Simon's Birthday

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Friday 17th December 2004. Dinner and a few drinks in Pangbourne (and Aldworth!) to celebrate Simon's birthday.

19:14:59 A slightly botched attempt at getting a group picture outside The Swan, our first port of call for the evening.

19:15:20 This is more like it!

19:41:42 The next port of call was the Cross Keys wherein Dinner was consumed. So here's a nice picture of our table before any food had arrived...

19:42:12 ...the same again, but with me in, kindly taken by a member of staff.

20:06:05 Looks like our starter (which was senselessly big) has arrived, and I'd asked everyone to pose with a bit of it, which resulted in this, err, interesting photographic collage. Err.

20:15:32 This calls for a new entry in the Meaning of Liff - Grampound n. the frustrating scenario when sharing food that nobody will take the last couple of bits, and subsequently, if eating out, the waiter never takes the plate away. To alleviate the Grampound here I opted to put all of the last bits (garlic bread, potato wedges, onion rings) hanging around in my mouth at the same time. With hilarious consequences.

20:47:41 Looks like our main courses had arrived. Having nicked a couple of Jon's chips in the time honoured fashion of telling him to look at something behind him, I think the theme of this picture was supposed to be that we were all stealing each others' dinners, but it didn't really come through that well.

21:10:07 Simon reassuring us all that he doesn't have any partially chewed fragments of food stuck to his tongue. I was particularly relieved by this, as it consitutes a constant source of worry for me.

21:26:07 After the Cross Keys I made an executive decision that we should all bundle into the Ellis Wagon (TM) and head off to a great little pub in the middle of nowhere - The Bell at Aldworth. As you may be able to observe the drive there was somewhat jolly.

21:36:39 On arrival at The Bell, roadside parking had to be invoked, which led to Jon having a brief and quite personal encounter with this grassy bank.

21:37:02 Not sure why it was warranted, but here is another picture of the Ellis-mobile.

21:46:45 Inside the utterly wonderful Bell at Aldworth. I think we're drinking Old Tyler, from West Berkshire brewery (very nice), in glasses with handles.

21:47:04 Errr, I think this was the second "just in case" picture. Note the dartboard and the lovely old grandfather clock in the background.

21:47:35 ...and this is the "let's get one with John in" shot.

22:37:45 I quite like the "HEADS!!!" in this picture.

22:37:49 You have to admire the level of determination not to spill any beer, demonstrated here.

22:39:32 Mmmmm glasses with handles.

23:18:29 Nice work on the subtle cussing fron there Mr. Ellis.

23:18:59 Yet another picture of the table, just before leaving, and Kev here seems to be brandishing/advertising my umbrella.

00:15:13 Upon arriving back at my house, I wanted to get another group picture, but forgot to turn the flash on...

00:15:30 Ahhh.... that's a bit better! Jon, Simon and Susanna headed of home after this, whilst Kev, ever the stalwart drinker, came and joined me for a couple of choice whiskies. Lovely.