Tom's Stag Do

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For Tom's stag do, we had an all day event meticulously planned out by his best man Dean (to whom all present I'm sure are very grateful), including a visit to the RAF Club, a turn on the London Eye, and then dinner plus a spot of gambling at the dog races. The following day, I was exhausted and had an all day hangover, which must therefore indicate it was a jolly good jaunt.

12:43:35 Here's me and Rob on a bus, which we had to take as the Bakerloo line had decided to shut down approximately one minute before we needed to get on it.

12:58:49 Part of a "shortcut" we took through the backstreets of central London in an attempt to get to our rendez-vous point quicker.

12:59:04 A slightly idiotic looking young man points needlessly at some flowers.

12:59:08 ...and the same again.

13:17:13 Here's Rob in a mean, green and moody pose, in the Trocadero whilst we were waiting for the other gents to arrive.

13:18:03 A slightly steely picture of me in the Troc.

13:18:08 A fairly broken picture taken in the Troc. No idea what happened here.

13:18:57 Me going up an escalator. Shortly afterwards we met up with the rest of the guys, and then me and Rob went off for pizza...

15:56:16 After pizza and a brief pop into the St. James's, here we are in the Running Horse bar of the RAF club.

15:59:19 Chris and Rob, probably engaged in an aviation conversation.

15:59:34 From left to right, a bit of Tom's head, most of Martin's and the side of Andy's.

15:59:49 A not-too-successful attempt to get a candid picture of Tom, with a bit of Rog on the left hand side.

16:01:18 Mmmmmm.... beer in old men's pint glasses.

16:01:35 The flash may have come in handy here.

16:01:48 Thanks a lot for that Rog!

16:25:21 Andy and Chris, looking a bit like they're part of an amateur dramatics performance, "which addresses some tough social issues in a frank and honest way".

16:25:31 Tony and Rog, probably attempting to extract "dirt" from Tom for Dean to put in his best man's speech.

16:25:44 Chris and Rob still probably talking about flying machines, and possibly magnificent men.

16:44:08 Upstairs now in the rather fine Cowdray lounge. The alcohol must have really started to kick in by now, as all of these are pretty blurred.

16:44:14 Hmmm... well a fairly reasonable group picture.

16:44:33 Chris and Tom looking very much at home.

16:50:26 As always, the perils of me trying to get a picture of myself by giving my camera to someone else.

16:50:33 Pretty good on the second attempt, although the photographer could have tried harder to give me a decent facial expression.

16:50:49 Looks a bit like a scene from an earthquake.

16:51:35 Not sure who took this one, possibly either Dean or Tom, can't remember, but either way, well done.

17:52:09 On the London Eye now. As you can see, it was raining, and I was incapable of holding my camera steady, but still, some very nice views to be had.

17:56:43 I think I was trying to take a picture of that row of trees all lit up in blue. They sort of got lost somehow or other.

17:57:03 Thingy bridge and the river wotsit.

17:57:28 Probably about the best I managed of the Houses of Parliament.

17:57:50 Hmmm, the previous one was probably better.

17:58:21 Whatever it was they were trying to set up, it didn't work from this angle. Maybe the one taken on Tom's camera made a bit more sense.

18:00:07 Lots of lights and that.

18:00:16 Possibly the first picture which isn't particularly blurred.

18:00:43 You can see good old St. Paul's in this one if you look carefully.

18:04:21 As we all know, not Big Ben, but The clock tower containing Big Ben.

18:04:41 The same again. Still frustratingly blurry!

18:05:29 Nope, just can't get that right.

18:05:54 Nope.

18:06:03 I rather like this, kind of a steely feel about it.

18:08:27 ...similarly this picture is fairly steely.

18:13:38 Just some more buildings.

18:14:20 I think this was just before we got off.

18:27:39 Back on terra firma now, a somewhat unimpressive picture of the Eye.

18:30:03 Dean, Rob and Chris on the way back to Waterloo station, which was rapidly becoming the focal point for the day.

19:51:41 At the dogs now!

