Ben and Anna's Halloween Party

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On Friday November 1st 2002, Ben and Anna (and Tim) kindly invited us into their home for the old favourite that is a halloween fancy dress party. Rob informed me about this party a few days prior, and in an act of what I mistakenly believed to be generosity, even offered to sort out my costume for me. The net result - Rob and me spent the evening dressed as nuns. Marvellous.
Added comments by Rob in RED!

21:39:52 This looks suspiciously like the mid sections of two habits. I think Tim took this, but didn't realise my camera has a bit of a delay on it.
I thought it was Tim trying to capture the knot you made for your belt. It's a Hawkins mk1, isn't it?

21:40:00 Yes, let there be no doubt, me and Rob are definitely dressed as nuns.
Yes, but not the first time for one of us, eh, John?

21:41:13 Tim part way through putting on his mask.
Or peeling off his face, depending on your viewpoint.

21:41:20 I'm sure a professional photographer would be able to say something intelligent about the contrasting use of black and white here...
Not sure what Tim came as. The Gimp from Pulp Fiction?

21:42:11 Just because you're dressed as a nun, it doesn't mean you can't look at least a bit belligerent.
The father, the son and a brick in the face.

21:42:23 Or indeed there's nothing to stop you threatening the camera man with a knife. However blurry it may be.
John Pirahna, the little known cousin of the Pirahna brothers. Once slotted a protestant priest for buying cabbage. He's a harsh man, harsh but fair.

21:42:52 Messrs Hutt and Gasson, both sporting Nasser's Burger Van lab coats, with LEDs, and 'evryfing.
So, they didn't actually bother with costume, then?

21:43:26 A great advert for Asahi. I feel a 1950s style slogan coming on "People the wrong side of windows can't drink beer!", or similar.
Gay Swan look utterly evil here. Nice photo, John. NICE. NIIIIIICE.

21:46:12 Out in the garden, sister Rob enjoying a pint of communist (or communion or whatever it was) wine.
Looks like a pint of wee from here. By the end of the party, it could have been.

21:46:23 Ben and Anna had a real wonderful attention to detail in their decorations. Unfortunately, it was dark, so you could barely see this tinsel 'neath the Gazebo. I therefore saw it as my job to highlight it.
'Highlighter of small details', it's a bit of a long job description, can we shorten it to 'Git'?

21:47:24 Mr. Gasson, still the wrong side of a window. Probably for the best.
The window was part of his costume.

21:47:51 It didn't take Ben much of the party before he was down on all fours.
He's thinking: "We're going to get some chicks on this mat and we're going to PARTY."

21:50:38 Never previously has a pelvis interested a nun so much.
We'll have nun of that.

21:51:20 Nicoletta being "examined" by Dr. Marky.
She got an F.

21:52:04 Rob, in possibly one of his most nunesque pictures of the evening. This facial expression took weeks of practice.
"Hi, this is my friend, Rob, he's a nun."

21:55:35 Anna, whose rather splendid costume seemed to have unfortunately portrayed her in a very violent aspect here. Or maybe that has something to do with her attacking a nun, with an axe.
The contact lenses were particularly shocking.

21:57:46 No party seems complete to me without a picture of Mark under a table cloth fiddling with the MP3s. This time there was the added bonus of sister Rob.
I like to add variety toe every party.

22:10:20 I have no idea which way up this is supposed to be.
This is generic 'Rob takes picture of himself at random'. You can find hundreds of these scattered throughout the maison.

22:10:43 To confuse matters, there were two Annas at this party. This one doesn't live here.
No. 4. The nun.

22:10:54 Anna always looks great in photographs. I usually look less like a nun.
You also look like an ugly bastard.

22:11:11 Meryem also seems to have a habit (if you'll pardon the pun) of looking great in pictures. However, I couldn't help but notice the girls present were a lot less risk-taking in their approach to their costumes.
What, like, not wearing one. Or perhaps you mean: "I'm in costume, I'm in black!"

22:11:18 I'd guess you won't find many other pictures with a nun and so many LEDs.
Apart from the Electric Ballroom in Camden when they do their 'Electro Nun' night.

22:14:23 A bit of two nuns heads.
Looks like a nun dealing down a backalley in Cemetary Junction. "Want some Psalms? We got some good shit."

22:15:55 Rob's dancing took on a whole new level of insanity thanks to the outfit.
Like I need an outfit!

