Here we are in Don Pasquale's after the excitement of the raffle draw, in which nearly everyone was a winner, supping our last dregs of coffee and trying not to choke on surreptitious mouthfuls of Nallo Lady's specially manufactured CCS.
From the bottom left:
Darren's sylph-like figure has just crept into shot;
you can't miss George;
Keith (how sad!) is an avid reader of the authors before you;
Baz is (almost) still waiting for his main course following a 'kitchen glitch;
Nallo Lady is no doubt providing professional advice to
Phil, who after the recent removal of certain body parts is wondering whether he should have brought spare nappies;
Alan is ecstatic about his new work project;
Mick and Gayle are relieved that Mick's new work project only lasts six months,
and Martin is trying hard to escape the headlights of the camera and return to his newly won cookery book.
Interestingly, nine of the bloggers present have applied to take part in next year's TGO Challenge. Only George has failed to get in at this stage. He has a long wait to see whether, with a reserve position of 100+, he will be allowed to take part at (very) short notice.
After a brief alcohol free pause, we adjourned to the Eagle, where Darren contemplated some secrets of stove design whilst languishing under a plaque commemorating the achievements of Francis Crick and James Watson at the spot where Crick interrupted the patrons' lunchtime on 28 February 1953 to announce that they had "discovered the secret of life" after they had come up with their proposal for the structure of DNA.
Sue and I found time to enjoy some nearby galleries (very nice they were, too), though fog obscured the views and precluded any meaningful snapping.
Somehow three cars managed to stay in convoy to get back to Alan's house for an impromptu showing of our 'Italian Border Route' slide show to a few 'hard core' members of this select band. We hope everyone enjoyed it, despite a couple of drooping eyelids.
Thank you for your kind comments, Darren.
Thank you also for the Hi-Tec boots that I came away with - very fortuitous that the size 10s intended for Alan were actually US size 10. Alan is of course English, in whose language these boots are size 9. My size! They fitted me, if not very comfortably. But since getting home I've worn them around the house, using proper socks, and they are very comfy, so I'm looking forward to testing them and will report back in full for Hi-Tec's benefit, or not!