19:51:48 Tony and Rob waiting patiently for the next race... and dinner.

19:56:19 I'm rather fond of this picture of me, although sadly Rog didn't come off quite as well.

19:56:32 Rog and Chris, probably in the midst of deciding their next bet.

19:58:05 Our table was right next to the traps, so we had a great view of the start of the races.

19:58:18 Blurred.... never mind.

19:58:33 Gambling became something of an obsession during the course of the evening, and I believe there was a bet going as to whether this waitress had an older brother or not (bizarrely). (She didn't).

19:58:46 A picture of almost nothing at all.

19:59:06 A section of track, and you can just see the dogs at the far right hand side.

20:10:52 More strategic betting going on.

20:10:56 Martin seems to be very difficult to get a sharp picture of...

20:11:00 ...nope still not managed it...

20:11:32 The staff at the track had asked us not to use the flash in case it disturbed the dogs, thus the number of blurry photographs. Still Tom at least is pretty sharp here.

20:12:15 Off they go again...

20:33:39 Rob and Chris, both having just lost... again.

20:47:15 I lost on every race (apart from one where Rog put a quid on my behalf)... Here's me tearing up my tickets in dismay.

20:47:19 ...although this picture is staged, if it isn't obvious...

21:01:31 I think they're about to go off again...

21:34:44 They moved so fast, it was near impossible to get a picture with the dogs while they were actually running.

21:42:52 Tom, possibly ordering dessert.

21:44:53 Every good night out has to involve a bundle, here me and Tom decide to wander up to the bar for a bit.

21:53:13 There's always time for a couple of heavily staged contrived set pieces...

21:53:34 ...however this one was quite possibly unnecessary. Thanks for that, Rob.

21:54:07 The bar at the top gives a great vantage point from which to spy on the other diners.

21:55:52 Possibly the most rediculous I'd looked all day, but still a nice picture of the three of us nonetheless. I quite like the varying degrees of daftness from right to left - Tom quite serious, Rob mildly silly, and me quite patently absurd.

22:01:28 Me and Tom decided it was necessary to mark the occasion with a cigar each.

22:01:50 ...although it's almost difficult to tell that's a cigar in his hand from this picture.

22:03:44 Well you can tell that's a cigar, but I'm not sure if Tom really wanted to include quite that much of the ceiling in this picture.

22:03:56 Unfortunately very blurry...

22:04:02 ...and again. I think shortly after this, a bloke wandered past me and Tom with our cigars and said "You must have won tonight then". That would be no, really.

22:29:35 Tony, who has just made a member of staff standing in front of him turn invisible with sheer force of mind alone. A before/after might have made this more convincing.

22:29:47 The invisible member of staf poses for a shot with Tony and Rob.

22:30:23 ...and she's popped back into being visible again, no harm done.

22:30:28 Encore!

22:31:10 Chris here smoking an invisible cigarette.

22:32:06 God knows what went on here.

22:32:17 ...or here...

22:47:08 It was closing time for the track, and we'd made a swift exit, concious of the fact it was a long way home for some of us and we had no idea how we were getting back...

22:49:17 Still, I'm a firm believer that being in a hurry is no good excuse for not doing totally random things, so here is an entirely random picture of a nice group of ladies, whom I assume were also at the races that evening.

22:49:33 ...nice, because without realising it I'd also got a picture of the stadium's sign.

23:26:24 A jolly nice taxi driver took us all the way to Ealing Broadway. Although Martin is largely obscuring it, this is meant to be a picture of the taxi.

23:34:17 Rob looking menacing on Ealing Broadway station, at which we'd considered inviting the station staff along to a brewery, in which they could fail to organise a piss up.

23:34:39 Probably needed the flash.

23:43:23 ...and again.

23:54:58 Chris and Rob, on the train now.

23:55:29 Me, far too close up.

23:56:06 Rob attempting to take a picture of me, and missing utterly.

23:58:00 What a lovely shot to have as the last picture! I think I finally got home about 1:30. Could have been worse...