22:17:55 I'm curious about the intensely smug look of satisfaction on Mark's face here.
If he was anymore smug, his skull would reject his face. Again.

22:21:49 Although you might be mistaken for thinking this is a picture of dancing, Nicoletta is in fact practicing semaphore, and Rob is playing chirades.
It was Lord of the Rings.

22:29:24 Jim, who rather inspirationally came as David Brent, from The Office, on the telly.
Nice. Only 'cos we had been taking the piss out of him for his goatie. He can even do the voice. Excellent.

22:30:23 Sister Lang inspecting the decorations, I presume.
No, the women.

22:55:58 There's something indefinably wonderful about a mid party bundle. We've all done it surely - half way through you sneak over to the nearest pub and get a crafty pint in.
Being my first bundle, I was a little unsure, but soon got into the swing of things.

22:56:13 Of course this time there was a rather unusual feature to the bundle. The human race, we decided, is insane. There were a few funny looks to start with, but after the first couple of minutes, everyone else in the bar just carried on as normal.
Although, neither of us were surprised by this revelation.

22:59:13 Whoever designed my camera can't possibly have envisaged that little box of magic would one day be used to take a picture of a nun playing a fruit machine.
Or in fact that so much bandwidth could be used by one man.

23:15:20 Superbly, the barman told us to go and stand behind the bar for a picture. Marvellous. This picture has a firm place in my top ten photos of all time.
It is excellent.

23:15:29 The barman, from Australia, did a wonderful job of reassuring us that the Australian sense of humour is every bit as bad as our own. When asked if they got a lot of nuns coming to the bar, he replied "Nun. They're just not in the habit of coming here. But don't get cross". Superb.
Haw haw. There's a certain jautiness to this photo. I think it might be arm positions.

23:26:06 Back at the party now. Mark gives us all a quick lesson in dancing Marky style.
The master teaching us a bout of Gay Swan Do.

23:30:04 Superbly, on the phone earlier, I'd told Chie I was going to a party at Ben's house. I asked her if she remembered who Ben was, and she simply replied "Stella". Marvellous.
He;s only known as Stella at the weekends, when he gets 'dressed up'.

23:30:14 Perhaps everyone here is admiring Mark's unique and special talents on the dancefloor.
Nicoletta backcombed her hair for the event.

23:30:35 Although Meryem thinks Mark is simply checking her pulse, he's actually scanning her brain for the whereabouts of the secret glue factory, all part of his plan for world domination. Mwuhahahahaha, etc.
Any chance for a bit of a grope you lucky dirty bastard.

23:30:46 An interesting mixture of colours here. Evidently, a certain part of Nicoletta wishes she had gone for that pantomime horse costume after all.
So tempting to put a boot up the arse. Oh hang, I think I did.

23:30:52 Nuns! Know your limits!
Down down down down!

23:30:58 Puns concerning Mr. Hutt's bone abound.
He's an archaeologist. Have you ever seen his mamoth bone?

23:31:04 Look there's Lisa in the corner. Another girl in a non self ridiculing costume. They just don't seem to have got the point do they?
'Surfer Girl' is pretty ridiculing for Lisa. It would be like you coming as 'Ginger Bloke', John!

23:37:09 I have no idea what was going on here, but it looked very interesting at the time...
I am shocked that you can not recognise rampant lesbianism when you see it!

23:37:14 This is Rob's "Good grief, you've come dressed as a nun too" face.
Or "I've drunk two pints of wine and I'm not pissed enough!"

23:37:35 Anna looking rather splendid, and myself looking distinctly like a nun.
The notch of hair on your forehead really does it for me.

23:43:51 As if the evening needed to get any more surreal, there was a crazy golf course out the back.
Every party needs one.

23:44:07 Here's Rob putting in a valiant effort.
Funny way of spelling 'crap'.

23:44:43 Jim's hand. I wonder if he was trying to do that shadow puppetry thing. This is obviously deformed rabbit.
I think he was being arty, we allow him that at the least.

23:45:10 A nun in the hand is worth two in the bush? Ewwwww.
No more of that.

23:46:31 Anna doing a sterling job of keeping the scores.
Odd odd odd.

23:46:48 The level of surreal is now getting to the point where even Dali would be a tad bewlidered.
"You looking at my sister? YOU LOOKING AT MY SISTER???"

John, for god's sake, what were you wearing under your habit?

