George's Birthday

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A surprise party on Friday 13th June 2003 (sounds ominous) at the Calcot Hotel to celebrate the birthday of George, our illustrious leader.

19:32:01 This was meant to be a picture of George in a state of surprise as he discovered everyone was here. Unfortunately too many people were standing in the way, and I forgot to turn the flash on.

22:19:27 Much later on, after dinner, here's Chie and Kevin.

22:23:38 Here's Norman, who, along with Gordon, very kindly supplied the wine for our table. To his right is his wife Sarah chatting to birthday boy George. You can just about see George's balloons here.

22:23:46 Natalie, Mike and Mike on the table behind ours. Mike K looks to have gone a slightly odd colour here, and almost looks superimposed.

22:24:07 Kevin, with his peculiarly coloured shirt.

22:27:11 Exhibit number 23, Barry's behind.

22:30:33 Kevin being attacked by a giant shrew.

22:32:47 Me and Norman, who invented just about everything to do with broadcasting ever.

22:33:36 Chie and Kevin, seemingly enjoying a joke here, and therefore probably not one of mine.

22:33:46 Richie T trying to play down his celebrity status by shunning attention from the media. There were no signs of his umbrella this evening, but presumably it had been left in safe hands.

22:35:17 Rory dancing. This was one of the few times when the slow nature of my camera has actually helped to take a picture. When I pointed it at him, Rory turned away, I then pressed the shutter release, and by the time the picture was taken, Rory had assumed I'd given up and turned back round again.

22:35:33 Garry and Mel, unfortunately no cowboy guns here tonight. Note however the curent Softel fad for criss-cross patterned shirts.

22:35:43 Stewart, just visible on the left hand side here, also following suite, or should I say following shirt. I was trying to get a picture of Russ and Carrie here, but Carrie is hiding rather effectively behind Garry. I think you can just about make out a bit of her nose between Garry's right ear and shoulder.

22:36:09 Stewart and Clare, which I'll almost certainly have spelt wrong. Maybe she is actually a Clair, Claire or Clayre. There is a real need for some ISO standardisation here.

22:37:51 The side of George's head. I don't know if he was doing it deliberately, but he seemed to be doing pretty well at avoiding most of the pictures I tried to take of him over the course of the evening.

22:40:01 Largely this seems to have turned out as a picture og Mike's hand here, I'm not sure if he was trying to obscure David, or just demonstrate to the world how nice his cuffs are.

22:41:42 Me and Mike. Not sure why I felt it necessary to look into the distance here. Perhaps I was daydreaming about helicopters or something.

22:42:00 Kevins's shirt being affected in a slightly odd way by the light from the flash.

23:04:48 Hey, it's You!

23:05:11 I think Kevin took this interesting character portrait. I can't remember exactly what this thing was called in school, where you rubbed your knuckles on the top of someone's head. However, I do remember it being banned.

23:05:52 I was trying to get a picture of Norman and George, however George again managed quite successfully to avoid the camera.

23:07:02 Nope, still can't get him in a picture properly.

23:08:59 Not sure what this brochure is, but Kevin and Barry seem to be very pleased about it.

23:09:35 If you look closely, you can just see Natalie hiding behind a very business-like Mike here.

23:09:54 The lovely Jeanette and equally lovely Jemma here.

23:11:29 Chie, possibly about to sneeze.

23:13:33 There were a terrifying four, yes four, whole hen nights all going on simultaneously in the hotel this evening. Here's the bride-to-be from one group we encountered, who were actually quite reasonable and seemingly not on a mission to humiliate and degrade men, as I'd assumed was the custom.

23:18:02 Not really sure.

23:25:32 Mike and Jim's table had won one of the prizes in the "name that tune" style quiz thing earlier. Obscure musical knowledge reaps tangible alcoholic rewards. It's like a little slice of heaven.

23:26:21 A nice shot of the boys. Very pleased with this. Barry has a hint of Yuppie (yuppy?) about him, and Mike's looking particularly cheeky here.

23:28:19 I now feel a bit bad about this. In my ceaseless quest for interesting photographs I asked Mike if he could pick up Jim. Both being very friendly sorts, they agreed without really thinking too much about it. Afterwards though their was a slight air of confusion and awkwardness as to why they'd done it. Sorry chaps.

23:34:35 Chie taking an opportunity on camera to show just how much she really dislikes me. That Pantera album from the early 90s springs to mind. I bet no-one has any idea what I'm talking about. Ho, hum.

23:34:57 I hope I never make this facial expression ever again.

23:35:09 This could have looked sweet, but Chie said it looks like I'm trying to strangle her. Oh well.

23:40:36 I thought it best to keep a close eye on George and Jim at the bar, just to be on the safe side.

00:22:26 We were on our way out here now, and we found the Tanswells and the Berrys conversing on a sofa. George kindly informed me that he hadn't seen me all night, but hadn't missed me either. Thanks. On the plus side though, I finally managed to get a photo George couldn't easily escape from. Having said that, he is seemingly theorising here that the closer to horizontal he gets, by the laws of perspective, the less I'll be able to see him.

00:23:09 At Diana's suggestion I appeared in this picture. Understandably, George has mustered an almost Shakespearian look of discontentment.

00:23:51 This was the group, myself included, that were going to be transported home in Chie's car. I wonder if this picture was taken partly because it might be the last ever chance to see them all alive together.

00:24:47 George, being mobbed my Jim and Mike.