As you will know full well I am wrong most of the time about….well just about everything really.
Yesterday, as it turns out I managed not to be (to quote Willy Shakesbloke).
I mentioned that I thought it was a spiffing idea for the Askean Dinner to be on the Friday of a Bank Holiday weekend and that the traffic might be a tad slow. Well I was close, as in mostly at a fucking standstill – predominantly on the laughingly described motorway designated the 25. I assume that the 25 refers to the maximum speed possible in the fast lane – ever!
The Highway Agency was particularly helpful with signs that informed us, at regular intervals, ‘Possible Congestion after Junction’ – these are on high gantries and can be seen from several hundred yards away.
They were easy to read as at the time we were sitting with the parking brake on and sometimes the engine switched off. The ‘Possible Congestion’ is obviously their code for ‘Ha Fucking Ha – you should have stayed at home for the holiday’.
I left Turnipville at 2.30 and rolled into Askeans at 7.42 pm – a new all comers’ record. As was the lengthy wazz I needed before heading into the bar – the result of not stopping on route.
It was certainly worth it though as there were many (very) old and familiar faces at the Dinner.
The food was good, the conversation better and the highlight, as always, was Lunny’s speech.
During which I felt a rather exciting buzz in my pocket – this was, unfortunately, only my phone.
Lell had kindly sent me a WhatsApp to remind me to take photos for today’s nonsense report.
Of course I had forgotten and didn’t even have the excuse of being on the lash, unless you count a bucket of nothing and diet coke (ABV: Bugger All).
The result was all the photos are pretty much from the (disad)vantage point of my seat during the speeches.
On our table I was lucky to sit with Bob N, Lunny, Bill, Dave, Chunky and Bob W
I’m not going to go through all the names in the photos – if you know them there is little point and if you don’t then it is of sod all interest I should imagine.
Of course we haven’t all worn that well, so some of us are probably unrecognisable these days.
Safe to say all the old faces were in evidence.
Lunny was once more very very funny – he speaks without notes and apparent planning for about 20 minutes.
The only time he referred to any notes was when he had to toast the guests. This in itself was a bit of a surprise – whilst he can spontaneously be funny for a long time – he needed notes to remember the names of three guests – 2 of which he knows very well – and one of whom had introduced him 30 seconds earlier. Go figure.
This year many of the players had brought along their wives and girlfriends (sometimes both). In recognition of this Lunny had toned down his stories from last year (one in particular) but still managed to share a rather amusing true tale about a chap who had a rather unhealthy relationship with his pet canine. I say relationship – I am not convinced that there was full mutual consent from his description. Also not sure which one objected!
I left after the speeches at just gone 11pm.
I anticipated a much easier journey home – wrongly as it turned out!
Being a Bank Holiday weekend, the Highways Agency naturally decided that this was the perfect time to close off lanes at strategic places around the motorway network.
I don’t know if they were specifically targeting me but it felt like it.
A couple of dozen miles – split up into about 7 sections were channelled into single lanes with a 40mph limit.
I don’t know if you are aware but quite a lot of trucks can’t do anything like 40 miles an hour – most of these were out last night and I followed them for a considerable distance.
The M3 was actually completely closed off and at one point we had a very amusing time when the M25 was closed off and we were all funnelled off and back again through a set of lights that constantly favoured the non- existent cross traffic.
It was not a wasted opportunity by the Highways Agency though – I counted at least 7 blokes actually working on the 20 odd miles where we were channelled into a single lane.
I suspect that their strategic plan to fuck up as many peoples’ weekend as possible is reaping great rewards today!
Lell and Terry had been together for the day and so I headed back to Solihull (about 70 miles north of Turnip Town)
I arrived back at Lell’s at just gone 2.30 am – almost exactly 12 hours after setting off.
I was expecting a decent kip – after that – unfortunately the 2 Red Bulls I had to keep me awake whilst driving worked for longer than I had anticipated – spiffing!
So the suit goes back in the shed – when I dug it out yesterday I found the programme from last year’s dinner in the pocket – Alan E found the same thing (his programme not mine obviously – although he does have two suits apparently -toff!)
Nevertheless you can see just how often I shed (ha ha) the jogger bottoms – and the better news was at least there hasn’t been a funeral for a year! Let’s hope it doesn’t come out again until the next club dinner!
Despite the Highway’s (and energy dinks) efforts it was an excellent night and I look forward to next season’s pre-match lunches – unless of course Boney didn’t get a fucking calendar for Christmas and plans for them to be on holiday weekends!