other side of the room.

00:37:37 This is Rob here, seemingly busy entertaining us all with his alter ego Beaker.

00:41:47 At one point Rob took his wig off and it occurred to me he then looked a bit like Anne ("eh eh ehhhh") from Little Britain.... it turned out this wasn't the first time this had been observed, as he had actually gone out and bought a scarily similar Anne costume.

00:42:04 Yes, quite terrifyingly similar.

00:42:14 It seemed important to tie a ballon to Chie's headband thing. I had considered she might lift off the ground at this point, but then I remembered she was wearing boots, so no worries, err, mate.

00:44:12 Scarily, scarily similar. Kate was also accused during the evening of being a bit like Margo from The Good Life.

00:56:55 Byrnie may well be thinking here that if he stays very still he might be mistaken for a balloon animal.

01:33:29 Well me and Chie decided it was time for us to wend our way home, but not before getting this rather lovely contrived group picture...

01:34:04 ...oh and this one with Chie in instead of me.