View Full Version : Oz Farewell to London 2004 Bash - 30 August 2004
31st Aug 2004, 13:05
The morning of the OzExPat farewell to London bash dawned bright and slightly cloudy with a brisk breeze keeping temps down. The venue would be the Blackfriar pub near, surprise surprise, Blackfriars station at 3pm. I impressed myself by working out a clever Sunday rail service connection that would bring me to the venue 20 mins ahead of schedule! I duly advised Oz by text and assumed I would be the first to arrive. Wrong!! No sooner had I walked through the door of the pub than I was being greeted wonderfully warmly by McD who then introduced me to MrMcD who, because he had courteously stood up, was immediately able to buy me the first of innumerable GTs. As we sat down and began to chat (it was the first meeting in reality for the three of us) MrMcD and I realised that we had both been in RAF officer training at a similar time and same place! Talk about a small world!
Anyway, Oz arrived shortly afterwards and as we were occupying the lone table in the “pointy end” of the bar area (guess we all felt more comfortable with such a config) we grabbed some more chairs to ensure we had sufficient for the later arrivals, Reddo and Checkers…
Once again the phenomenon of “proon time” worked its magic so that no sooner had he arrived, so it seemed, than it was (2hrs later) time for Oz to depart Heathrow Expresswards having nominated me as PIREP writer. Thanks Oz!! We duly toasted his departure and had several “ones for the road” for him. A little while later Reddo reached for her cellphone and listened, concerned, to a voice message from Oz which she interpreted as saying that he had missed his flight!!! Fortunately he had also called through to McD and it turns out that he had only missed a Heathrow Express departure, not the flight to Singapore!! Such stress on his behalf brought on a fierce thirst so more drinks were consumed.
Someone recommended we order blotting paper to absorb some of the imbibed liquid so large portions of salad, gammon&egg, welsh rarebit, steak-sandwich, steak ‘n kidney pie, all with lashings of chips arrived and disappeared without touching the sides!! Good food, it must be said, for “just” a pub!
Time melted away, MrMcD and I just couldn’t get over the coincidence of our pasts and people/names that rang (or didn’t ring) bells – we probably seemed a little boring to the others with our reminiscincing but I blame MrMcD ‘cos purple squadron was like that ::eyeroll:: hehehehehe (just kidding!).
Finally, just as the McDs announced that they needed to be heading LHR-wards the barman said that the pub was due to close (9pm) so we all split up and made our various ways home. Hound was delighted to greet me and removing the bash book from my bag I have placed it carefully with passport ready to be transported to Orlando for the Oct 21 bash there!
I really think this has to be one of the most far-flinging of the smaller bashes - within 24hrs of it we six participants will be scattered across three continents!!
That’s all from me folks! Over to the rest of ya!
Great Pirep, Brocky! :ok:
(Ok, so MrMcD might beg to differ with your assessment of the quality of purple vs. blue ;) .... )
We had a truly wonderful time with everyone, and look forward to seeing you again, Brocky, in October (along with anyone else going to the Orlando bash).
And you're right -- we arrived back in the states several hours ago; that's 2 of us on a different continent. OzEx, we're hoping your journey has gone well too!
Reddo & Checkers: great to see you again/meet you (respectively), and hope the trains were good to you on your way back home.
All the best until we meet up again.
1st Sep 2004, 12:37
I'd been lunching at St John's Wood until 14:30 and reckoned that I'd probably be a bit late arriving at Blackfriars pub. I needn't have worried however because a train arrived at the platform at almost the same time that I did. That got me as far as Westminster where, after changing to the Circle Line, had to wait just one minute for a train. Yeah, I know that nobody will believe that about the Circle Line...
For all of that, I reached the pub at 14:55! Was pleased with that because we'd planned the meeting for 15:00 - and I'd already been late to arrive at the previous Blackfriars sesh, so didn't want a repeat of that. It wastes too much drinking time!
I'd already had texts from both Brocky and McD, so knew that they were already there. It was soooo nice to see Mr and Mrs McD again after... what? Three months? We'd all changed so much! :D And then, of course, it had been fully about 36 hours since I'd last seen Brocky - and she'd been a VERY bad influence on me at TWO Japanese resties! :p
Reddo and Checkers arrived quite late, with a tale of horror regarding their train trip from Luton. Well, I guess that someone had to have a bad day with the trains, so it might as well have been them... Anyway, to his credit, Checkers wasted no time trying to catch up on over an hour's worth of missed drinking time!