23:47:29 It's important to note that the standard thing for a nun to wear beneath her habit is a pair of bright pink swimming shorts.
John, you're legs are foul. Put them away.

23:48:52 Rob, bless him, did take a while to get round the course.
I had trouble getting it into the hole.

23:49:32 I think he must have finished.
I was sobering up too fast.

23:51:52 Mark opted for a strategy which allowed him to finish somewhat quicker.

23:52:31 There's no good reason why Mark should have to start in the same place as everyone else now, is there?
It was his drinking handicap.

23:52:58 Superbly, pumpkins abounded.
Nice effort. This one is of Kevin Warwick.

23:53:55 Mark may have given up shortly after this picture.
He'd given up playing fair.... oh, hang on....

00:09:06 There's only a certain amount of any party one can spend playing golf, so it was important at some stage to get back inside, and resume the important task of getting drunk.
One of these people didn't bother with a costume...

00:12:08 Oh, but here we are back outside again, with a charming bunch of people whose names I don't remember.
They had a real impact on your life.

00:12:44 Fantastic group picture of people patiently awaiting fireworks.
Nice group shot, John. You have a talent for set pieces.

00:18:49 Jim was nominated as the most responsible (i.e. least drunk) adult, and therefore was put in charge of the fireworks.
Probably for the best.

00:19:17 Never did I think as a child that I would one day grow up, go to a party, dress as a nun, and then enjoy a fascinating conversation about the film Krull with this lovely young lady here (whose name escapes me, sorry).
Her obsession for the film was very nerdy. She talked as if it was real. I backed off through the whole affair.

00:22:47 Yes, there were definitely sparklers. Nobody had a lighter so I think these were all lit originally from a single still glowing fag end. Something beautiful about that.
Mark is writing the names of his conquests in the air. Unfortunately, after 10 sparklers, he'd not quite managed it.

00:22:52 Errr, unnecessarily bad composition is not acceptable.
Seek therapy.

00:22:58 I've always liked the effect you get in a picture with sparklers and smoke.
Mark lights another sparkler, starting names with F....

00:23:04 Anna worryingly seems to be enjoying that perhaps a little too much.
Looks like she's about to eat the sparkler.

00:23:15 Nicoletta! Be careful! Your elbow's on fire!
Oh how the sparklers in your eyes... oh nevermind.

00:23:21 It's somehow reassuring to think the fascination you had with sparklers as a child never really leaves you.
You're not still a child?

00:23:26 A fairly stern looking Mr. Gasson.
He's about to glass someone. Sorry, he's about to plastic someone.

00:23:36 A fairly drunk looking Mr. Hutt.
Funny that.

00:47:52 Ben has to be the most consistent publicist of Stella Artois they could ever wish for.
Funny that.

00:47:57 Rob, seemingly mouth full of wine.
Just for fun (which was sort of required at this point), I decided to see how much wine I could store in my cheeks.

00:48:24 Mark looks like he's giving out autographs to his adoring fans here.
He's collecting phone numbers. He does that a lot.

00:48:36 Or messing about with a phone.
Or inserting electronic tags into their hands so he can keep track of them.

00:53:31 I think Meryem and Anna were getting ready to leave now, but seemingly there was just time for a few more pictures.
Like we would let them go.

00:53:51 Marvellous.
I couldn't agree more.

00:55:05 It's at times like this one might be forgiven for not wanting to be dressed like a nun.
John, I think you look a stud in that nun's outfit. I almost fancied you.... oh, hang on.

00:56:00 Rob, like myself, is not a regular skirt wearer. I assume.
Apart from a kilt.

00:59:20 Walk like an Egyptian.... Nun...?
I was calling on the powers of god to get rid of some of this evil...

01:03:15 I never ceased to be amazed by how good a pair of spectacles pelvic bones make.
...But it didn't work.

01:03:39 A certain amount of cotton wool has come into the shot.
I was braining myself on it all night!

01:04:21 Without the twister mat, this picture could have looked far more suspicious.
There is something sexual about only two people playing twister.

01:19:51 I think we had entered the sitting down bit of the party now.
I was reaching for something strong...

01:19:59 I think the message this picture is trying to get across is "Tim likes F1".
That's him in a Formula 3000 car. Fortunately, I got the abrdiged version of the story in 9 volumes and a dead cat.

01:20:11 Erm.
Lisa, the girl who "Doesn't swoon".

