Friday, June 25

In the conker tree

Looks like Kirri will have to wait a while before he goes climbing his tree again!
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Thursday, June 24

Addendum tra la

Only six weeks, then
Good Friday's here,
When the boys make tents
And talk no sense
Over a beer
And get it up again.

Hands on poles,
All in a row,
Await the order 'Lift'.
'But mine's adrift!'
'It's on my toe'.
'Just fit them in the holes'.

Commands are issued
Loud and clear
'It's looking good'.
'We knew we could'.
'Have no fear'
All well and truly screwed.

Pegs are banged in
Ground quite soft,
Mallet swinging,
Sarah singing,
Arms aloft,
Demanding 'Retha Franklin

Like 'I say a little prayer'
Or 'Something-E-C-T'
For her greatest hits
And whatever else fits
On a USB
Or Graeme's iPod player.

Wednesday, June 23

865th Meeting of the Paddock Party Committee

Also available as for download and scribbling all over with groovy action points at this link.

Held at Astcote High Street Station 2pm, Sunday 13 June 2010

Graeme (Chairman), Maggie, Steve, SarahD, Kathie, Amy, Richard, Penny, Sue, Andrew (Minutes Secretary)
Members were informed that SarahB is still writing an essay which has now become such a vast and authoritative tome that Adrian had been lassoed on his way out in order to assist with what all students seem to want to do, namely place each sheet in a ruddy plastic wallet, much to the later annoyance of tutors who moan like mad at having to extract every sheet in order to correct them. Members were divided on the subject of this remarkable three month effort, the majority concluding that it was The Life And Times Of A Garden Gnome. Steve quietly hoped that she wouldn’t insist on grabbing the microphone and reading it out at the party. The Minutes Secretary had serious doubts about whether she would have completed it by then.

Minutes of the previous meeting
These were approved after Maggie had run across the road to check the dog. Richard disappeared to get some port which prompted Stationmaster Steve to explain that Late Bottled Vintage, like Vintage Port, is a wine of a single year but it is not a “declared” Vintage Port. Whereas Vintage Port spends only two years in casks and then matures in bottle, LBV is aged in casks and then bottled with a light filtration at between four and six years old. At the time of bottling it has completed its maturation and is ready for drinking without the need for decanting.

The Chairman asked whether the Minutes Secretary could add action points to them. Seeing the expression on the latter member’s face, he added that it probably wouldn’t be necessary to add action points to all the previous minutes, just from here forward. The Minutes Secretary looked quite relieved.

Date and time
7 August, 6:30pm as last year

Chairs and tables
Cold Higham would be supplying a good quantity which Peter would collect. Sue was reminded yet again that she needed to check whether the Methodist Church furniture was available. Not the pews, though, and she should ensure the items we removed were not in use at the time.

Adrian and the Minutes Secretary had spent a great deal of time viewing images on the internet but needed to check a few more before selecting those that were likely to be appropriate. Bearing in mind that there would be children present and some guests shouldn’t be subjected to sudden shock the Minutes Secretary agreed to advise Adrian that none of the predominantly pink images he had come up with were likely to be approved, even allowing for the close and lengthy consideration that Richard and Stationmaster Steve seemed willing to give to them. It was agreed that a range of samples with a PG certificate would be supplied to the Chairman by 22 June (which by sheer chance happens to be the date today and I’ve just e-mailed them to him).

The Chairman admitted to having completely forgotten about requesting a licence from the local Council in order that music can be played. Kathie said that if he didn’t get it in time then everyone had an iPod these days and so they could listen to their own. Penny pointed out, though, that no-one would then be able to hear SarahB screeching “Aretha! We must have some Aretha!” Richard assured her that SarahB would not be ignored, especially if she were hurtling towards an unsuspecting Minutes Secretary at the time as would be her wont and steps would be taken to avoid a collision.

Members agreed to keep an eye out for any special offer tents. Whilst it was believed that the one held together with duck tape and with a pole up one of its tubes would serve another event without enveloping guests below during the evening, should any of them experience a sudden and massive gust of wind from an unfortunate angle then disaster might strike and it was good to be prepared.