And, yes, I blame all of you for having missed the 15:45 Express by 5 minutes! Was at LHR at 16:30, in a HUGE queue at BA check-in. The wait was worth it though because I ended up with a very comfy exit row seat from there to SIN, and upgrade to one of them yew-bewt Sky Bed seats on QF from SIN to BNE, and another quite comfy exit row seat up to CNS. Good result! :ok:
I was most unhappy to have to leave the party so early and, indeed, to leave the UK after such a great (if drunken) time! It was great to have an opportunity to catch up with the McD's again though - even tho we HAD been close by in Newcastle without knowing it! ;)
I know that you'll take good care of the Bash Register, Brocky - just don't forget to pack it for the return from Orlando! Make sure there's enough space left in the book after the Gatbash for folks to sign it at the next Brisbash! :D
Oh yeah... nearly fergot... my journey went well and I got a lot more sleep than usual on the way. However, I was fading fast by this arvo, when I was going to upload the pics, so had a nap and decided to defer that job to tomorrow. So everyone has a bit more time to offer me the customary bribes... :E
No bribes from us, OzEx, but I am a bit worried that the jetlag has caused a slight problem for you re the clock. ;)
Anyone who knows you would never believe that you would attempt to catch a 1545 train, having arrived at the pub at 1455! :p
Rest assured, fellow PPRuNers ... I can attest that the great OzEx did most certainly bless us with his presence for nearly 3 hours :ok:
BTW, glad to year that you had a fine trip to CNS. Thank goodness for upgrades, eh? And on another subject, now that we have your mobile number stored, hopefully we won't have any more NCL near-misses! :O
1st Sep 2004, 15:59
Must be a timezone thing McD! :O Of course, I'd meant to say "17:45" but even that would've been wrong coz there's no Express at that time... it was, in fact, the 17:55 train that I'd just missed. And I reached Terminal 4 at 18:30, which was half an hour later than I'd intended, but well worth it for the opportunity to see you both again.
I don't know what the pub staff thought about the boisterous lot of foreigners, but I felt honoured and privileged by your presence there. I'd been very sad that you hadn't made it to the same pub on the previous Friday as I figured that you hadn't been able to swap that last remaining roster. So it was a happy surprise when you contacted me on Saturday! :ok:
Just as well that somebody thought to give "The Boss" a courtesy call too eh? :D
BTW, that phone number only works in the UK. In fact, that reminds me that I must send it back there so that a good friend can keep the number current for me until next year. So, if you ring the number again, you'll probably recognise the voice that answers it, but it won't sound much like me. :E
1st Sep 2004, 19:39
It was fantastic catching up with Oz (for the last time this year), Brockey and absolutely sensaish to see the McD's again after how many years? :D
Oh that train journey....
Ordered the cab with plenty of time. Soccer traffic... Ticket vendors are slow issuing our tickets, and the train we wanted has closed the doors and we can't get on.
There's another one 10 min later. Naturally it stops at all stops. Also, because of train works, we have to walk between St Pancras and Thameslink Kings Cross.
Do that and goody, a train in one minute. Fantastic or so we thought... The bloody train broke down enroute. (Fair enough, they do that). However, the one that they want to use to pick up the trip is stuck behind the dead one.
We're now running about 30 min late for the pub appointment... Finally the train turns up. We hop on and settle down to the final part of our journey.
Next thing just outside our carriage a flash of light and a big BANG is heard. The lights go dim and every thing goes quiet. Not a good sign.
The station master trots down the platform to wave off the train, he asks "are you ready yet?" The train drivers' response was short "No I am effing NOT!!" Obviously the station guy didn't see the flash. Any way, the driver worked a miracle and we got going.
We got to the pub about 45 min late but we made up for wasted time. :D
Look forward to seeing you all again :D
2nd Sep 2004, 12:00
I'm glad ya feel that way Reddo because you'll be able to see everyone again right here! :D For those who haven't read the Blackfriars Bash thread, I'll repeat the relevant comments that I made therein.
at great (read as "effen HUGE") expense, I've finally been able to upload all the piccies to my FotoTime site. The only slight problem you'll encounter is that I've uploaded them to the same album that was used for the pissups at the end of July. But, fear not (especially if yer on broadband :} ), because there aren't a lot of pics to bypass before you reach the ones for the Blackfriars Bash. Oh yeah, and the photos for the second (and more intimate) Blackfriars Mini Bash are in that album too.
The URL you need leads to an album entitled something along the lines of :- PPRuNe London 2004 (http://www.fototime.com/inv/DFA31A6ED0DAC0C)
I don't know how Brocky managed to miss it from the Pirep (especially as she has the Bash Register), but there's an entry in the book that's signed by someone called Coconuts! Unless she was in and out of the place like greased lightning, I can't imagine how I missed out on a piccy of her! :suspect:
2nd Sep 2004, 17:51
OxX no need to fret mate. You really know who did it don't you? ;)
No me of course, but nearer home to you - sort of! ;);)
3rd Sep 2004, 06:22
:E Oh Pop, yer such a tease! :D ;)
I'm really looking forward to the 5-Year Reunion! :ok:
5th Sep 2004, 01:38
Great stuff, OzEx, I'm envious looking at the pics (and thirsty for some reason!) One of these days, maybe. :(
I do want to mention how disgusted I was at photo number 31 though. Youse are all perverts! :E
5th Sep 2004, 12:23
Yes, sorry Binos, I recognise that the angle could've been better... ;)
5th Sep 2004, 20:27
I'm very cross about the posting of No.31. I TOLD you it wasn't my best side OzEx. You're a bad lad and don't do it again...
5th Sep 2004, 21:36
;) both sides looked fine from where I was sitting! :E
6th Sep 2004, 08:06
I stand duly castigated PP but, in my own defence, I did say at the time that I need a wider angle lense to do complete justice to you. :O
6th Sep 2004, 14:37
And remembering that I'm in Oz, I don't think a telephoto lens would have been too much to ask for either...grumble grumble