01:20:24 Yes, from here on in, the pictures are likely to get fairly uninteresting, and therefore the act of having to comment them all is going to become a somewhat ardurous one.
I seem to remember that Yeti had called upon Metaphysical theories to spark a conversation about the fluff you find under a sofa.

01:21:14 People sitting on the floor in a configuration not dissimilar to the previous one.
ISO 9000 configuration 10129209123#cdnsf4, what everyone is now calling 'Not pissed enough No.4'.

01:22:03 I felt it was important to remind myself at regular intervals I was still dressed as a nun.
Good point, I kept forgetting, myself.

01:25:02 Anna, superbly, had given us doggie (doggy?) bags and everything.
No doggy in them, though.

01:25:18 Ben. Stella.

01:25:38 Lisa testing her theory that afro wigs are a great source of static electricity. Not ones made out of shitty fabric, though. ha ha.

01:25:51 Lisa, looking somewhat morose. (Can't remember how to spell that).
She wish she'd come as nun. Although, many might have thought she'd joined up.

01:26:04 Tim, looking somewhat, errr, well, like he usually does, really.
What's thw word I am looking for... du... du... no, can't think of it.

01:26:17 The terrifying part is I'm beginning to look quite natural and relaxed in the costume now.
Habit forming.

01:26:54 An unmistakable and shameless display of confectionery abuse.
"Fear the red-eyed surfer girl and the woman with huge round head" said Nostradamus. He was never so correct.

01:27:05 I guess from the seating positions Rob must have had the camera at this point.
Wasn't me guvnor! I is innocent. Oh, right. well, I did do that. Oh, yes, and the bank job.

01:27:14 Even nuns can have sick evil joints in their fingers and thumbs.
Shouldn't have as many as you, though, John!

01:27:38 Rob looking a bit toothless.
I was 'doing' Haribo.

01:28:07 Jim has that unmistakable look in his eyes which says I'm listening to you, but I'm thinking about something utterly different.
Everyone gets that when talking to Tim. I asked Yeti and he said he was thinking about paint drying.

01:28:15 OK well this didn't come out. Mark had become inexplicably vindictive towards the end of the evening and began issuing me with a series of coded insults. You can't read it unfortunately because of the flash, but this card says "glove puppet".
He was jealous, he wanted to be a nun too but scoffed when I asked.

01:28:25 Marvellous facial expression from Rob there. Can't work out if it's pleasure or pain though.
No. 64: Hateful boredom.

01:28:33 Mark continuing his ideographical assault on me.
Mark can't reda, he was showing you this one saying "What is this, mummy?".

01:29:17 Not much happening the other end of the room.
Or here.

01:31:51 This one reads "queen". Thanks Mark.
Ridiculous! Queen! More like princess.

01:32:03 Nope, can't read this, or remember what it said.
It said: "Weird Vege Pacifist!"

01:34:06 Still very much the same thing the other end of the room.
Except I had done two laps naked, you missed it, though.

01:36:47 Meanwhile in the front room, Ben is fiddling about with the music. Note the Stella can has temporarily left his hand (but is still within the 1 metre radius required by EU regulations).
Health and Saftey must be observed.

01:43:52 Back to the other room then. Still very much just people sitting around.
Called 'Party Wind Down'.

01:44:00 Same old, same old.
We were having a laugh, pity others weren't joining in.

01:48:46 It's important to note that Mark's hands here are drenched in blood. I was beginning to become concerned.
Everyone needs a hobby.

01:50:49 Card flicking had been taken up as a new hobby, it seems.
More interesting than trying to inflate a wombat.

01:51:02 Jim, preparing to hurl a miniature Picnic bar (wrapped).
Could be worse, could be throwing a picnic table.

01:51:09 A curiously unnecessary picture of Tim's lower half.
More interesting than the top half. Just.

01:55:43 Jim looking a bit despondent.
I wonder why.

02:06:59 Jim had stuck a sweet to my forehead using his own saliva. Thanks for that.
I hought it was a thrid eye.

02:10:16 Well it's looking like the last few people are getting ready to leave.
Gayswan is doing a standard Gay Swan move.

02:10:27 Time for a last couple of quips in the guestbook.
We came, we saw, we danced, we pissed off.

02:10:33 A general milling about before leaving. Good night!
Shortly after this, we drove back (me having sobered up about 3 horurs ago) and we crawled past a group of people who said: look nuns! To which I leaned out the window and said "WOT? You aint seen two nuns in a camper before???"