Sunday, December 24, 2006

Christmas party #4

Here's a novelty: writing a blog in a cafe. Fopp is the go and it's Christmas Eve.

I can't remember the last time I saw the sun. It was probably at our Christmas in December. Since then, the temps have plummeted and it's been dense fog every day. So much so that there have been problems at Heathrow airport (cue Monty Python song about baggage retrieval). It's meant to clear a bit overnight, so I hope that Lucy gets away to Oz on Sunday.

Having survived the bike group's Christmas excursion along the towpath, I enjoyed my day off and slept in a tad, before going out for a 100 km spin to exorcise the hangover. I wore everything, including my day-glo green life preserver top - important when visibility is down to 4.8cm. It was quite chilly again and there was frost everywhere. It almost looked like it had been snowing overnight, and I quite enjoyed taking the back way up Bannerdown away from what little traffic there was.

I stuck to smallish roads and turned west towards the coast. Once I got down off the Cotswolds, the fog was merely light mist, and I made it all the way to the Severn bridge. Almost into Wales! I'll plan a proper trip there soon, with the intent to visit Llangiby, the home town of great-uncle(?) Rhys Jones. I came back along the bike path around Bristol, which was definitely the safest option.

Gone for a Burton

The theme for the company Christmas party was "apres ski or black tie". I had neither, so I went into town and lashed out 100 quid on something passable at Burtons. The salesman was quite absorbed, but I managed to distract him for long enough to acquire the necessary garments. Sorted!

Those going to the Christmas party met in the Bath coach park, where we were bused out to Bristol Temple Meads. The gig was in a big museum next to the station, and it was surprisingly warm for a hall of that size. I was seriously impressed by the number of people there. It wasn't packed, but there were several hundred of us. There was a stage, dance floor with resident DJ, dodgem cars(!)...and free alcohol. The proof is trivial and is left as an exercise for the reader, but I will provide some more elucidation.

I came with North, from MBUK, who had dressed up as "apres ski". He had a beanie, goggles and a jumper that looked like it was right out of the Wham! song Last Christmas. It was funny, because he's from Leeds and you'd never pick him to wear a jumper like that. Quite a few of the other MBUK boys had got there minutes before us, and were already pissed after having some 'warmups' at Doddy's place.

All of us sat at a table, and got the formalities over with fairly quickly. If you asked Doddy to get a beer for you, he would return with a beer plus a vodka/Red Bull. Holy crap, there could only be one result from that, but at least death would be swift. My workmate Matt Cole was on the program and had to retire hurt at about 10:30, after a) trying to keep up with Doddy and b) getting hit by a Welsh git half his size. He is 6'5 and also a Welsh git, but a nice one.

We had several gos on the Dodgems, after which I was not entirely convinced of the driving skills of any of my colleagues. Still, if you can't enjoy a good head-on there, where can you enjoy it?

Absinthe friends

I'd been looking for the boys from Procycling - Pete, Ellis, Dan and Paul - who said they were coming up from London. Finally, I found them at about 11 and caught up with the goss. They've been working pretty hard up until Christmas and after the break, have about three days to get another mag out in the New Year. I wish them luck.

There were a couple of the eds from Junior magazine at the Procycling table, and both turned out to be Australian. I only found out this after warning them off the fine Australian table wine that had been supplied in both red and white varietals. I had inspected the bottles earlier in the night, and hadn't been able to discern a date on either of them. Be very afraid.

I was able to convince one of them (Suzanne) that she should not be drinking something that could well have been bottled that very morning. She saw the wisdom in that and returned with a tray full of shots of absinthe and tequila. Oh god. But it was the lesser of two evils, and we also had water to go with it, most of which ended up on the table. I think I decided to switch to water at that particular juncture.

We got out of the museum at about 1:30, and were driven back to the Holiday Inn in Bath, where the London employees were being put up. I chatted to Paul Godfrey in the bar until about 4am - still drinking water - and finally headed off into the freezing fog in the direction of home.

It was, for all intents and purposes, a good night. I had a sore head the next day, but nothing that another 60 km didn't fix.


Wow, that was 900 words in 40 minutes and one large cappuccino. Had I written my thesis this quickly, I would have finished it in about a week and a half. Speaking of completed theses, hearty congrats to mum for becoming the second Dr J Jones! I am now Dr J Jones the Younger.

Postscript #2

The new Bond flick, Casino Royale, is tops.


Hugh jones said...

Alas, your great uncle Rhys was not born in Llangybi neither was your Grandfather Idrysin, or your great Aunts miriam and Elwyn. They were all born in Maryborough Qld.
The person who was born in Lllangybi was your great grandfather Gwyllim or William, who emigrated from that mighty metropolis to Queensland in 1882 at the age of two, aboard the " Silver Eagle" a ship that easily rivalled the QE2 for comfort and lugsury.
He even had an uncle Silvy ( Silvester Bright Jones ) named after the Silver Eagle and the Captain of that piratical craft called Capting Bright.
I hope that this will clear any confusion remaining in your fog enshrouded mind.
Incidently uncle Rhys was also a writer publishing a book on english grammar way back in geological time about 1955.

Jeff Jones said...

I can always rely on the AP to clear things up - thank you. I will visit Llangibi forthwith. It's about 150 km round trip, or about 200 km if I trust my finely honed navigation skills.

Alec's book is very funny!