Kathie kindly agreed to make a hamper for the main raffle prize this year. She reckoned that she had a suitable basket and Sue would give her some ideas as to what to put in it.

It was agreed that, in return for hampering, Kathie and her family would be provided with free tickets.

Ticket sales
The Chairman then broached the thorny subject of who would cover which areas to get tickets out to the people to be invited. Traditionally, he reminded members, the Paddock Party invitations were offered to Shoemaker Close residents, even if we didn’t know them particularly well, because we were likely to keep them awake and were, after all, conducting the whole thing either on the other side of their fences or within a stone’s throw of their TVs which could be quite a nuisance, especially once guests had had a few beers or glasses of wine and for more reasons than one.

Kathie agreed to do Shoemaker Close in its entirety
SarahD and Stationmaster Steve would do School Road and Suttons Walk
Penny would do next door, Suzanne up there and invite her line dancing friends
SarahB, would do the Cold Higham mob, or Adrian if she hadn’t finished her essay
Maggie & Graeme would attend to Pattishall friends and all stations East

Tickets would be distributed just as soon as Adrian and the Minutes Secretary got their act together and produced the damn things and the Chairman would ask for an update on sales at regular intervals.
Committee members could invite as many of their own friends as they wished but we did need to know numbers to ensure the pig was the right size.

The jazz quartet, Matt and Grace and Amy were confirmed as performing. Amy would do a welcoming intro on Graeme’s keyboard. She had indicated coyly that she would prefer not to play on his organ but the Chairman insisted that it was a piano that he would make available.

The Rock School had not been asked to perform.

In addition to the live acts we should also have some groovy tracks available, not just to satisfy SarahB’s Arethaic demands but also to have something to play as and when there were breaks and probably later when the performers were likely to be suffering from an excess of alcohol and liable to render versions of numbers that a mathematician might be inclined to describe as imaginary.

Penny would take the role once again of Chief Saladeer with Sue, Sarahs D and B, Kathie and Maggie as individual saladeers under her command. A request should be made to anyone offering to bring food that they bring salads rather than puddings as the saladeers took the view that there’d be more than enough excellent desserts being provided.

Penny would arrange a shopping trip at an opportune moment to ensure all the appropriate goodies and gallon tubs of salad cream and mayonnaise were purchased. Stationmaster Steve reminded the Committee that he had six drums of each in his garage already but they may be past their ‘use by’ dates. He was finding the salad cream, in particular the Crosse & Blackwell one, to be an excellent lubricant for his train. The Aldi variety was nothing like as effective, though, but had great binding properties for the gravel on the new slopes he had been building for the Eastern extension.

Any other business
Sue would produce candles and flowers to add a touch of class to the formica-topped tables. Everyone agreed that she always made a splendid job of these and it was fun watching people trying to figure out why they didn’t fall over when tables were wobbled.

The Minutes Secretary would produce a range of signs as usual. Any special requests to him as he always seems to be doing them a few minutes before people arrive and there’s nothing more embarrassing than bending over to hammer in a sign that reads ‘Please put your forks in here’

A slide show projected onto Kathie’s wall or the side of the food tent was agreed to be something that we should try this year. Shows at early Paddock Parties had been a popular distraction and the format of the evening, without a band at the end, might allow the show to be more effective as well as being seen without massive silhouettes of Tom and friends looming over them. The Minutes Secretary would see if he could acquire a decent projector and work with Adrian to set up something suitable.

The Chairman reminded members that we had agreed to have a quiz this year to keep people amused during the lighter hours. This would take the form of their attempting to identify images of things or views around the locality. He and Maggie had been taking pictures but others were welcome too and the Minutes Secretary offered to put the whole shooting match into some semblance of order and print the images and some answer sheets.

Date of next meeting
Sunday 18 July 2010 at Penny & Richard’s 3pm

Sunday, June 6

The Chairman returns

Graeme & Maggie get back from Cyprus in good time for the next Paddock Party.